It’s been a spring to forget in many ways across Texomaland as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the cancellation of everything from school to sports to business. The weather has been topsy-turvy as well with everything from heavy rains to unseasonable cold to a tornado in Madill that unfortunately took two lives.


But one thing that is proving to be memorable this spring is some solid fishing action on the big 89,000-acre pond lying out our backdoor. While Lake Texoma has been off at times over the spring as waters have risen and become stained, that doesn’t seem to be the case right now. In fact, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (www.tpwd.texas.gov) rated overall fishing at the border lake as excellent in its angling report for this week.


A few noteworthy catches in recent days seem to prove that. For starters, a couple of weeks ago, local bass expert Brett Graham reported on social media that he battled a big bass and a suddenly AWOL trolling motor in back-to-back fashion. After landing the big bass and putting it in the livewell, his trolling motor broke away from the boat’s mount and left him with another catch to make.


Fortunately for Graham, no stranger to big catches over the years, he won both battles and landed his trolling motor and the 25.5-inch long lunker largemouth that tipped his electronic scale to 9-lbs., 4-oz. Now that’s a fish story that few of us can top…and Graham had the photos to prove it all!


Not too many days later, Denison Yellow Jacket football and baseball standout Cayden Earnhart turned his disappointment from a senior spring gone awry into a bigtime fishing trip smile. On a solo outing to Texoma, Earnhart landed another big Texoma largemouth. According to his mom Karee, the fish was in the seven-pound range, the biggest bass that he has ever landed. Congrats to Cayden!


And this past weekend, Sherman’s Timothy Cline and his son Jaxon finished second at the Future Bass Trails tourney on Texoma. Along with winning $2,500 for their runner-up finish, the two will remember the elder Cline’s 9.52-pound largemouth catch for a long time to come.


According to Cline’s social media post, it was the biggest bass he’s ever caught at Texoma. The big fish for the event, it anchored their limit of 20.87 pounds, just behind the winning weight of 21npounds and change.


Not to be outdone are the crappie anglers on Texoma, who are also reporting some good springtime action in recent days. That includes Sherman’s Larry St. Clair, who has had several good outings as of late with family members. The most recent one a few days ago produced 38-keeper crappie, a good number of those being big slab-sized sac au laits that will be great at St. Clair’s annual deer camp fish fry.


And last but not least are Texoma’s striper anglers, who are seeing the linesider action start to heat up according to reports from TPWD and anglers like Orvis-endorsed guide Steve Hollensed. With birds often showing the way, topwater action is occurring near certain shoreline banks early in the day as the shad go about their annual spawn and the stripers enjoy the feast. As the late spring heat builds, that topwater action should continue to solidify as May continues.


Texas DU Hosts Virtual Fundraiser — As fundraising events continue to be on hold across Texas and the rest of the nation due to social distancing and the COVID-19 shutdown, groups like Ducks Unlimited are getting creative in their attempts to keep the business of conservation ongoing.


That includes leaders with Texas’ Ducks Unlimited, which hosted a “Virtual DU Event” online last night along with several other online auctions being held in recent days.


The current online Texas DU auction is live through tomorrow when bidding ends on Saturday, May 16. Up for auction sale are a variety of DU sporting arms; limited edition sporting art prints; other DU collectibles; a variety of hunts; and trips to such places as St. Thomas, the Bahamas, Belize, Argentina, Costa Rica, and more.


To bid on any of these items, visit the Texas DU auction portal at go.dufundraising.com. To learn more about Ducks Unlimited, visit www.ducks.org.


Pope and Young Club Announces Gear Raffle — Staying on the theme of conservation groups trying to keep fundraising alive, the Pope and Young Club (www.pope-young.org) has announced the PY GEAR-UP Raffle Drawing.


With a limited number of tickets being sold, the odds are good to win one of several incredible prize packages that are comprised of nearly $10,000 worth of archery hunting gear. Prizes include a Hoyt Turbo bow, a Three Rivers takedown recurve, a YETI cooler, a Kuiu sleeping bag, a $500 gift certificate for Sitka Gear, a $500 gift card for Bass Pro Shops, a $500 gift card for FeraDyne products (the ownership group for a number of archery companies like Rage Broadheads), and plenty more.


The drawing will be July 31 and ticket sales are limited to 1,000. Raffle tickets cost $20 each or six tickets for $100. All proceeds go to benefit the P&Y Conservation, Education, and Outreach Fund.


To purchase tickets for the Gear Up raffle, please visit the P&Y raffle site at https://rafflecreator.com/pages/29991/p-&-y-summer-gear-up-drawing.