Between the Corps of Engineers and Mother Nature, the chances of finding clear water to fish is getting to be a chore.

This time, before the rain started, the Corps opened the flood gates. The Red River was big-time muddy; the Washita was also loaded with muddy water.

The open gates pulled the muddy water down to the Dam. You could stand on the high bluffs; I was in Monarch Ridge on one and you could see where the river was running with the gates pulling. It looked like someone had taken a paint brush and painted the curving river.

Now while the muddy water is a problem for some (bass fishermen come to mind), the crappie don’t seem to mind it much. In between rains they are still catching them in Hagerman and in boathouses on the west side of the lake.

There are clear areas or at least lightly stained in main parts of the lake and striper fishing just ahead of the mud line is going good now. If looking to catch a bass, I would go into every cove and look for the clearest, warmest water you can find.

One thing on the fisherman’s side now is that the water is getting warm. Cold, dirty water just about puts the brakes on bass fishing. Even though the coves and water are muddy now, the warm water has the fish in the mood to play.

Monday morning, Susan, after a visit to her doctors, was released and not needing as much of my tender, loving care — she might debate that a little. I called my retired fireman friend Charlie Hill and said “let’s go fishing Tuesday.” I opted to go to Highport; it’s muddy. We launched anyway and started fishing.

My records for this time last year said water was stained and lower; not this time — it was corn planting muddy. We started at 7 a.m. and while watching the weather as we fished. We only got sprinkled on one time. I was looking for a boathouse to get in when it stopped.

Not long after we started, I caught a nice bass on a crawfish-colored Bomber 6A. We missed a couple of more. Charlie and I were throwing Chatter Baits most of the time. I would pick up my crankbait rod now and then, just to make sure the fish didn’t bite it any better than our Chatterbaits. We were using the older style Booyah Chatterbaits as I didn’t have that many of the New Mele versions yet.

It’s better than the old version about not hanging up. We were both throwing white — now don’t laugh I have better luck sometime on White baits in muddy water than other colors. We were using 4- inch YUM Pulse Swimbaits for trailers. Going down the bank I heard Charlie grunt and set the hook. He was cranking like crazy as the fish was moving out. He tried to turn the fish and his line broke. He said he thought he had hung up when the fish hit.

Not long afterward he had another fish on and was working it to the boat when it came up, turned and got off the hook. I saw its tail and side as it swirled and it was a nice bass. I caught another shortly after.

It was sprinkling again and the clouds were building so we loaded up and were out and on the trailer by a little after 10. We are going again but we will go out of my side of the lake. Even though the water was muddy and fishing slow, we caught a few.

I would like to invite any of our local firefighters who might be off duty to join Susan and me in Lewisville Friday night for the annual KTA — Keeping Tradition Alive — event at the downtown Lewisville City Hall Building. It’s a great night to hear some fabulous bagpipes and drumming by firefighter bands from all over the country and the turnout of watchers is big.

You will meet your brother and sister firefighters from everywhere at this event — 150 to as high as 250 all kilted out may be there. My boy, a captain at Longview FD, and his wife, a pipe and drum couple will be there. A friend from California I met several years ago and kept in touch with has said she is catching the plane to get here.

I will be kilted out and in the thick of it as over the years I have made many friends from a lot of cities. Bring your own chairs. There are food and beverages available on site. It’s a different music fun night, and the show starts around 7 p.m. They play two sets so if you get there late you can still catch the whole show.

The guy in a Sherman Fire Dept shirt and wearing the Webb Tartan Kilt and Beret will be me. I’ll have my County Antrum Irish Wife Susan with me as she is back and moving.