J.B. Webb — Heat have you down? Try night fishing

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat

Before I get into night fishing, here is something much more serious.

In the fire service, police and military we all consider ourselves brothers and sisters. In these Services we did things not everyone can or would want to do. Volunteer or professional we are a family. When any of us die or are injured in the line of duty, we all feel the hurt. It doesn’t matter if you are active or retired if you served time in any of these you know we are family.

This past Tuesday a brother passed on. Larry Owens, a retired Sherman fire fighter, died in surgery. After Larry retired, he returned as Dept. Chaplin. He was a pastor of a church in Denison. I first met Larry when he was hired. I was a redneck; he was a Vietnam veteran. It was a salt and pepper meeting and I wasn’t sure exactly how that was going to work out.

My luck — his first shift found him and me at Station 5. We got to talking and I found out he was just like me except for having a little more sense. We became close friends and I learned a lot from Larry. I admit I often let a word slip out that today would get me fired but back then I had to apologize to Larry, then I had to write a report that went in my files. Larry was trying to help me out and told the captain and chief he was not offended.

Every time the tones came in, I knew whatever we were facing I didn’t have to look over my shoulder because Larry was there. He and I had worked out my funeral service, what I wanted him to do if I passed before him. Larry had said he would. Now I’m going to have to find another pastor with a sense of humor. What I wanted to do at my service Larry wasn’t sure how it would work out but he was willing to try.

Susan and my friends put their foot down. Let’s just say a skateboard, body cast, two strings and Duct Tape were involved. Larry laughed every time I asked him if he was ready. Rest in peace brother. You answered the last call.

The heat has been miserable. Despite that I was cutting up trees and hauling wood. Fishing for the most part is early or late in the evening — if it’s stripers you want those are your two best bets.

I’m not a big striper fan. I like bass. Daytime bass fishing hasn’t been very good. I finally broke away from my recliner to go night fishing. I have some friends from Whitewright who own the Fish Market Boathouse I talk about in my crappie trips.

Jason Powell has a 15-year-old son who is smitten with bass fever. I had been promising Ethan a night trip for smallmouth. Now Ethan isn’t a stranger to bass fishing. He is on the Whitewright High School fishing team, made it to the regional tournament and also fishes the Junior Bassmaster Circuit.

He knows how to use a rod and reel. I think between us we have his dad turning into a fisherman too. We left our cove at 9:30 p.m., a light wind was blowing and the heat was gone. I ran down to Eisenhower Marina. We started fishing back along the bluffs. I was throwing a Booyah Moon Talker Spinnerbait, Ethan was chunking a Bomber 6A I had painted black. It wasn’t long before Ethan put a Kentucky bass in the boat.

We fished on and I missed a fish. Ethan also missed one but not much later I heard Ethan say he had a fish on, his rod was bent and I heard him say the fish had broke his line and took the bomber with him when he left.

Now fishing at night can have its downside. If you are 77, your night vision isn’t what it used to be. I had my spinner bait up on the shore and behind rocks as I fished. I broke off a time or two; I had a rod with a crankbait on it. I made a cast just a little long and it’s in a bush. I’ll get it when the water goes down.

We fished from Eisenhower to the pump intake. We caught smallmouth — I had a big fish on and as Ethan watched I showed him how to break it off. We lost several more lures but caught fish, missed fish and had them just get off. I hooked up with a three-pound smallmouth and after getting it in the boat I showed Ethan what a smallmouth bass can do.

The Moon Talker blade was gone, the spinner bait was stretched out and bent to the side and the red and black skirt looked like it had been ridden hard and put up wet but it got the fish in. We fished until about 3 a.m. While not the best night fishing trip I have had Ethan and I fished hard and caught some smallmouth.

Giving up a little sleep for a fishing trip can be a good swap. Ethan and I will be going again. There is one slight problem — Whitewright and Gunter are now in the same football district. I got to figure out how to cheer for both sides.

Things to do if night fishing: Keep your running lights on, look out for hazards in the water and take some mosquito spray. Even at night drink something because you need hydration. Keep no more than three rods out at one time. That’s all you need and more than that on the deck might result in you losing a good rod.

The Little Dixie Bass Club had their July Night Tournament on Texoma with 16 boats entered. Fishing was slow and size for the most part was small. Winners were Ed Larkins and Jon Clouse had five fish total 11.95 pounds; second place was Jerry Brown and Durwood Cook had five fish at 8.66 pounds with big bass at 5.13 pounds; third place was Billy Stephens and Chad Hanson caught three fish totaling 8.53 pounds; fourth place was Kevin and Robin Bell had four fish at 8.30 pounds and fifth place was Lee Hamil and Jerry Tonubbee had five fish at 8.17 pounds.