By now, 50-plus years from the time it was dammed up to now, you would think we all know something about everything in the lake. If you remember I wrote an article on freshwater crabs in Texoma. When I went to Bruce Hysmith, the former head of the Texoma Fisheries Station, he told me they had been in the lake for a long time. Well that was okay even though I had never seen any until then.
As time went by there got to be more and more of them. Susan looked them up and found out there are over 1,000 different kinds of freshwater crabs. They all have Latin names that no one can pronounce except a Latin expert. I won’t even try to guess what the Latin name for those in Texoma are.
Myself, many fishermen and recreational boaters, have seen ducks going down those old Styrofoam floats pecking on them. There are hundreds of little holes in the floats. I always figured the ducks were just pecking it out for the fun of it. Last week they began tearing down an old boathouse in our cove. It had those old floats.
When they picked them up out of the water and carried them up the hill to where they were stacking, the Bobcat driver said the ground was covered in crabs trying to get back to the water. Seems like those holes were where the crabs live.
That’s why the ducks peck the floats — they are eating the crabs. See, you and I learned something. Or at least I did, you might have already known it. As we walked around he showed me the ground. it was covered with crabs that didn’t make it to the water.
I’m never surprised by what I find at our ramp when I go down in the morning to check it out. Now and then I get to do a double take. That’s what happened this Wednesday. Ginger and I had got through the gate when I saw a big black travel bus parked crossway taking up the whole parking area for boats and trailers.
As I looked around for the driver to tell him to move it I saw a man in a uniform fishing. The bus was a travel coach and the driver was killing time until his passengers came back from their fishing trip with our guides. He had a great personality and was fun to talk to.
I asked him why he brought his own tackle and he said when he heard he was coming to Texoma he loaded his tackle too. I showed him some places to throw to have the best chance of catching fish. He also said the small parking area made him have to park there.
I asked him if someone did come down to launch could he move it and he said yes. That’s all I needed to know. As Ginger and I left he was still fishless.
We are having a skunk and raccoon war out here. I have never seen so many of both kinds before. A trip down Nighthawk will grab your nose as people have killed a lot and chunked them in the woods. I, being a lover of wildlife, took up live trapping. My first night I caught one.
That raccoon was in a foul mood that morning when I found him. I took him for a ride. Susan said she had looked it up and the raccoon experts said they loved marshmallows. The next morning when I went out to look I had a skunk. Now trying to get him out of the yard without an explosion, I’m sure I looked like a bomb disposal person.
I had on old long jeans, an old long sleeve shirt, old boots and gloves. He raised his tail and I got out of dodge. I remember someone saying if you shoot them between the eyes they wont smell. I got my 22, went out, stared him down, pulled the trigger and I’d like to remember who said they wouldn’t stink. They smell.
By the time I got rid of it I had to pressure wash my truck and the cage. That left the area around my bird feeder smelling like “phew!” Off to Dollar Store — bought two bottles of Lavender Pine Sol. Mixing them in a five-gallon bucket of water I doused the area where the skunk had sprayed.
You think the smell was bad before; pour on the lavender scent for a whole new hair curler. I grabbed the water hose and wet it down. It got worse, if that was possible. Susan and I couldn’t get out the back door to sit on the deck. Even the birds and mosquitoes left.
Later I was talking to a man older than me who said he had trapped some living under his house and he just covered the trap with a towel and didn’t get any smell at all. Now why didn’t I think of that. That’s my sign.
I haven’t been fishing this week and it’s Wednesday as I write this. It has to be in by Thursday. I don’t like to write something about Texoma unless it’s current. As I haven’t been fishing the skunk war is as good as it gets.
Now is the time for sunscreen and lots of water or Powerade. Big hats are better for your face and ears than a gimme cap. Good sunglasses are also a must have now. Be careful; you can even get overheated on the lake.