Texoma Plays Host to Costa FLW Fishing Tournament This Week

I know why I don’t fish tournaments much any more, especially not the major ones. You have to have deep pockets to come a week ahead of the tournament and have to pay for lodging, meals and enough gas — that much gas would run me for a few months.

Even if you buy food and cook it yourself it’s not cheap. I’ve been out visiting with some of the tournament fishermen this week and found most of those I talked to had other fishermen splitting the food and lodging. Some camped out and some had their trucks they had turned into rooms on wheels.

There have been boats running all over the lake all week long.

As I write this the first tournament day of the Costa FLW open starts. After almost a week of fishing in windy practice conditions, the Thursday morning 7 a.m. take-off from Highport was met with a calm start. While drinking coffee from my deck I could hear some of the boats running full out as they scattered across the lake.

Weigh-in starts at 3 p.m. at Highport. After the first two days of fishing the field will be cut to the finalist. The Friday weigh-in will decide who advances and who goes home. Saturday’s fishing with the same take-off and weigh-in times will be worth watching.

As the lake has been pounded for bass and the sound of running bass boats all week, I have reverted to crappie fishing in the boathouse. It’s been warm to say the least. I’m cool in the shade and with the wind blowing as it has this week, comfortable and get to watch boats as they come in one after another to try our cove.

The crappie are driving me crazy — it doesn’t take much to do that job; people who know me say I‘m there already. They bite at different times and there’s no way to pin down what time is best.

One day they are all quality fish 10 inches and over. The next time you fish you catch a basket full and most are short and have to be let go. One thing they all have in common is liking 1/8 oz. Blakemore Road Runners and most any soft plastics baits 2 to 3 inches long.

I can’t explain why but you better have a Crappie Nibble on also. Some days they should wear a mask; they can steal a nibble with out getting caught as fast as you put them on. I fish with a tight line almost dead sticking. You have to be a line watcher or you will miss a lot of bites.

The upside is we’re eating a lot of crappie and putting up enough to see us through the winter. I’m going crappie fishing again Thursday morning after I take our Goldie on her morning ride around the Hood, then later to the weigh-in at Highport that afternoon. I haven’t heard how many boats are entered or if any locals are fishing the FLW Tournament.

Last Thursday after I had written my article and before the major herd of boats showed up, I went fishing for bass myself. I found a bunch of smallmouth on a rocky shore. I had a friend tip me off about this bank and he wasn’t lying. I saw his mom and dad there too.

My primary bait was a white Booyah Buzz Bait. Running across and parallel to a rock or point got blowups I missed but I hooked up with six, all smallmouth. There had to be some visible rock underwater with dark cracks or crevices if you wanted to get a strike. I caught one good fish on a Bomber Fat Free Citrus Shad Fingerling. The Buzz bait was by far the best lure I fished. I was using a slow retrieve.

There is a price to pay for my running off to fish as much as I do and this week it has caught up with me. I re-did the decks with Susan watching to tell me how and where. I grumped some as sweat was pouring out of me like water. Sunday morning we put up a new big umbrella on the lower deck. What are the odds that after careful measuring and discussion and marking on where I was to drill the four holes for the anchors, three went easy. I hit a rebar on the fourth one.

We got it up, set the table and chairs, turned on the water cooler and life was nice. That lasted to Tuesday. After all that work we decided to move the umbrella to the wood deck. Then Wednesday I had to move the fountain up there also. We retired our small fireplace. It was decided I could build a cement block fireplace where the table had been not long ago. I got it done Wednesday afternoon,

This goes to show what people will do to get to go fishing.

Here I go again. I’m predicting Gunter will stay number one in the state 3A rankings, notch win number 20 in a row, and have another Bearcat dinner as Pilot Point comes to town. See you there.