Two years of warm winters have played heck with my winter fishing. The lake never got cold enough to move my bass to their deep-water haunts. Who would think we would be going into December and I still have tomatoes and peppers on the vines with blooms” That was making me think it would be another mild winter with no deep fish. If things don’t change you might find Santa in your house in a Speedo stuffing stockings. That’s a scary thought.

Some of my Christmas presents have already arrived. My alma mater, Gunter, has won 29 games straight and is going after win number 30 this Friday. Who needs pro football when you have high school teams that are a lot more entertaining to watch?

I have been at every game this year and haven’t been disappointed yet. If you read our paper, I have also been making predictions on Gunter and I’ve got a 100 percent pick rating. After a feast of tough Eagle last weekend this Friday will see some more Eagles on the plate. My pick: Gunter wins by 20; last week I guessed low. See you all at Royce City. Dress warm.

Looking for some last minute stocking stuffers? If you have a fisherman or outdoors person in your family, lures and accessories make a nice stocking filler or under-the-tree gift. There are so many lure choices out there it can be hard to pick something they might use.

Start your search with the kind of fish they chase. Every fisherman doesn’t have a bass boat or boat period. If he is a bank fisherman think weights, corks, hooks, rod holders you stick in the ground or a cast net. Prepared catfish bait and some sponge catfish hooks to hold it and a big spool of 20-pound plus line is also something most kitty chasers would like.

For those of us who own holes in the water, “boats” into which we constantly throw money, we like gifts of lures. Safety items like a fire extinguisher or flare gun, self-inflating life jacket or High Tec cold weather gear are gifts we lure chunkers like and use.

For the crappie lovers, Blakemore Road Runners and related products Rod Floaters, Brush Grippers, or a bottle of Reel Magic lubricates, reduces ice in guides, increases casting distance and line memory makes a great last minute gift item.

If lures will be your gift of choice, here is a super place to shop on line. Go to With the two lure companies they have acquired in the past years, Norman and Bandit, who bring new baits and colors under their roof with Bomber, Cotton Cordell, Heddon, Rebel, Smithwick, Arbogast, Creek Chub, Booyah and YUM, they now have possibly the largest selection of hard baits of anyone out there.

You can shop from the comfort of your home, see the different colors and lures with information and tips on using them and order on line. Locally The Tackle Box in Pottsboro or TLC Tackle in Gainesville are loaded with baits from these companies.

Unless your favorite fishing person suggests what they want, don’t buy them rods and reels. If you do keep the receipt. Rods and reels are like wives and girlfriends: we know what we like and how good they feel when we hold them. Good line like Silver Thread is also a nice choice to put in a stocking.

Make exceptions for our children and let them get us what ever they like and be happy with it.

I went down to see if the gate to our ramp was open one morning last week. There had to be a couple of hundred gulls working the point and south of our cove just off the bank. Not a boat to be seen under them. Going back home I got my boat and went fishing. The birds had left by the time I got in the water.

I looked around with my binoculars and saw some activity out in the middle of Little Mineral. I ran to them and had two other boats for company. Dropping a three-ounce slab to the bottom it never made it as a striper hit it going down. I also caught some cranking fast to the top on Teasers.

That day, though, the best thing going was just working the slab on the bottom as the wind drifted me. I tried some swim baits but no hits. The Slab was still working when I finally left the lake. I used my Lowerance Elite to find the pods of stripers and the heavy weight got down to them in the 30-50 feet water fast.

Pick a nice day now to fish; you can get up and on the water early but fishing has also been good for me with a later start. Some wind helps. I was fishing humps and points out deep. Just go fishing look for the birds and boats. This is the best year for catching I have ever had. Stripers are another fish that like the cold water and I expect them to keep on eating.

A last thought on our warm weather, some of the crappie I have been cleaning are already getting egg sacs. This is way too early I’m thinking. A parting thought: the water is getting cold enough that hypothermia can be dangerous. Start fishing with a partner if you can.