Weekly NewsCast

Water temperature: Creek arms - 49 degrees  •  Main channel - 49 degrees

Water Clarity: Cloudy

Catch by species (1-10, ten being the highest)

Black bass: 6   •   White bass: 7

Crappie: 2   •   Catfish: 1


Is It Spring Yet?

Now we remember what a true winter was like after several years of mild conditions! We always start each spring with three wishes, the first is for good fishing, the second is for a great business year, and the third is for near normal lake levels. All's well for now, but it's early, and spring rains are yet to come.

Say it ain't so, but this is year number 21 at Cookies and number 25 for Cash Saver Pantry, but what blows my mind is the fact that it's 62 years since Dad and I arrived from Joplin, MO and started building.

Over the many years of ups and downs, Nadine and I agree that the resort business is very much like farming. A farmer spends the winter months repairing equipment--check; after a long season we always have repairs that need to be done.

Come spring, the farmer buys seed, fertilizer, fuel, and anything else needed for spring planting--check; this is what we do but our expenses are for merchandise, fishing tackle, refueling our fuel tanks, live bait, calling our staff in to work, and this is just at the Marina.  Now comes the expense of re-opening the motel, cottages, and our three lodges. Now the big expense is re-opening Cookies each spring by restocking freezers, coolers and storage rooms, plus the staff need to clean from top to bottom before we see our first customer.

Now the farmer waits for the right amount of rain, but not too much--check; no difference for the resort business. Too little rain and the lake drops, too much and let's just remember '08 and '11. We have done this for so many years it seems as normal to us as a farmer planting his seed.

The new dock (all 400 feet) was completed late last summer and is now full of boats and most of the old docks have been removed from the cove.  Something else this year is the new lake level at 659. Although it started last year this will be the first spring rainy season to see how things work out. Haskins Ford on the Little North Fork only has a 5 foot buffer now with the new power pool, so even a small rise could close that road more often. We have already experienced a small bass tournament (40 boats) and the lack of parking at the new ramp and also at the dock was very noticeable, so we are holding our breath as to what will happen when we have a normal size tournament of 100 boats or more!  It could be fun!

P.S. Speaking of tournaments, the White River Valley Co-op fishing tournament is only a month away.  It will be held on Saturday, the 3rd of May this year, and from the early entries, it could be another record turn out.