"SMALL WATERS-BIG FUN!" by Luke Clayton Luke Clayton Seven Points, Texas- As my friend Donny Rice and I launched the ten foot, two man Buster Boat into one of his favorite bass lakes on his property, the term small waters took on a whole new meaning. Looking across what appeared to be several hundred acres, these waters didnt look one bit small to me. Ive spend an entire morning fishing coves on larger reservoirs that werent half the size of the body of water I was looking at! Weve got close to 700 acres of water on the property, one of them encompassing about 400 acres is prime for catching channel and blue catfish. Its connected to an oxbow of the Trinity River via a feeder creek. Through the years, when the river gets out of its banks, these lakes received a natural stocking of big blues and feisty channel catfish. Weve caught 30 and 40 pound blues here and lots of channel catfish ranging from 1 to 6 pounds. says Donnie as we ease the little Buster Boat into the water. Ive been fishing for catfish here since early spring and already knew about the excellent catfishing! I still have several freezer bags of tasty channel catfish fillets in the freezer that I caught here the past couple months. Back in April, while I was targeting pre-spawn channel catfish, I watched a couple of avid crappie fisherman pull some heavy stringers of papermouths from the same fertile waters. But this morning, I was abandoning catfish and crappie. Donny had been telling me about the awesome largemouth bass fishing on several of the lakes. We had rods rigged with top water plugs and plastic worms as I cranked up the voltage on the Torqeedo electric outboard and headed the little Buster Boat toward a steep bank with plenty of brush that Donny was pointing toward. The manufacturer of these electric motors are quick to point out that they are NOT trolling motors, they are small electric engines with big props and state of the art batteries that fit on top of the motors. The little motor pushed our boat and us, a total of around 600 pounds, along at a good clip; which we estimated at around 6 mph. Once at Donnys hot spot, I positioned the Buster Boat parallel to the bank and we begin tossing top waters as close as possible to the shore. My second cast resulted in an mini explosion on the surface, the kind that through the years has accounted for gallons of adrenaline pumped into the bloodstream of top water bass anglers! I did what comes naturally but is definitely not conducive to putting fish in the boat, I PULLED BACK hard, which jerked the bait out of the fishes strike zone. But, collecting my senses, I let the plug set still for an instant. That was all it took for the chunky bass to come back and nail it again. This time, I waited until I felt pressure on the rod before rearing back and making sure the hook was set. I looked across to the front seat of the Buster Boat and noted Donny was in mortal combat with his own bass. So the morning went. We hit one of Donnys hotspots after another, all were holding bass and most of them receptive to hitting a noisy topwater plug. The Buster Boat we were fishing from proved to be a very stable fishing platform that came equipped with all the amenities of a bigger boat. It was perfectly matched for the powerful electric motor we were using. Photo by Luke Clayton Just before mid morning, when its beginning to get a bit uncomfortable on the water, we checked out several of the other lakes on the property. Donny has some deep water brush piles set for catching crappie and Ive found a stand of cattails that are currently holding large numbers of spawning channel catfish. Ive been keeping this area baited with soured grain to insure the fish are concentrated. Donny says his lakes were originally created by the excavation for sand and gravel. Their close proximity to the Trinity River and fresh water from several springs insured the lakes have a constant supply of fresh water. They remain full even during the dog days of summer, another reason for the excellent number of fish of crappie, bass and catfish. During the fall and winter months, the abundant water creates the prefect habitat for waterfowl. Large numbers of puddle ducks winter here and the bottoms often attract and hold flocks of Snow and Speckbelly geese. During our fishing trip, we saw several wood duck hens with recently hatched young. The property has a very comfortable lodge that sleeps up to 8 people and Donny says he currently rents it out to fishermen and their families that wish to come and fish his property on their own or, he offers guided trips. Duck hunters are already booking trips for the upcoming duck season, beginning with a cast and blast hunt during the early Teal season in mid September. There is a state of the art skeet range where guests are welcome to sharpen their shotgunning skills. Duck hunters have the option of being shown around the property and hunting on their own from existing duck blinds or constructing their own temporary blinds from natural vegetation or, enjoying a guided duck hunt. While scouting the property, I noticed several areas where feral hogs had been feeding. Donny says he also offers hunts for hogs from stands over corn feeders. For more information on the fishing and hunting opportunities here, contact Donny Rice at 903-880-5740. OUTDOOR TIP OF THE WEEK- Many sportsmen like the idea of having their trucks tricked out in their favorite camo pattern. John Short of Kaufman (www.camoramic.com) 214-240-3815 has many options to choose from. John specializes in custom fitting camo and logos in camo pattern to individual vechicles. Hes currently tricking out my Jeep Grand Cheerokee. It will become a rolling billboard for our radio show and sponsors. Watch for it on the road! LC Listen to Outdoors with Luke Clayton at www.catfishradio.com. To view a brand new hog hunting video Luke did, bow hunting from his Ghost Blind on the Circle T Bowhunting Ranch, visit www.ghostblind.com.