My new Lumix TS3 waterproof camera worked well for me on this trip. It is nice to have a decent, unobtrusive, waterproof camera to take out on the boat, without having to worry about a waterproof case.
We have been fishing Texoma together for about eight years now. Since then, my Dad has upgraded boats to a wonderful 17' Boston Whaler Montauk, we've changed accommodations, and the lake has seen several ups and downs. In fact, last year, the previous winter's freeze decimated both the shad (main food source for the stripers) and the striper populations. We fished in 40 degree temperatures with 40 mile per hour winds, and our catch was meager compared to previous years. At this point, the lake has recovered fully, the shad are thick, and the big stripers are back.
One thing we never change about the trip is that we spend our mornings with Terry Scarberry, the best darned fishing guide on the lake. You'll see why in a minute. And yes, I'll share his contact information at the end of this post.
Fishing with Terry means getting up early. We try to be at the dock by no later than 5:30 AM. Of course, at that point, he's already been out catching live shad for our bait, and is ready to go.
Once Terry got us situated, lines baited and in the water, he showed me what the depth finder indicated. For the uninitiated, the right panel shows a depth for 78.7 feet. More importantly, the red cloud in the middle of the screen indicates a school of fish. They came in so densely packed that it occasionally caused the finder to think the water was only 20 feet deep!
This year, Dad caught the biggest striper we've ever gotten on one of these trips. Fifteen pounds.
Our morning was over quite early, as we caught our limit within a couple of hours. Here's our first day's catch.
We spend our afternoons at the lake fishing from Dad's boat (the catch rate is significantly lower than when we're with Terry), eating fresh fried fish and breaded okra, and sharing a beer and an old story or two. In fact, this is the only time I drink beer, and I usually limit it to one. I don't limit the stories.
Potts and I have been friends since the 1970s (or "the nineteen somethings" as my 11 year old daughter likes to say). My Dad has memories of bailing us out of our teenage craziness. It's always a blast to get together.