Well it seems like the best tasting fish in Texoma for most people, including me, are getting ready to start moving closer to the bank. If I had a choice the only other fish I rank with the crappie is the bluegill. They are as tasty — maybe a little more — fried than Crappie. Either one fried up golden brown with beans and cole slaw, hush puppies or cornbread, doesn’t get any better.

I think the fact the lake never got cold this winter has something to do with this early showing. This is old-style fishing — Blakemore Road Runners tipped with a minnow or soft plastic baits with a Crappie Nibble is almost a sure way to catch these tasty fish.

For those who like to bank fish, they now make crappie poles long and light enough that with waders on you can hit every bush or limb along the banks or in the water. For myself, this time of year I prefer a boathouse or my boat. I use soft plastics on my Blakemore Road Runner heads tipped with a Crappie Nibble. I don’t know what’s in them but they work.

Now all open hook jigs are going to get hung up. One way to get a little more distance off the bank if you are casting is to place a small sliding cork with a cork stop on your line. They let you set the depth the bait or jig will get to, then if slowly retrieved they will usually keep your bait above the bottom plus if you stop and let it set the wind will move it around for you. It makes casting a cork and jig lots easier as the weight is at the bottom.

That said, this month will see Bobby Platt’s 15th Annual Big Mineral Crappie Jig Tournament take place on March 21. Platt and Big Mineral Fishing Camp has sponsored and put on this tournament for crappie fishermen for all this time. It’s for a little money and big bragging rights for the winners.

All entry money is returned to the fishermen. All children 12 and under can fish for free. While not for money, the prizes they will be fishing for include rods and reels, trophies, prizes, Blakemore Road Runners and raffles for the parents. Most of this junior fishing will be done off the bank around the marina and about any kind of fish caught will be weighed for the 12 and under group.

In years past everyone has had to meet at the Big Mineral store before 7 a.m. for any rules changes before taking off in boat or trucks. Fishing in boathouses will be allowed or it has been in the past. Entry fee for adults is $30 and a big crappie side pot is $10. You need to get in early as after March 12 it will go to $45 and $15 for late entries.

If you need more information contact Big Mineral Camp (903-523-4287 or bigmineral.com) or Bobby Platt (817-253-0739) for information or questions.

How’s fishing on Texoma? For bass it’s slow but they can be caught. Last Saturday 134 high school Metroplex fishing teams hit Texoma. Those 268 fishermen managed to catch 74 bass. I said it was hard, slow bass fishing now and here is proof — 13.11 pounds won it and six pounds was 10th place. A team I helped out, Chris and Garrett Gibson, came in eighth with two fish going 7.88 pounds.

Adventure Texoma Outdoors boss John Blasingame and Cross Creek Striper fishing chief Jerry Dorsey say they are starting to catch bigger stripers. Find working birds and try A rigs or Big Slabs or 4-inch Sassy Shad, or give them a different look with the new YUM Pulse’s on you’re A rigs.

You might go to looking in 40-60 foot of water on structure and humps for stripers. Good electronics are worth their weight in gold now.

Tuesday Charlie and I went fishing. It was a usual trip for us: breaking lines, stumbling around in his boat and trying not to step on the rods. Then his oil light came on. He was almost out of oil for the motor. We had to stay in Little Mineral and make short runs.

In the back of one cove we were fishing, we had, best as we could count, 28-30 wild turkeys come down to the water’s edge. We got within a cast of them, then watched as they flew across to the other side. Some landed in trees; the rest walked after landing.

A couple of big toms flared their feathers and strutted around. There were a lot of long beards in the flock. They stayed around us for a good 15-20 minutes before walking up the bank into the woods. Setting in the back of the boat I managed to catch two fish on our trip. Charlie had a couple of bites and had one fish on for a while. It got off and while we were talking the light came on over my head. I asked him was his drag tight. It wasn’t — he couldn’t have lifted a tweety bird the drag was so loose.

Get your fishing gear ready the lake gets a little warmer fishing is going to get good. the lake is full of shad so the fish will be chunky.