The water is going down. Several marinas are letting people launch off parking lots and roads. I’m getting reports of "good" and "getting better" striper fishing in the lake.

The water is going down. Several marinas are letting people launch off parking lots and roads. I’m getting reports of "good" and "getting better" striper fishing in the lake.

The exercise part is good too if you don’t mind walking. Highport has marked off a lane for launching. If you aren’t there early for the few close parking spots, you have to park a long ways from where you launch. It’s mostly uphill getting to your rig. Walking uphill is good for us, the experts say.

You should call and check with the marina you want to use about parking before you come out if you aren‘t into hiking.

I found out the walking part Tuesday. It was uphill both ways — an old country saying. I went to Highport and launched. Putting my boat, thanks to my kneel guard, on the old pavement, I had to leave it and move my truck to the top of the hill and park. That was where the walking came in, downhill and later uphill.

Highport looks like someone kicked an anthill with the rebuilding and clean up: it has boats and staff going everywhere. Idling and paying attention is recommended until you get out to the breakwater. The workboats and barges are apt to pop out anywhere.

Matter of fact the one boathouse I wanted to start at when I turned the corner was where I felt like Custer at Big Horn. Four workboats and a big crane barge were headed right for me. I got out of the way and watched as they plowed through my starting spot.

The water in Highport is still off-color. Other parts of the lake I have been around are clearer. Bait was thick along with fish marks on my Elite 5 LCR as I idled out. I made a run north; the lake looks different with the high water.

Easing in to where I wanted to start, I threw a spinnerbait but no bites. I swam jigs along the floats — no takers; splashing water alerted me to a small school of stripers or sand bass out in the middle of the cove but before I could get there they were gone.

I began skipping tubes in the stalls, usually a dependable pattern this time of year, but it didn’t work. I tried different top waters but the fish ignored them. Seeing a boat with an ex-bass club member in it, we talked. They had started earlier and caught one keeper bass with a few hits on a Hollow Frog in the flooded timber along an outside bank.

They had left the slow bass fishing and went to Bird Island to catfish, they had been there Monday and caught eight; Tuesday not a bite from the kitty cats. I finally wound up catching one keeper bass off a boathouse with an Ultra light YUMbrella Rig. I probably would have caught more if there hadn’t been so many shad following it. The lake is full of bait; they were also in love with the blades on my Booyah Spinnerbait.

There is surfacing going on now — early and just at dark seem to be prime times — but it is also happening in midday if you are in the right place. The better fish are tending to come right at dark according to what I’m hearing.

Fishing is also fair-to-good in the river with nice size fish being caught according to my son-in-law, John Blasingame of Adventure Texoma Outdoors Guide Service. With my spotting scope from a high spot in Monarch Ridge I can see guide and other boats working the Dam area and Burns Run. The water is clearer over there.

Wednesday I had been planning to go fishing again. Susan and I were sitting on the back deck having coffee when she said look at the cat. "Cat" is the key word for our girls to take off looking for one. I looked at the cat and began yelling at them to come back. It was a big skunk. It didn’t spray even though the dogs were giving it heck and hitting the fence.

Susan and I finally got their attention, got them back on the deck and in the house. I grabbed a shotgun and headed out to do battle. The skunk ran in my culvert. I was going to shoot it but I got to thinking how long we would have to put up with the smell.

In a moment of weakness I decided not to shoot and just make him scoot. He was a well-mannered skunk. I flung enough rocks to gravel a road but he wouldn’t budge. I threw sticks, I beat on the culvert — he didn’t spray or leave.

Finally I went back to the deck and later he came out. I grabbed my shotgun and came off the deck in hot pursuit, just not too close. He got to another sanctuary culvert and safely made it to the woods. I was about as glad as the skunk was this turned out so good. We could have been washing doggies for three days.