With the water temperature rising and the lake high, plus having the sun make Bullfrog and sunglasses mandatory, early fishing is the way to go. You can catch bass all summer long if you want to sweat like a racehorse in the middle of the day. I much prefer to get out early get a topwater bite land some fish then go home before it gets in the 90s.
My other recommendation during the summer is to go night fishing. Just make sure your friend in the boat with you doesn’t throw one of your rod and reels in the water. Night fishing requires you to switch from sunscreen to mosquito repellent. Still it’s a great way to spend part of a summer night. When some big smallmouth hits your Spinnerbait it really gets to be fun.
I was watching TV news from our local media station when I saw them make a big Hoo Doo over an alligator gar caught in Oklahoma. About eight years or so ago a Texas Striper Guide fishing in the Big Mineral Arm of Texoma using a one-ounce Blakemore Road Runner jig caught a gar weighing over 120 pounds and was seven feet long.
It was weighed at the Tackle Box and there are probably some of my readers still around who were there. I put my head and shoulder in the big fish’s mouth with room left for some more of me. I don’t remember what they did with it but if you know give me a call. In the alligator gar contest on Texoma between Texas and Oklahoma, we win.
Wednesday morning Charlie and I were at our boat ramp at 6 a.m. We figured an early start and early stopping would make it more fun. We joke about burning daylight. This time the sun still hadn’t made an appearance but it was light enough to run. To the north and east, we could see a lighting show going on.
We headed out. Now a person who spends a lot of time in their boat can tell when something isn’t right. I hit the gas and my boat jumped out of the water and away we went. I knew the boat jumped out quicker than usual and it felt light but instead of taking the hint my boat tried to tell me, off we went.
Pulling into a rock bank we started throwing Topwaters. I was using a Booyah Buzz Bait. Charlie had a big ugly Heddon Lucky 13 tied on. That thing looked like a sumo wrestler in the water. Second cast he caught a nice bass. “Luck” I thought to myself.
We moved on down the bank and he had another bass hit it; he missed the hook set. I still hadn’t had a bite. I did finally have one blow up on my buzz bait but I didn’t get a hook in him. We moved on to a cove full of trees under the water due to the lake rising.
Darn if Charlie didn’t catch another nice bass and it put on an aerial show for us. Returning it to the water, not much later as he came by a sunken tree the water bulged up and a big bass inhaled that Ugly Lucky 13.
It was touch-and-go for awhile as Charlie was keeping it out of the tree and the bass wanting to go in. Finally, he got it up to the boat and it was a horse of a fish. Lipping the fish was out of the question as it had that Lucky 13 cross ways in its mouth and I didn’t want it catching me. I finally got my hand under its belly and lifted it in the boat.
A tip most all bass fishermen know — if you pick up a bass by putting your hand under its belly and lifting up it must paralyze the fish because they don’t wiggle or flop. Once in the boat I put it on the scales and it went 6.29 pounds. After a photo session we let it go.
Remember when I started this column I said my boat didn’t feel right? Well neither of my gas gauges were working. Not sweating the small stuff, I had been putting 15 gallons in my starboard tank and 10 gallons in my port tank. Well on a run to another spot I run out of gas in the middle of Little Mineral.
“No problem,” I told Charlie. I switched tanks and guess what? I must have used that tank up and didn’t refill it. No wonder my boat felt light. Luckily, we were still down wind of our cove so I put the trolling motor on high and we made it back. I am getting new gas gauges. This is my sign for this week.