This is the time of year fishing can be tough. Everyone knows about the early morning being a good time to fish. However, it doesn’t last long before it starts getting hot and the fishing gets tougher.

Fishing does slow but fish can still be caught. If you aren’t a bass purist, the many other fish in Texoma are generally ready and willing to bite. There is still a crappie bite in boathouses and brush piles in the lake. The boathouse I have been catching fish out of for the last couple of years has been torn down and hauled off.

I have a friend who fishes another boathouse and he says he is still catching them. Shade, Brush, Blakemore Road Runners, plastic grubs, Nibbles and Minnows should be all you need. Stripers and reports of some sand bass being caught are an almost sure way to get your line stretched. Live Bait, Slabs and Swim baits are working for bigger fish. For those just wanting to catch stripers the fun way is on a Topwater of some kind.

I don’t fish for them but I keep a rod with a cork and streamer handy. They often just come to the surface with no warning and you can clean their plow with that simple rig.

I make my streamers barbless so I can get the fish off faster and get back in the school. This also makes your friend in the back of the boat frustrated as fish keep getting off before he can get them to the boat. When you finally tell him why he is losing so many you want a big deck to run around on trying to get away while laughing. With a friend like me you don’t need an enemy.

Another almost sure bet is catfish. Jug lines and drifting flats and along the river channels and the deeper water around rocks are all good places to try. If bank fishing, get close to deeper water if you can.

While not as popular as the other fish — but fun to catch — are the big gar. They breathe air and come to the surface generally in calm, dirty water but they also are in clear. I don’t do it as much anymore as I did but I still have a gar rig in my boat. Take a 1/2 or 3/4 oz silver spoon, remove the hook, get a piece of white Nylon rope about four inches long, and fray the back three inches of the rope.

Take the unfrayed end of the rope, melt the tip of the rope with a lighter to hold it together, then get a Swivel with a snap and Split ring. Put the split ring on your Spoon, hook the swivel to the melted end of the rope. Soak the rope in shad fish attractant.

Ride around looking for the gar coming to the surface to get a gulp of air. It will go down, so cast 10-15 feet in front of the last place you saw the gar. Let it sink, then start a slow retrieve. The gar will swim up and bite the rope — it gets hung in his teeth and the fight is on. You lose a lot of them but while they are on your line you just might forget about the rest of the fish in Texoma. They never stop pulling and some will even jump.

I don’t do it but you might think about putting on a short wire leader it will save you a spoon now and then. It seems like, to me, the hotter it gets the better the gar bite is. You figure out how to get one off if you get it to the boat. I haven’t found an easy way yet. I’ve broken a paddle hitting them. Some have said carry a baseball bat. The only way for sure is to shoot them.

However, this can cause a problem as you aren’t supposed to have firearms on corps lakes. I had a friend try to stab one once. His buck knife ricochet off the gar and partially stuck in his boat. Gar fishing is fun but it’s probably the dangerous one of the lot. These are some fishing ideas to make a trip to the lake to fish a little easier and more productive.

Hat, shirt, sunscreen and water or power drinks in ice also make it bearable to be out on the water.

It can happen to anybody: we had a small, slow leak behind our water heater. Wiggling it made the leak worse. I went out and cut the water off. Wednesday my friend, who thinks a lot deeper than me, said to drain the tank and we would fix it. I know how to drain a water heater.

Everything was going well when I began seeing a creamy, thick gunk coming out the drain hose. I thought I would just flush the tank as I had to empty it any way. To aid in the tank draining I unhooked the hot water line at the top.

I started filling it up to flush the sand and stuff out. Then I went off to read the newspaper. Susan came screaming out the house was flooding. It was; I had let the tank get full again and the water was pouring out. I got the water cut off and with the help of a dozen towels I got most of the water up. Here’s my sign.