Story by Tom Claybomb III

I’ve got a lot of history with Lake Texoma. I was born in Tyler, but we moved to Sherman when I was three years old. Texoma wasn’t but 18 miles from our house. In the summer I don’t know how many afternoons per week we’d run up to the lake after dad got off work and go sand bass fishing.

We had some awesome fishing trips. Sand bass would be surfacing and tearing up the water. It may be an area the size of your bedroom on up to the size of your yard. Dad, mom, and us four kids would be tearing them up. Well, I guess my baby sister Ann wasn’t fishing. She was only two years old. When there was a lull in the action, we’d lay a rope over the side and let her hold it like she was fishing. When she wasn’t looking dad would reach down and tie on a fish. She’d get excited and pull it in.

Once she had a bare rope over the side of the boat. She started squealing and pulling on the rope. What? I dropped my rod and grabbed the rope to help her. Dad asked did you put a fish on her rope? No. Well obviously someone had nonchalantly tied a big one on because I could barely hold it and I was six years old! Suddenly, the boat motor choked out and died which revealed the source of the big fish.

Then on Saturdays us boys would head up to Texoma early to fish. The girls would come up at noon and bring a picnic lunch. We’d meet them at Lowe’s Highport Marina, throw everyone in the boat and go out to the islands. There we’d eat lunch and then dad would go fishing —mom would watch us kid’s swim.

In those days we used a slab called a Mister Champ that worked great. For trolling we used some weird type of spinner. It was a three inch long wire with a couple of silver spinners and a treble hook on the tail. Nothing profound but they seemed to work. We’d use stiff trolling rods and big Penn reels.

About the 2nd grade we bought our place up by Callisburg and our fishing slowed down. We were busy building fences and barns, growing hay and raising cattle. In High School I bought an 18 foot spaceship/boat looking thing with a 35 hp motor you could almost outswim. But I was able to fish Texoma again.

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