Memories Made

Often I think back on the many fishing memories my Dad and I have together. I grew up all over the world (military brat) fishing early mornings and late evenings with my fisherman hero. Most of those trips I spent mindlessly exploring the shoreline with a stick, turning over every cool looking rock, but I remember watching him thinking he was the best angler in the world. My Dad who has always been a fisherman showed me the way and as I get older, my passion for fishing continues to grow. Even though we live in separate cities now, together we’re hopeless optimists always seeking the next fish. I can’t wait to pass the gene on some day to my future fishing buddy.

Lake Texoma is arguably one of my favorite lakes. Striper fishing has become one of my favorite styles of fishing and I often choose to chase the stripes rather than the large green fish. In June, I hired Thomas Powell, who runs the Loco Pescado Fishing Guide Service on Lake Texoma. This particular trip was special for me since my future Father-in-law joined my Dad and I.

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As hot summer days and water temperatures rise, striper will continue to seek deeper water. Whether you are in 50 feet of water or fishing from the shore, I have found that nothing beats live bait for a consistent bite. Sure, you can catch plenty of good fish with lures but live shad just makes it easy. My 60 something Dad and 70 something Dad-in-law certainly appreciated the ease of fishing with live shad. Simply cast and wait.

After about an hour drive north to Highport Marina in Pottsboro, we met up Thomas at the boat ramp shortly after 6:00 am and quickly darted out to our spot. It was Sunday, Father’s Day and as expected, there were a ton of boats already on the water. For me, this day was not about catching a ton of fish but more about spending quality time on the water. Just us guys.

I started off slabbing while both Dad’s tossed live shad. Quickly, it became clear the fish were shad hungry, as both Dad’s quickly landed their first 2 fish. Knowing the effectiveness of vertical slabbing, I stuck with it for a while, but didn’t have much luck. But I didn’t mind. I was content just watching the older gents pull in fish after fish. We each caught our limit by 11 am with most fish measuring between 15″ to 20″.

If there was one value my Dad emphasized above all others throughout my life, it was the importance of sacrificing your own happiness for others. To this day, he’s worked tirelessly to support those he loves the most – Mom, my brother and I. We didn’t grow up wealthy. We lived very modestly and embraced family above everything else. His sacrifice is part of what makes him such a special person.

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I may never be the man my Dad is. I relish my free time, and often put my needs above those of the other people in my life. Maybe it’s because I don’t have my own kids yet, who knows. But I still think I got a little bit of that Dad morality. It’s in my blood. I was raised to value family and to never forget what’s most important. If I ever do have kids, I’ll take them fishing. If they catch anything, I’ll tell them the many stories of my Dad. In the end, I wouldn’t mind being quite like him. He is, as they say, a good fish.

Tight lines everyone.

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