Robson Ranch Fishing Club holds Fall Striper Tournament

Scott Baker

The morning of October 21 arrived with perfect fishing weather of cloudy skies, a slight breeze and a chill in the air. A major cold front was expected within the next 24 hours. These are the conditions we can only hope for when we book a fishing charter so far in advance. When it actually takes place, a true fisherman hugs his lucky charm and says, “Today will be a great day!”

Today we were fishing at Lake Texoma in a striper “tournament.” A total of seven boats had been assembled with 21 men from Robson Ranch and their guides. They all left the marina in the dark towards their favorite fishing spots to start the morning. The fishermen in our boat were Dean French, Scott Baker and Grant Coulson. Our game plan was to start with top water lures and see what happened.

Most of the charters to Lake Texoma striper fishing are usually “catching days.” A catching day is where the fish practically jump on your line then into the boat. Dean French caught the biggest fish on the second cast using a top water lure. However, the rest of us were getting a bite here or a hit there turning this trip into a true “fishing day.” A fishing day is fishing slang where the fisherman has to really work the water to catch his fish.

The day turned truly gorgeous with the sun peeking through the clouds with the wildlife being abundant: birds in the thousands, eagles hunting from the tree tops and deer along the beach. I have been on this lake many times, and I have never seen this type of bird before or in the huge numbers on the beach and trees. It was a truly awesome sight to behold. At this point I did not care if I caught another fish as the trip was already a huge success.

At the end of the tournament the boats made their way back to the marina. All the caught fish were lined up on the table to see which one was the biggest. An electronic scale, calibrated down to a hundredth of an ounce, was used to weigh each fish. Each fish was weighed and marked showing where each was ranked against the other. Now Dean French, who is known as “Mean Dean the Fishing Machine,” has a reputation for catching the biggest fish. But today this might not be the case, as Jim Ryerson brought his fish to the scale. Jim Ryerson was first, Dean French was second and Dick Dauphinais was third. It was truly a fishing day, which makes winning this tournament special because everyone gave their best effort and showed they were the best fishermen for the day. What a great trip to be with your friends in competition on a great excursion on a beautiful day in Texas.