J.B. Webb — Classic will be remembered as tough and hot

Herald Democrat

I hope you read my article last week about not going to Ray Roberts State Park expecting to see the weigh-ins. They let no spectators come in. The fishermen were only allowed to take two fish to Fort Worth for show. Texas Parks and Wildlife treated and returned the day's catch to the lake.

Now at the Fort Worth Stockyards it was a different story. I have a good friend who took his boys down there and said they stayed all day and likely only saw half of the events and booths. I’m telling you if you just ask questions, attended seminars, and events and see all the new stuff that’s on display, you can blow out a day and still not see everything.

No matter where you were last week, it was hot and the Stockyards were not exempt. Now Ray Roberts was not real gracious with her fish. For the 53 best anglers from all over, including some from Canada and Japan, there were four zeros and below fifth place for three days of fishing the results weren’t really good.

Even the winner averaged only a little over 10 pounds per day. For us who didn’t go to the tournament or follow the anglers in their boats, live-streaming of the event was top notch. It also killed a hot morning by watching it on TV.

Hats off to everyone who made this Texas event a success. Those who braved the heat to go to the outside events were real Texans.

Charlie had been watching it, called and wanted to go fishing. He said he thought we could fish the shallow buck brush in Texoma like they were doing on Ray Roberts. We decided to get an early start. We were going to meet at our ramp at 6:30 a.m.

Now bless his heart Charlie has been bit by the bass bug. It’s all he wants to fish for; the bug has me too. Now fishing with Charlie on these early starts depends on how he sleeps. It’s confusing so I’ll just let it go. He was going to call me at 5:30 a.m. if we were going.

I loaded my gear in White Lighting, came in cooked breakfast and was drinking coffee waiting on the call. 5:30 a.m. came and passed. I waited and soon 6:30 a.m. was gone so I called him. He said he forgot to call me. Duh! That happens when you get old.

We talked and he said he didn’t sleep well and thought he would pass this trip. I had to hook up to Tombstone and go by myself. If there was an early morning bite, I missed it. I used my boathouse pattern in our cove, generally I can catch at least one fish there but not this day.

I made a run to the back of Little Mineral. Got in close and begin putting the new Booyah Covert Series Spinnerbait in between and around every buck brush in the water. It was a while before I got my first hit. I didn’t get a good hookset on the fish but I caught the brush.

I kept chunking and moving and a little later I had cast up in an opening and was coming back to the boat when I had to drag the Spinnerbait over a log. There was a boil and a fish took it right off the top of the log. I was slow on the draw but I had hooked a keeper fish.

I fished for another 30-45 minutes in the back of Little Mineral trying both sides with a variety of baits to no avail. Leaving the back of Little Mineral, I begin working the buck brush out in the deeper, clear water. I caught a small bass on a Shaky head rig. I was using a War Eagle Jig Head with a 3 inch no longer made Rib Worm.

I pitched up in a tree and was letting it fall when something grabbed it, I set the hook and after an argument whatever it was won the tug of war and took the War Eagle Home. With only two fish in the boat and three more hits I didn’t get or see, I went back to our cove going to load up and head for the feed bag. I couldn’t pass up a boathouse and grabbing up my Rod with the Covert Series Spinnerbait on it I cast up in the stall in the shade.

I was scraping the floats when a good fish crashed the bait. I got it in and called it a day. While catching wasn’t very good, still a morning fishing is as good as it gets. Stripers continue to be excellent, Live bait is the surest way to catch them. Catfish are spawning and there are still a mess of jug lines floating around. Crappie are still slow; Minnows seem to be your best bait for them. As far as I can tell bass are fair at best.

I’ll be interested in seeing how the teams in Future Bass do on Saturday. Someone will find fish; they always do. It’s getting hot so take plenty of water or drinks out with you as well as Sunscreen and a hat that covers your ears and head. Good sunglasses are a blessing also. A long-sleeve shirt isn’t a bad thing either.