By: Eddie Trapp
From my ledger. Monday, June 3, 1985. Little Sinker is a ten foot aluminum boat of mine with no flotation. Every time there’s a big rain and I don’t have it tied up high enough it sinks. Mud in the water settles out inside the sunken boat and I have to shovel it out. To Bluff Bank this morning to raise and clean out Little Sinker. Stopped on the way and talked Carl, David, and Dan Worden. David told that Pete Belcher and a few more set out lines in Sulphur River below the forks recently and in three days were able to put up two hundred pounds of catfish fillets. Pete works on an 18,000 acre ranch down there and with another man roped two wild hogs. Got em in a pen to fatten for ninety days before killing. David also gave a grabbling report that Saturday, Johnny Watkins and Kenny Baker came out from Longridge with several catfish.
Wednesday, June 5, 1985. Paulette Lile called early this morning from her beauty shop on Highway 19. A big snake was on her porch so I bounced out of bed and went and caught it. Jerry Preas came to our house and worked on the air conditioner. For some reason, ants love to get in the compressor, causing a short.
Friday, June 7, 1985. Bret and I went to my classroom about seven this morning to get snakes, insects, and other critters from my freezer. This is the first of three Friday mornings I work at Paris Junior College presenting outdoor type classes. On the way home we stopped by Ma’s, changed clothes, and seined crawfish. Went to Pat Mayse and carried our camper. Set out trotlines. Camped next to a Mr. Barnett from Paris. He’s been camped there for a month. Dean Houchins and family came at 6:00 to fish and camp with us.
Saturday, June 8, 1985. Had fifteen channel catfish up to four pounds on the lines. Jean and I pulled Greg on a small rubber raft behind our small boat while boating to the Lamar Point swim area. Kenny Adams works with Dean and in the afternoon came with his Kawasaki 650 jet ski that we took turns riding. Fried the catfish and they were really good.
Sunday, June 9, 1985. Checked the trotlines and had ten channel catfish. Rolled up the lines. Gave the fish to a nearby camper that was once married to Buddy Bates’ sister, Pat. He also knew, and had worked with, Wesley Clark.
Monday, June 10, 1985. Dean took a day of vacation and called about 7:00 this morning wanting to grabble. Caught three small ones about five or six pounds. Then came a twenty one pounder. Another about fifteen pounds got away.
Tuesday, June 11, 1985. Wimp click called this morning. Dean took another day of vacation. He and John Ed had been on the way to grabble and got stuck on the Ray Wilson place. Walked to Wimp’s and had him call me to come pull them out then go on grabbling. John Ed, Wimp, Dean, and I finally got to the river near Longridge and started grabbling. First we went to see if the fifteen pounder that got away was back. He was but got away again. On down river and had caught four by the time we got to the mouth of Lake Creek. Tied them there to get on the way back. As I checked the next log I felt a big catfish. Got my hand in its mouth and was just starting to grip its bottom jaw when it twisted before I could tighten down. Clamped down on the ends of my fingers and rolled round and round. Twisted my fingers pretty good. On the next try I was able to clamp down on his bottom lip and got a headlock on him with my other hand. Weighed eighteen pounds. Mosquitoes were pretty bad. On the way out we stopped by Wimp’s and Norris went on with us. At Dean’s we put the catfish in a big live well. Jeffrey Preas came by and the six of us went to Bluff Bank to try our luck but found nothing. The next day the ring finger on my right hand was swollen to twice its regular size.
Now up to the present in 2012. Friday, May 4, I carried Jim Butler and Stan Szafran on a Red River float trip, launching at the primitive ramp at Arthur City. My Jack Russell terrier, Zack, rode on the nose of the boat. The river was very low but had some current so I thought maybe we could go downriver several miles then motor back up. A few miles east we hit water so shallow we had to get out and push. Saw a lot of birds including a bald eagle. I carried fishing gear and caught gar and channel catfish. Saw a lot of beavers. Entered the mouth of the Kiamichi River and motored all the way to the spillway at Hugo Lake. Stan’s GPS showed we had traveled forty five miles. Used eight gallons of gas. We had a great time.
There will be a catfish tournament at Cooper Lake June 2. Entry forms are available at area businesses or you can call the chamber of commerce at 903 395 4314.
Did you hear about the carpenter that hammers like lightning? He never hits the same spot twice. A man noticed his printer was getting dim so he carried it to be repaired. An employee at the place told him he might try reading the manual and try to fix it himself. The printer owner was surprised at the suggestion and asked what the boss would say if he knew about the suggestion which could cause them to lose money. The employee answered, “Oh, it’s his idea. Usually when people try to fix it themselves they tear it up then we wind up making more money.”