Discussion in 'LUKE CLAYTON' started by Luke Clayton, May 15, 2007.

  1. Luke Clayton

    Luke Clayton New Member


    Luke Clayton​

    Pottsboro, Texas- Lake Texoma, situated about 1.5 hours north of Dallas on the Texas-Oklahoma border is home to, hands down, the best striper spawn of any freshwater reservoir in the Country, thanks to the “just right” salinity levels in the Red and Washita Rivers that feed the lake.

    Each year about this time, stripers leave the river systems above the lake after the spawn and gang up in huge schools on deep flats adjacent the submerged river ledges in the mid to lower lake where they feed like crazy on even larger schools of threadfin and gizzard shad. Fishing for these aggressive fish is an event that every fisherman should experience at least once in his or her life but, a word of warning, once experienced, you’ll be coming back year after year to get in on the action!

    Photo by Luke Clayton

    Guide Roger Hill knows the submerged humps, ridges and ledges at Texoma as well as most of us know the roads we travel to and from work. As Hill, my friend Tanner Schlottman who is a firefighter for the Red Oak Fire Department, and myself eased out of the boathouse yesterday, Hill gave us a quick quiz to determine the fishing plan for the morning. “Do yall want to enjoy some “ninety to nothing” action by dropping live shad down into a big school of stripers or had you rather go “trophy hunting” and drift big baits for some of those 20 pound sows? It’s your call.”

    I have enjoyed many, many trips to Texoma through the years and I know well just how exciting catching fish non stop can be. This was Tanners first striper trip here and I wanted him to experience the steady action. “Let’s go for the “action” fishing first so Tanner can experience striper fishing at it’s best, then maybe we can drift some big shad for sow stripers.” I said. A look at Tanners smiling face was proof positive that he was in total agreement with the decision. “It won’t take long to limit out so let’s go do just that first. We’ll need to stop short of our limit in case drifting the bigger baits pays off in some trophy stripers. My clients have boated 3 stripers over twenty pounds the past few trips.” instructed Hill.

    As Hill pulled the throttle back on his big guide boat, I took a quick glance at the graph and saw scattered stripers; the depth was 61 feet and I noticed we had passed the submerged ledge of the Red River a hundred or so yards from where we stopped. “Luke, how many fishermen do you know that would stop and fish a spot like this with only a scattering of stripers showing up on the graph?” “Not many, I said but I have fished with you enough to know when you stop to drop anchor, there’s usually a good reason.” I replied.

    “Don’t worry about putting out more than one rod, you won’t have time to fish more than one.” He said as we “counted down” eighteen pulls- one “pull” of the line begins at the reel and ends at the first eye of the rod, just about two feet. With eighteen pulls, we were placing the baits 36 feet deep. When the last bait reached the proper depth, I hit the stopwatch button on my wristwatch. Roger took and old fishing rod and began churning the water’s surface. “Watch those stripers stack up under the boat. They think there are stripers feeding near the surface.”

    Just as the last of our baits arrived at the magic 36 foot mark, Tanner’s rod bowed heavily toward the surface and he was latched solidly to the first striper of the day. Hill and I each hooked fish as Tanner continued to do battle with his good eating “box fish” that was around 19 inches long. When our catch totaled 30 stripers, I checked my watch: 22 minutes had elapsed since our first shad was lowered into the school of aggressively feeding stripers below! The first anchor, 22 minutes and a total of 30 stripers. Fishing just doesn’t get any better than this, or does it?

    “How about drifting for some of those big sows for a while before heading in to clean our catch. I reserved a fish each from our limit for this.” Roger said. We were already in route to a deep flat near an area known locally as Table Top. Six inch shad were allowed to hit bottom in water 60 feet deep, we reeled up three cranks to keep them just up from bottom, and a gentle breeze drifted us over the submerged bottom humps and ridges. We were on a pretty tight schedule because Tanner had a fire training school to head to in College Station later in the day but we just couldn’t pass up 30 minutes of “trophy hunting”. The drift fishing bite was every bit as good as when we were anchored and the average size of fish was better, we each caught a couple of 22-24 inch fish when we heard Tanner’s drag scream. For about two minutes, he was hooked solidly to a big fish. How big we will never know because it pulled off a few feet below Roger’s awaiting landing net.

    The trip whetted Tanner’s appetite for more and before he left Roger’s dock with a couple of big bags of striper fillets, I heard him making plans for a Red Oak Fire Fighers fishing extravaganza with Hill in a couple of weeks. Texoma has a way of doing that to a fisherman! Roger says this frantic action will continue through June and then the big fish action will begin in earnest on the mid lake deep flats.

    To book a trip with Roger Hill, call 903-818-3474.