Rich and I found a swarm of white bass up some little creek with no name, and caught a limit one evening in only an hour or so, on top-water Rapala minnows. I would rather fish them than the jigs most people use. You jerk the lure under a couple of feet and then let it float a little. That day whites were clobbering it, but 90 percent were males. I caught a 19-inch female white that day that I thought might be a hybrid at first, it was so big.
We took our wives back there the next day and Gloria Jean caught a limit of whites again, though not as easily as we had the day before. Behind us was a big sycamore with a pair of nesting eagles, and you could see the head of one fledgling sticking up over the edge of the nest. That day, along the creek I found a perfect three-inch long arrowhead, white on one side and grey on the other. As we eased back down the creek via trolling motor, a beaver swam along beside the boat, for several hundred yards, heading back to the lake with us. There was a muskrat playing along one bank, and the male eagle sat in a nearby tree at sunset, actually singing to us. Eagles do more than scream, they trill and tweet and sing at times, with a really unusual song. Maybe he was happy to see spring come, or maybe he was just happy to see us leave.
The creek was full of black buffalo and yellow suckers, which I will go back and try to catch with grab hooks this week. Unfortunately, there were also carp and gar, which I wish we could get rid of entirely. The suckers were good-sized, bigger than the ones I once grabbed from the Big Piney when I was a kid. Both black buffalo and suckers are great eating if you know how to ‘score’ them, and grabbing suckers is an old sport that goes back two hundred years in the Ozarks.
If you have nothing to do this weekend, come to Cabool Missouri’s celebration of “Outdoors in the Ozarks”. I will be there with my old wooden johnboat, working on a sassafras paddle, giving away my Lightnin’ Ridge Outdoor Magazine, and selling and signing my books.
With the johnboat, we set up a display of photos and items used by old rivermen a hundred or more years ago. There’s a lot more there than my displays however, all kinds of outdoor vendors selling things, and an archery range for anyone who wants to try their hand at shooting a bow. I understand that nearby there will be a display of antique tractors. Guess I ought to bring my old tractor lawn mower, which must be one of the first ones ever made. If you have an old antique farm tractor, you should call the Cabool Chamber of Commerce about bringing it.
Page 2 of 2 - Remember that this outdoor festival will run from 9 to 6 on Friday and from 9 to 4 on Saturday. I am speaking to whoever is there to listen at noon Saturday, at which time I will tell everything I know about the outdoors. That talk may not last long!
My outdoor radio program airs on Sunday mornings on KWTO 560 AM from 8:06 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. You can also listen on your computer by going to radiospringfield.com
My website, www.larrydablemontoutdoors.blogspot.com. My email address is email@example.com and the mailing address is Box 22, Bolivar, Mo. 65613.