Ever think a fishing trip with a couple of preachers would be a bit “mild” or, possibly even boring? Better think again! I just got off the catfish-laden waters of Tawakoni with my buddy guide George Rule, my pastor Greg Richards from Morning Star Church in Kaufman and Pastor Mike Banas from the Community Life Church in Mc-Kinney.
As Rule commented after the trip, “These guys are as much fun to have in the boat as anyone I’ve fished with lately, they really know how to enjoy themselves. “
But then, who woundn’t enjoy themselves, when kept busy pulling one catfish after another out of a hole baited with soured grain! We have had a church fishing trip/catfish fry planned with Rule and his team of catfish guides for some time and I thought it would be a great idea to get Greg out on the water and do a little “test” fishing before the trip. We invited Greg’s buddy, Pastor Mike, along so he could see just how much fun a trip to Tawakoni fishing with Rule really is. Mike left making plans for a return trip with some of the guys from his church in McKinney.
Regular limits of “eating size” channel and blue catfish is an everyday occurrence when fishing with Rule at Tawakoni. Texas has plenty of great waters for catching cats but Tawakoni is about as good as it gets. Rule’s clients come expecting to catch their limit. During the fall and winter months, catfish anglers from all over come to do battle with the trophy class blues here. I’ve enjoyed many “trophy” trips with Rule and our mutual friend David Hanson during the cool weather months and this is truly a time for expecting to catch big catfish over 20 pounds. We landed a 65-pounder on a cold day last January as well as lots of fish in the 20-30 pound range.
Summertime catfishing at Tawakoni is a “numbers game” when, rather than doing battle with brute of a catfish, one can expect steady action on “skillet fish.” Granted, an occasional big blue is landed during the summer but it’s the steady action that keeps the guide’s boat full.
We began fishing water about 3 feet deep along the edge of a shoreline weed bed, using Danny King’s Catfish Punch Bait under a slip floater. After 15 minutes and six catfish in the boat, Rule was pulling anchor. “This just won’t get it. We caught 75 catfish here this morning in a little less than two hours fishing. Let’s move to one of my baited holes in deeper water. The action will be much faster there,” said Rule as he poured the coal to the big engine and we headed toward some standing timber along a submerged bend in the Sabine River channel.
All species of fish are attracted to bends in rivers and streams, and submerged channels that are invisible to the eye but easily detected on sonar are no different. I watched Rule’s graph plot a cross section of the Sabine channel and very close to the west bank, we tied up to some standing timber. The depth was around 25 feet. “We’ve been keeping this area heavily baited with soured grain and range cubes for several weeks,” Rule said.
Catfish using the river channel as a migration route from deep to shallow water are attracted to the smell of the grain. It’s sort of a bus stop of sorts for catfish that are in transition from the spring to summer pattern. Once they find the readily available food supply, they stick around. “We catch catfish all summer long around structures such as this,” he added.
Rather than using the slip cork as in shallow water, we fished vertically under the boat, dropping a #6 treble hook baited with the punch bait down to bottom then reeling it up a couple cranks. It wasn’t long until I heard my pastor begin to really get fired up. “Man, these things are fast, you have to set the hook the instant you feel the strike.” Mike was a bit less vocal but no less interested in getting his hook imbedded in the mouth of what was to become the centerpiece of many upcoming evening meals.
“Here’s how to do it, Greg,” he kidded. For the next couple of hours, Rule and I enjoyed fishing and watching and listening to two devoted pastors catch fish and generally letting their hair down!
It’s been said that fishing is good for the soul. This time on the water fishing with two great men of God was definitely good for the souls of Rule and myself. We’ve both fished with lots of folks that shared our passion for catching fish but none knew how to have a better time than this duo of preachers!
Contact guide George Rule at (214) 202-6641 or http://www.trophycats.
com. Check out Luke Clayton’s Outdoors show and magazine Catfish Gold at
http://www.catfishradio.com or www.catfishgold.com.