I want to tell all my readers why I didn’t have an article last week, or the week before. Two weeks ago, I got punted out by High School football. Last week I sent one and they never got it. I never got a can’t be delivered notice on my computer; it stills says sent so I’m guessing it’s out there somewhere.

I’m going to share what I tried to send last week to go along this week. One of the big things about the start of September is the opening of dove season. This year took me back to Gunter many years ago. Gunter was then a big dove-hunting place. Besides opening day, the other thing you could count on was it would rain and scatter the birds. This year on Sept. 1 it was soggy, just like it was back then.

I hunted with my Granddad Webb’s 20-gauge pump shotgun back then. I don’t hunt any more; I fish. One of the last dove hunts I went on I have told you about already, a friend had reloaded a lot of shells and gave me some cheap. I owned a double barrel 20-gauge shotgun of my own by then. Another friend of mine had found a lot of birds southwest of Gunter.

I had a pair of camo pants with those big pockets. We had to walk in a plowed maize field to get to a tree that was right in a flyway. It was a tough walk and your pants with those loose shells in those big pockets like Elvis were all shook up.

We all got under one tree and before long we had birds coming in from all directions everyone was shooting. I began to notice that I wasn’t hitting many. When the flood of birds ended, everyone but me had a limit. I ran my hand down in one of those big pockets and found it full of lead. My shell provider had failed to seal the shells and the walk had most of them open enough for the shot to fall out. I was shooting with a handicap. Memories of long ago.

Wednesday morning last week it wasn’t raining but the forecast was for scattered heavy rain. Having cabin fever, I was going fishing come hell or high water — we got water.

It looked rainy and I thought I could hear thunder a long way off. It was a picture-perfect fishing day: heavy overcast, light wind and cool temps. The lake is low but rising and the temp had fallen three degrees. I idled out and still being in break-in mode on my new lower unit I nailed the motor and popped up on top where I reduced speed. I was the only boat on the lake in Little Mineral I could see.

I want to apologize to Pradco fishing, I have been calling a lure wrong. I had been calling the Spit'n Image I’m fishing a Bomber; it has always been in the Heddon group but with 18 different lure companies under their brand they moved a lot of things around and put things in new groups. If you are looking for one it’s Heddon not Bomber.

I’m getting well after my illness but I still have a touch of striper fever and keep a rod with a cork and streamer ready at hand. I smooth the barb off so I can shake them off most of the time and don’t have to handle them. This was fun with a fish on every cast; then they left. I started hitting rocky points with the wind blowing in. I had my trolling motor on 3. As I gently worked my lure back with an occasional twitch, a swirl and I had my first bass, going down the rocky bank I caught two more.

I was slowly moving around. On another rocky point I got a nice bass. I moved a lot getting to new places. On another long rocky bank my Heddon Spit’n Image disappeared in a big splash of water.

It pulled like a tractor and didn’t come up so I figured I had a big striper, was I ever wrong — all at once a big smallmouth came shooting out of the water. Those fish are stout and pull harder than a bass their size. I netted a three-plus pound smallie, took a picture and released it. Not much later on the rocky point of that bank I tied up with another smallie, bigger than the first.

Before I quit I had caught 12 or 13 bass, all came on the Heddon Spit’n Image in Thread Fin Shad color. I didn’t keep a count of the sand bass and stripers; I’m guessing 14 or more.

Well it’s the start of a new football season. Last year this fearless predictor only missed one game. My prediction last week was Gunter 21, Pottsboro 20. First off, my prediction was a little off last week. Pottsboro looked good and I’m thinking they just might get to Jerry World again. It was a hard-played game. Off to Prosper Friday for our game with Whitesboro. In the battle of the cats, Tigers are bigger than Bearcats: I predict Gunter 30 Whitesboro 14.

Praise the Lord Labor Day and the summer run is over. There were so many people out here for the holiday weekend our ramp runneth over. Sunday while I was cleaning out our waste barrels, I found masks everywhere to pick up.

Wednesday morning with the threat of bad weather coming and a cold front, I went fishing. Another day made for fishing greeted me: cool, cloudy with a light north wind and no boats to be seen. I went to the east side of the lake because a north wind blows into those points and coves.

At my first stop my second cast was greeted by a striper. Getting it off the rest of that bank was dead. I must have been right because there were a lot of buzzards setting in trees around it. I moved to my second stop. Once again, they liked my Heddon Spit'n Image. I got four bass on it. I hit one more spot on the east side and got a sand bass and a striper. By this time, I was at the mouth of little Mineral.

I moved over to the west bank and saw my first boat in the back of the cove. I left him and moved to another rocky point. I made three passes around it and got three bass. I was working my way back to our ramp and working every rocky point I could. I eventually went in. I wound up with 11 fish and memories of seeing a few fish blow up on my lure and not get caught.

Besides fishing I work a lot in the yard and have a few to mow for other people. I have to spend some time in the Rusty Moose Saloon with Ginger and Susan, cooling down and hydrating with a cold one or two and listening to old country music. I sure have it rough.