J.B. Webb — Out of the pokey and out on the lake

Herald Democrat

Well, I thought the day would never come. Looks like I’m clear on the sun cancer and got the stitches out Monday afternoon. Still working on my eye but I can see out of it. I was cleared to go back to living a normal life, so I called Charlie to go fishing but he said he was having his head looked at; I thought that’s going to be an all-day job.

I knew I was going to be cleared Monday, so I squeezed in my first fishing trip in almost two weeks. I just had to cut my trip short so I could get to Sherman to have the stitches snipped. I got on the lake a little later than I wanted to but it was like hitting paradise.

For a person who usually goes fishing at least 2-4 times a week in my boat or the fish market, being in lockdown was awful. I was so happy to be on the water I only ran 30 miles an hour to my first stop.

My first and best stop is an early morning spot. I got there late and the bite was almost over. I caught two decent Kentuckys but the good bite was earlier. I was tickled to just be in my boat and catch something. I moved to my spot 27 and did some dead-sticking and caught one and had two more almost to the boat that got off.

I made several more drifts but only caught that one I touched so he could be counted according to Charlie's fishing rules. Moving off to my third stop, the sun was out and there were no clouds. This is a later-day spot and the fish were there. I managed to put three more fish in the boat. I had big Kentuckys and a 5.12-pound smallmouth.

The Kentuckys both came dead-sticking a 4-inch YUM Pulse I doctored up with glitter on my home-poured 3/4 0z. dead-sticking heads. I experiment a lot dressing up my plastics. That big smallie came after I had made a long cast and had a slight overrun; I never have a backlash on my reel. I got it straightened out, reeled up my slack, raised the rod and I felt something on my line.

Jerks are free so I set the hook and had one mad smallmouth on my rod. I didn’t rush the fish and he was putting up a fight. I finally got him up to the boat and netted it. If it had been filled out or I had caught it before spawning it would have gone close to seven pounds. It was a long fish.

This fish hit my 3/8 Blakemore Road Runner White Jig head I was still fishing with my YUM Pulse Swimbait with my glitter trim. The big fish had the whole lure in its mouth; he wasn’t going to get off. I had to leave shortly after I caught it because I had to be at Texoma Dermatology in Sherman to have those stitches out.

Tuesday I slept till 7 a.m.; there went my early-morning bite. I had to take Ginger for her morning ride then come back and had more coffee and slurped down some food. I hooked up and was down at the ramp at 8.30 a.m.

My usual run had me catch a keeper in my sand hole. Moving over to 27 I caught athree-plus pound largemouth on a special-made Blakemore Head Jig with a Chartreuse 4- inch YUM Pulse swimbait. The Blakemore Jig head I was using was a Randy’s Classic Runner. It is a step above the Regular Road Runner Jig Head.

Breakfast was wearing off so I quit and went home and had mashed taters, ham and corn on the cob. Susan had a couple of jobs lined up for me so after I ate I took care of them. I was so glad to get back to a normal life I cleaned the inside of my boat and wednesday I waxed it.

Passing note: the water was 47 degrees surface both Monday and Tuesday. It needs to get about 7-8 degrees colder to really put those fish in my spots. If you do get out fishing this winter, be careful. The water is cold enough to cause hypothermia and not take long to do it if you are not able to quickly get back in your boat.

I carry a complete change of clothes, with towels, socks and a pair of shoes and zip-up snowmobile suit in my rod locker in case I do fall in. I also have a small zip cooler with fire starters, a lighter, a little pan, a bottle of water and some instant coffee in a tight jar and one of those emergency blankets.

I’m 78 now and plan on getting a little older. I know I can get back in my boat by myself. These new winter clothes I wear are more expensive but unlike the old cold gear we used to wear, they don’t soak up a lot of water so you don’t sink.

Also having a life jacket that automatically inflates if you fall in the water pretty well takes care of you. My boat also has cords with a snap I put on my belt when fishing by myself that keep the boat from blowing away from me if I do fall in.

Just some things you might want to think about to be a little safer.