Sometimes you don’t know how good you’ve got it. Like the time my fishing buddy, Allen Crew (who was also the best man in our wedding) came from Birmingham to go fishing on Toledo Bend with me.
I took him to a hole Kimball and I had discovered that had schooling bass up to six pounds. The bass weren’t schooling that day. Allen, much more experienced than me, asked, “Have you ever fished it as a worm hole?” I hadn’t.
Soon we tied on worm hooks with 3/16 oz. slip sinkers and tossed them into the 18 ft. deep water. And we were catching decent largemouth bass. No hawgs but definitely keeper fish. By setting the hook hard enough to stick the fish than just letting the line go slack, we discovered that our fish were a school going between two submerged lakes about a quarter mile apart. So I’d say it doesn’t hurt a fish much to hook it.
I called it the Near Nuthin Hole. Allen and I went down to Sammy Gil Marina, one of the biggest on the lake and found out just how good we had it. We were the only ones on the lake catching fish. That became one of our regular stops in the Arklatex husband/wife monthly tournaments we fished and frequently won.
I think the last time we fished it, Kimball had a strike and set the hook. As she was landing the fish, she said, “I think it’s just moss.” I said, “If that’s moss, be sure you land it. I want a start.”
It turned out to be a 5 1⁄2 lb. bass, the biggest fish weighed in that day.
As you can imagine club members tried o follow us to learn the location of our honey hole. I had a submerged friend that protected our secret – a sand bar that was only inches below the surface. It was only a couple of feet wide and felt like I had put the brakes on momentarily when I hit it. At least once a fisherman was following me who knew a little bit about the lake. He started hollering to warn me just before I hit the sand bar. I ignored him. In water that shallow you have to pole your boat into deeper water before you can get back up on the plane. By the time he had poled his way off the sand bar to where he could run his big motor, Kimball and I were a mile or two down the lake and out of sight.
Once the New Orleans Bass Masters had a fish anywhere tournament, the only stipulation was you couldn’t start fishing until 6 a.m. We had driven to the launch closest to the Near Nuthin Hole and were waiting for 6 a.m. Another group of fishermen were also waiting for daylight. We struck up a conversation and they looked at my boat. They wanted to know what equipment Kimball was going to use. I pointed to her two rods with Ambassador 5500 reels attached. At the time those were top of the line reels and you had to know what you were doing to use them. They didn’t have any more questions.
By the way, that year I accomplished my goal – be the No. 1 fisherman on their turf my first year there. Plus I and five of my fellow bass club members won the state top six tournament on Toledo Bend.
Now, I don’t even have a boat and I haven’t been fishing in several years.
When they fixed the bridge at Old Pape, they fixed my fishing. There was a big fill that went about a third of the way across Big Clear Creek. I caught several limits of big crappie and several walleye fishing from the bank around that fill.
Since then, I tried once or twice and never got a nibble. But I know the people must be happy who use that road as a short cut to church when Truman Lake doesn’t have Big Clear up covering the bridge and the road. At least I knew how good I had it while it lasted. KL