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J.B. Webb — Winter weather winning the fishing battle

Herald Democrat

You know from my earlier articles I have been wanting some cold weather to drop the lake temperature. Well looks like I got it.

From being out on the lake Saturday and catching one fish before my trolling motor switch went out, I only had the company of two more boats in Little Mineral. I was staying in one spot that funneled those two boats close to me.

I laughed when I cried to them, "I thought I was the only idiot out today." They all were laughing as they went by. Now I only went as far as the mouth of Little Mineral and only saw four boats. Like I said, I like fishing in cold weather but this string of cold they are forecasting has me looking for a big pack of wieners with an open slot so I can get amongst them and weenie out of fishing.

I can handle the low double digits with my gear okay. The cold isn’t bad until the wind kicks in. Now I could even handle that except you can’t fish in an icebox. The line on your reels freezes up on the spool and your guides ice up. If you manage to make a cast, it isn’t going far.

Now I use and have told you before that among one of the many things that Blakemore Fishing has that helps your fishing is Reel Magic lubricant. It reduces but doesn’t completely stop ice buildup on your fishing gear and makes your line slide easier.

The thing that makes me not want to stay out when the weather gets into the mid-to-low 20s is the fact the way I fish is so slow, my line freezes in the eyes and on my reel despite everything I can do. There is a market out there for someone to design and build rods and reels that will stay warm.

In one of my earlier stories from years ago I came up with the idea of getting a metal five-gallon bucket, poured in four or so inches of sand, drilled one- inch holes just above the sand line, put a flameless heater down in it and had a plastic lid with holes drilled in it on top to let the heat come out.

When I fired it off in a boat slip there were flames coming pretty high — about three feet higher than my boat. My fishing partner wasn’t showing a whole lot of faith in my invention or even staying in the boat. I was concerned myself but didn’t let it show and was wounded by his standing there with his gear fixing to jump out on the dock.

I was fishing an Old Texoma Bass Club Tournament when all this happened. I forget who I was fishing with; I think it was David Kenny but we were fishing in the Lighthouse and it was cold. I didn’t have the heat gear I have today. I had so many layers of clothes on I looked like a novice sumo wrestler on a diet.

I had two pairs of cotton gloves and when one got wet and cold, I could lay them on the lid to warm up and use the pair I picked up to fish with. We could also hug the bucket to warm our hands — believe it or not it was working after the flames died down. Sometime later there was a sucking sound and we watched as the plastic lid sank slowly in the bucket taking my gloves with it.

I got the lid off and we buried it at sea and just held our gloves over the top to keep them warm. Needless to say, at our next meeting no one would stop laughing long enough to congratulate me on my invention. I got the Blue Fish Award for this, just one of the many times I won it. I still have the prototype heater in my garage and I still use it now and then just not in the boat.

I have a guide friend who is thinking we might have a shad die-off if the water gets much colder. I haven’t seen any action like they are addled but the water was still 47 degrees last Saturday. It’s been a while since we had a big shad kill and I’m hoping there isn’t going to be one this time.

Thursday I was glad I couldn’t go fishing. I have a good excuse if anyone wants to know why I’m not out there. I get my second C-19 shot and have my choppers cleaned. I will be a weenie roasting in front of my fireplace and basting with Crown until next week.

Be careful driving and leave the boat at home — no use taking a chance on it winding up in a ditch. Check your batteries and keep them warm one way or another. I keep a light bulb in my back compartment where my plumbing and batteries are. If you don’t have a built-in charging system, there are several battery floats that will keep you charged up.

If you keep them outside or under a shed, you just need to have an extension cord. Otherwise take them out and put them in a warm place until the winter is over and check them once a month if you are not going to use them until this summer.

Stay warm and I think as I turned 78 on Tuesday, they have finally changed my picture in the paper.