I know Lake Texoma was built for flood control and power supply. Fishing, recreation and water supply was a second thought.

The normal lake level for us older people who were barely around when it was built still consider 617 feet to be normal level. Lately it goes up and down like a YO-YO. What I can’t get around is why not wait till they are sure a Bugger is coming down the rivers before dumping water that might be needed next summer. Just mine and a lot of other people who use the lake regularly thoughts.

While myself and other lake users — boaters and non-boaters — look forward to spring fishing, a normal level lets both parties’ fish from bank or boat. Crappie are a prime target for some and a dropping lake leaves mud and other hazards for bank walkers to have to cross too get to the waters edge.

This time of year, the crappie are already moving up to spawn. They spawn in really shallow water around almost any kind of structure. Falling water is not a good asset for success. This is my and some others take on this.

This past weekend Bobby Platt’s 14th annual Crappie Tournament was held at Big Mineral Marina on Lake Texoma. There were 63 adults and 23 kids under 12 who fished. The weather didn’t cooperate but according to Bobby and his wife Jan everyone had a good time.

Besides trophies and rods and reels and prizes, a gift card was given to the youngest and oldest kids catching the most fish. Harper Platt, age 5, and Belle Cunningham, age 12, won. Ahn Nguyen won big crappie with a 2.36-pound fish.

First place went to Jerry Shackleford from Meade, Okla. with seven fish weighing 9.82 pounds; second was Lane Carlisle with 8.57 pounds; third was Bob Carlisle at 8.16 pounds; fourth was Nguyen with 8.11 pounds and fifth was Josh Palmer at 7.82 pounds. It was the winner’s first time to fish this event.

Striper fishing is still very good. The fish are already staging at the mouths of the rivers and some have probably already moved up to spawn. I’m hearing guides say they can’t hardly find any box fish. Most are catching overs — any striper longer than 20 inches and having to let them go after they keep the two fish per person Texas law allows.

There are also, so I’m told, big schools of fish off the islands and in mid lake. There is a mud line coming down the lake now and it was being pulled toward the dam by the water release. Fishing just ahead of the mud line seems best. Hagerman refuge, normally a big draw for bank fishermen is hurt by the 613 feet-and-going-down water level.

While crappie fishing can be good there now in the major creeks and off the oil pads It could be better with more water.

If fishing for crappie now, minnows or Jig Baits like the Blakemore Fishing Road Runners in 1/8 or 1/16 oz size fished with a small plastic body grub or tube bait tipped with a Crappie Nibble should work. As a jig is known for catching anything in the lake, in shallow water where the crappie are now there are a lot of non-fish things the Jigs will catch.

To cut down on this I like to put a Bobber stop on my line followed by a small slip cork, then a Jig. You can set it at any depth shallow to deep and allows you to make longer cast before starting a slow retrieve if you are throwing the Blakemore Road Runner, the Bobber stop will let you choose your depth. You can fish deeper or shallow by sliding the stop up or down. It also lets you fish around visible structure with less chance of hanging up.

For bass fishermen, now is the time they live for. The mild winter and warmer spring days have them chomping at the bit to get that big fish. Generally, the bass start earlier in coves and creeks on the north side of the lake. They get more sun and with prevailing south winds blowing into them can make a big difference in water temperature.

Sometimes only a degree or two can make all the difference.

I’m catching up on chores I got behind on while Susan was incapacitated. I don’t make the best nurse you will ever see. With her doing a lot better it lets me get back to things needing to be done. Thanks to all of you who have asked how she was doing. It’s nice to have friends.

Spring is almost here the days are great most of the time and being outside now is a blessing. I have to get garden plants this week. Hike Ike park or visit Hagerman, try some late trout fishing in Waterloo Lake before the fish die in the warmer water. Have your picture taken in the bluebonnets at the Dam when they show up. Just get outside and relax.