Arkansas River Navigation Channel at Kerr Lake I confess... I got some lines wet last weekend. I managed to drown several shad in the process of boating (and releasing) over 100 small channelcat. Not one blue showed up in my boat while fishing in the shallows of Dirty Creek on Kerr Lake . Out of frustration, I moved below L&D 16 for some balloon fishing. While letting my first balloon out, my clicker began screaming as a solid strike began peeling line from my 70-year old Ocean City reel. I already had let out over 200 yards of line, and this fish took all of the rest, clear down to the bare spool. What a rush!
I'm glad I had that old reel mounted to a good rod. They really built those old reels with a lot of guts. With arthritic shoulders and elbow throbbing from the give and take, the fish suddenly blasted to the surface in a rolling leap. To my eternal dismay and disappointment, it was a gar... all six feet of him! All of my hopes and expectations of fame, pictures in the paper and my name in the catfish record book evaporated. I was faced with the choice to either fight the monster back in or to use the knife.
I resisted the temptation to cut the line and continued to drag the belligerent beast to the boat for about a nalf hour. I didn't risk ruining my landing net on such a large toothy critter, so I led his head with the rod and grabbed the fish by the tail with one hand, dropped the rod into the bottom of the boat and wrestled him aboard. Big mistake... he wasn't tired out yet!
He managed to slam himself onto my open tackle box and turn it over, scattering hooks, sinkers and swivels in all directions underfoot. After that, he flipped my cooler of iced sodas into the river and proceeded to beat a tattoo of bruises on my shinbones. Enough was enough!
I started looking around for something to use as a club... There was nothing that would work except the aluminum handle of the landing net, and it was too long. All I could do was get rid of the problem before he completely wrecked my boat and broke my legs. I cut the line with my bait knife and grabbed the prehistoric throwback by the tail and unceremoniously wrestled him back over the side into the river with a resounding splash.
That gar had to be over eight feet long and weigh nearly 500 pounds. Well, maybe in reality it was closer to six feet and 100 pounds… who’s to argue the point? It’s my story and I’ll tell it like I want to! The only eyewitnesses were over a quarter mile away. Since then I’ve made a gar tranquilizer from a short, lead-filled copper pipe for future encounters of the third kind since it’s against the law to carry a loaded gun in the boat. That brings to mind another story from my youth…
Some few years ago… longer than I care to remember or admit to, my Boy Scout buddies and I decided to drive to Fort Cobb Lake for a week of summer fishing and camping. We had a trio of aluminum canoes and enough enthusiasm to serve twice our number. We had set a trotline and several limb lines up a creek that was decorated with lots of overhanging trees. That night in the dark we were running the lines, removing fish and dropping them in the bottom of the canoe. I was in the front seat, and my best friend Ricky was in the back seat. Suddenly, a very large black water snake dropped from an overhanging limb and landed in the boat between Ricky and me. Being the levelheaded and brave fellow that I was, I gave the boat to the snake, bailing out into the waist deep water.
Ricky, being the fast thinker and fearless fellow he was, picked up his stainless steel .410 Snake Charmer and dispatched the snake… and the canoe sank due to the rather large window opened in its bottom. That was a long walk back to camp, dragging that damaged canoe full of live fish through the mud and weeds. Maybe that’s why there’s a law against carrying a gun on a boat. Albert McBee
Route 1 Box 3 - 5
215 N Highway 10
Gore, Oklahoma , 74435