School is out, summer is here, what are your fishing plans for the rest of the year?
Well the kids have been under foot for about a month now, but it is a joy to be free and enjoy the summer with them.
Took a week and camped at Cypress Lake for the Memorial Weekend. It was a great way to remember those we lost by spending time here with the ones we love. This just seems to get harder each year to think about those I knew that gave everything; Dustin who left this world with a smile on his face and Father Tim who finally lost the fight after that fateful day in May 2004. Life is but a flicker of fire in a wind storm so enjoy those around you every day.
With that in mind, we took a trip to Texas and visited Shawn and Tabby Grant. They have made many here to Louisiana to fish on Lake Bistineau, the Red River, Hosston Lake, Toledo Bend, and even camped at the Southern Fogy Farm for the 2012 Bass Master Classic. They have taken time off from the road to stop not only here so we can share a meal, but made it to Tallahassee, Florida last time we were there to grab a bite to eat and catch up on what we all have been doing. So with Shawn’s Birthday coming up the family and I headed west on 31 May for a long weekend for fishing.
I started coming down with a summer cold on Memorial Day, and it was still in full force when we left for Texas; but it was nice to get away. We got in around midnight Thursday and stayed up till 2am or so just visiting. Slept in a bit more than we should have but Shawn, Damon and I headed for Proctor Lake the next morning while Tabby, D and Aarian went to pick up the Grants nephew Nick and do some shopping. I felt like Proctor Lake was stuck between post spawn and blue-bird sky summer time fishing…. The bite was s–l–o–w!
We picked up a few highbred strippers from long points on cranks and found if you could dig the ledge that once the bait cleared the edge of the drop they would hammer it. Not the type of bass we were searching for, so we left those bass to find some Largemouth bass. I hooked into one on the rocky bluffs on a crank, but it shot from the water like a rocket and threw the bait. We worked our way down that bank and made another run to another rock bluff and as I wasn’t feeling so well and more than a little hot I just sat and enjoyed some cool water and chatted with Shawn as Damon ran the trolling motor and worked a jig around the rocks. We weren’t there 15min, and Damon set the hook. His 7ft Kistler doubled over, and the fight was on!
Damon got this large bass turned towards the boat. As we all know, getting a fish to the boat is key; but when you hang a good fish, and it makes a run to deep water with the boat is in the way it can get tricky fast. As the fish pulled some drag under the boat, Damon thumbed the spool and used the rod to bring it back out in front of the boat. In doing so, the fish came to the top and made a head shaking jump for freedom.
If you have never seen an eight pound bass clear the water and do a few back flips, it is something that just catches your breath for a moment. To say Damon was disappointed would be the understatement of the year. That by far would have been his personal best, but like the fine young man his is, Damon just gave us both a look of disbelief and made one last long look at the disturbance in the water where today’s fight was lost before reeling in his jig and making the next pitch. My heart went out to him for his disappointment, but I was beaming with pride. To see the drive and determination to keep at it. We have all seen how some of the top pros act when they mess up on the water, and a few of them should take notes from the young guns who fish just because they love to be on the water.
We called it a day shortly thereafter as the Gals had made it back to town and wanted to see if we could meet for supper. By the way, the “everything is bigger in Texas” saying isn’t lost on a meal. LOL Shawn, Tabby and I each got the chicken fried steak and our 3 plates were more than enough to feed us along with D, Damon, Aarian, Nick and still need a to go box. LOL
We hit the sack with full bellies, rewarding and disappointing memories and got a good night’s rest before heading off to Hubbard Creek Saturday morning. When you want to be on the water at day light, and the lake is a good 80 miles away 4am came way, way too fast. I found my cold to be in full force and just about called uncle but Damon was up wide eyed and ready for round two. I, after reading about all of Shawn’s trips to this lake, was excited to check it out first hand so I sucked down some cough syrup, packed extra water, and we were on our way. About half way into the drive Damon asked when are we stopping for those Donuts Shawn had talked about; he was starving. When I looked back at him as Shawn said it was just up the street, I swear there was a little drool running from the corner of his mouth. LOL
Got the truck gassed up, picked out way to many donuts and finished our ride to the lake. Before the stop, we had been visiting and making plans as to where we would start and what should work. After the donuts were gone, Damon’s belly was no longer eating on his liver, so the ride was a littler quieter. LOL
We didn’t fish as long Saturday as we did Friday, and the bite was once again slower than we would have liked. We picked up a few on brushhogs and jigs worked in the rocks; today they were all large mouths. Shawn got the biggest of the day with one that went 7 to 8lbs. We got some great photos and Shawn couldn’t help but poke the bear by telling Damon the one he lost yesterday looked bigger. LOL
We packed it in and made the drive back to the Grant Ranch to cool down and clean up while waiting on the return of the girls. Before long Shawn nodded off in the recliner, and as I looked over Damon was grinning at me… I guess I had done the same thing on the couch so I just smiled and gave up the fight and crawled into bed. D woke me up with some new medicine and asked how I was. Felt horrible and slept for 4 or 5 hours, but still didn’t want to move. Loaded up on more cold medicine and rolled over and went back to sleep. The rest of the crew went out to celebrate Shawn’s Birthday and enjoy a meal with Shawn parents and brother. I woke up again after they returned and managed to clean up a bit and come out to visit for the night before it got too late.
Sunday came way too fast; the long weekend was way to short. It’s a joy to have people like the Grants in our lives, and it’s all thanks to our families love of fishing, and how those of us that enjoy the outdoors share a kindred spirit in the ability to be thankful for the things God has given us if we can just look past our current troubles and see the simple things in life, such as a sunrise or sunset on the water. The joy in the eyes of our children when we share our passions with them, not to force them to do something we love but to pass on the joys of the real world not what is on Facebook or TV and when they get it, they know you are there with them because you just want to spend time with them.
Happy Birthday Shawn and Thank You both for opening your house to us, we sure enjoyed the trip and can’t wait to spend more time with you all on the water in the future!
As for what the Fogy’s have planned for the rest of the summer, a trip to both Minnesota and Florida is in the cards as well as Fork and some more camping at our local lakes. Hope to finish off at Falcon for Christmas but who knows that’s a long way off, and we are just enjoying the today’s we have now.