I retired from full-time guiding several years ago. I still take some of my old friends out but it’s not often and the weather has to be right. I have settled in to working on things around the house.

Fishing when I wanted to or after I get what Susan wants done — maintain the boat ramp, keeping the yard and flowers neat, and entertaining a Golden Retriever who thinks she is a people. How can people say they never have anything to do? Retire and I guarantee you can find plenty to do.

When fishing or work don’t intrude, I sit in the Rusty Moose Saloon listening to my library of really old country music, rock and roll from way back and instrumentals, Cajun, Celtic and classical music.

I have around 600 songs or more and just put up new speakers. I wore the old ones out. A cold one in a frosty mug anytime I want it. Ten minutes to my crappie hole. Now why would anyone with all this and more fish a tournament?

After fishing one last Saturday, I know why I quit. I was a fill-in for a friend whose partner was out of town. We were fishing Future Bass. We launched at Caney Creek; you all may recall the wind was puffing a little.

Well from up in Oklahoma we run to Highport. Talk about bouncing; if I had drunk a lot of milk for breakfast I would have had churned butter in me from the jarring. We were along with some other boats running 3 to 4-foot waves at 60 miles an hour.

After fishing Highport and catching a couple of keepers we took off back up the lake to where we started. The waves were still big but we were going into them — this makes a little difference in the ride. Knowing it was going to be rough, I had put on a good body support belt and everything else I had on was tight.

It helped but a time or two my kidneys and lungs met each other as we hit a wave, not to mention what other parts of my body were doing. I made it through the day and we caught 13 or 14 fish and culled a lot for a five-fish limit but could never get a big bite we needed.

Sunday morning, I didn’t jump out of bed — I slid out and hurt in places I didn’t know I had.

Monday I worked around the house. The need to go fishing hit me so I golf carted down to the lake. It rained and thank goodness I was in a boathouse. I caught 18. Tuesday, after Gary switched hoses, I went down and put my boat in the water just to see how it drove. It’s like night and day; the hydraulics are so much better.

Wednesday after I had let Ginger do her morning sniffing, I went to the fish market and caught a quick five. I went back to the house and did some boat fishing. Stripers and birds were working along with sand bass so some serious water splashing was going on.

I should have stopped and fished for them but I was looking for bass. I fished for two hours and was still looking for a bass bite. I would have humbled myself and fished for those Silver fish but they had left the area.

Looking back at the forecast for this week, it’s not going to be fishing friendly. On another note if you haven’t heard or been out there, Highport has raised their launch fee from $5 to $10.

Avoid crowds, wear your mask and wash a lot. Maybe next week will be better.

Tip: I’m catching crappie in deep water on brush piles I have set out. I’m using a Dukes mixture of soft Plastics on 1/8 oz. Blakemore Weedless Slab Runners tipped with Crappie Nibbles. Make the best of your time on the lake or shore. Don’t bunch up and being outdoors should make you pretty safe as you fish.