Bass Fishing and Gold Mining Have Something in Common

I’ll get to this story after this. There are lots of fishing people in Texoma land that don’t worship the black bass. They and their family fish for dinner keep to fry is more common for them than catch and release.

But they might also like to fish in a friendly, family fishing tournament. If competing in a tournament without a high entry fee or needing a boat sounds good, Bobby Platt’s 12th Annual Crappie Gig is coming up March 25 at Big Mineral Fishing Camp.

It has something for everyone, including children. All children 12-and-under can fish for trophies and prizes furnished by Big Mineral Camp owners John and Lisa Barnet. They must register at the store before or on tournament day but they don’t have to pay an entry fee.

Adult contestant entry fee is $30 if entered by March 19 — $40 after that date. Adults will be competing for big fish and five best crappie total weight. All fish must be alive to weigh in. Money will be paid to the top ten for heaviest weight and to the top four for big crappie.

The tournament runs from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. There will be a meeting behind the Big Mineral store at 7 a.m. on tournament day to go over rules. Entries will be accepted up until 9 a.m. the day of the tournament for kids or adults.

You can fish off bank, boathouses, boats or anything that floats anywhere on Texoma accessible from public water. You must be in line by 3 p.m. to weigh in. For more details call Bobby at 817-253-0739, Jan Golden at 214-739-6998 or Wes Golden at 972-345-8333. This is intended to be a fun event for bragging rights and a little money; no grouching allowed.

Tuesday was a beautiful day to be on the lake until the wind got up later. I launched — no leaks. I ran south toward the back of Little Mineral. I could see ten boats and some gulls working on the east bank. Wanting to get my string stretched I gave myself to the dark side and pulled out my Striper Rod.

For 30 minutes I chunked and cranked while not fishing far from the guide boats. They were pulling them in regularly. I could see they were using live bait. I was using plastic. I caught the bottom several times and might have had one hit, “might” being the key word.

I ran here and there, fishing different water and baits, and still hadn’t caught anything. Finally a little after 10 a.m., just as I was going to start back to the trailer, I ran into a big cove, about half-way back. I marked some fish on the end of a point.

Going up wind of the fish I let the wind drift me back to them. It was fish on. I caught eight bass, all about 2 to 2-1/2 pounds. I mean, it was drop, set the hook, drop, set the hook. All at once it ended. I started the motor and moved up wind of the point again.

This drift only ended with me catching two more. Where the fish and gold come in is that you have to find the mother lode on either. I had prospected all morning before finding the mine.

I have had Elites and other professional fishermen tell me when I was working tackle shows, if you catch and release fish in the same area it will sometime turn the fish off. This must have been what happened because successive drifts across the point got no more bass.

I’ve mentioned this before: why I don’t know, but when you find bass gathered in one spot like I did they are almost all going to be the same size. They were all in an area about the size of a car. If you missed the sweet spot you didn’t get a bite.

Finally I went up and made one more drift. This time I was throwing a Blakemore 1/4 oz. Road Runner. I caught two nice box stripers. The Road Runner caught fish when they turned off on my other bait. I tried multiple other baits to no avail. A Bomber 7/8 oz. White Slab with a white Teaser about 14 inches above it and the Blakemore Road Runner were my gold-mining baits this day.

After bragging about no leaks Tuesday, Wednesday I got wet again. I put my boat in, pulled it up on the bank and went and parked my truck. I got back down, stepped in my boat and it had water in the floor — I forgot to put the plug in. I kicked on my bilge pumps and took off running across the parking lot, kicking up dust.

I got the trailer backed in. My pumps had taken the water down enough it was no longer on the floor of my boat. Loading up, I pulled up on the ramp and let the water run. I put it in again and went fishing. My Wednesday gold mine had moved so I could only catch little stripers.

Water is warming up and some big bass have already been taken that showed signs of spawning. These have mostly been smallmouth that spawn ahead of most largemouth. Fishing is going to start really getting good. Oil up those rods and reels and get to fishing. Be careful: the water is still cold enough to give you hypothermia.