J.B. Webb — Some guides are seeing catching, not fishing

Herald Democrat

The old saying when the bite is slow is that they call it fishing, not catching. On Texoma right now, my guide friends in our cove and at other marinas are calling fishing for stripers and sandbass catching.

Boats are leaving early with from plenty of people and coming back to the cleaning station in 2-3 hours. It’s an early morning bite. They are making the same kind of trips in the afternoon with it only taking a little longer to limit out.

Live bait like shad are being eaten like popcorn. Likely they are the ones who went up the rivers to spawn and let the current wash the eggs down the river to hatch. Unlike members of the perch family, which include black, spotted and smallmouth — who are not true members of the Bass family, that use a nest. If you ever wanted to catch a lot of fish and some big ones, now is the time to gather up some friends and find a guide on Texoma.

If you have a boat, you can likely find guide boats at the mouths of where the rivers run into the lake. There will also likely be some gulls working to help you out. There are a few guides working on the lake that only use artificial baits. Contact John Blasingame at Adventure Texoma Outdoors; he can give you the names of the few who do only artificial lures if he can’t take you.

This 78-year-old body can still get the job done: cutting and stacking a couple cords of wood with no help in one day and I have the pics and the wood stacked to prove it for anyone who doubts. I do this every spring so the wood can cure out before next winter.

Having been a Sherman firefighter for 30 years I helped put out a bunch of chimney fires started because people used green wood that builds soot in a chimney fast if not cleaned each year. For some reason — it could have been caused by our cold spell — I burned more wood this winter than I usually do.

The fish market is opening a little. I took two of my crappie rods and rigged one with a sliding Thill Cork. Both had Weedless Blakemore Road Runners on them tipped with a Crappie Nibble and used a Bobby Garland Plastic.

Which ones were better? Everyone has his own favorite color. I was using the Original Shad Color Bait. I had the cork rig for fishing shallow and the other for deep. Cork-watching is fun, pulling out big black crappie is good too.

After two consistent days putting some fish in the freezer and having one meal out of them, Tuesday morning saw me start early and fertilize my acre of lawn with a push spreader. Susan wanted to get it done ahead of the rain and I did too. I got that done and went in the house for a coffee stop and Susan was getting ready to leave for her water therapy class. I needed to go fishing.

Last week I had that good day bass fishing at Highport. I went there again this week. Wanting to be helpful I talked to a pair of older gentlemen who were waiting to launch about how I was fishing and told them how to fish the stalls, carefully, using a Booyah Spinner Bait.

I think I came across as a seasoned fisherman. They thanked me. Proud of myself, I backed down the ramp, jumped in my boat and as they watched I raced the motor in reverse and didn’t move off the trailer. I grinned and went at it a second time, wagging the boat side to side.

Then the light came on. I had been so busy talking — my specialty — I had forgot to unhook the winch. Last time I saw those two they were still laughing and passed up everything I had told them as they headed out. Wonder why?

In a short time, I had already put three bass in the boat. I started with four rods out. It wasn’t long before the Booyah Spinnerbait put them back in the rod box. There might have been some lures that would have worked as good or better but if your horse is in the race, ride him.

I’m not sure it was because a front was coming, overcast sky or the wind but fishing was good. I put my trolling motor on three and begin working the boathouses. Now this time unlike last week I caught some fish closer to the bank than usual. Most of my fish came out of the deeper water boat stalls. When I quit at 1 p.m. after having started at 8:30 a.m. I had caught 21 fish.

If Charlie had been with me, he would have disqualified counting three because I didn’t touch them. He would also not count the striper or sandbass. It might have been one more fish if what I’m thinking was a big striper grabbed my Booyah Spinnerbait and took off under a float and my favorite bait went with him.

Now once again if you do fish these docks, be careful along with the cameras there are Highport people working on them. Even I hung my lure twice but was lucky enough I got it back over the ropes. Doesn’t look like small-boat fishing will be easy the rest of this week or next week as the wind is going to blow.