Weekly NewsCast

Water temperature: creek arms, 67 degrees; main channel 58 degrees.

Water clarity: fairly clear

Catch ratings by species:

Black bass, 5 • White bass, 5

 

And the answer is?

One of the fun things about the boat dock business is the questions we’re asked each year, and that has been true from day one. Some questions seem so strange, you just know the person asking is joking, but over the years we’ve found that they are serious. Just starting out in the early years, we did our best to answer all the questions as truthfully as possible, but when you are asked the same question over again and again, well, that's when you start having some fun. Most of the time the person asking knows you’re joking, but there have been times I’ve regretted my attempts at being funny, especially when people believe everything you tell them.

In the early years of the Missouri Department of Conservation, they discovered there were still some nesting pairs of the largest Canadian geese on the Missouri River. What makes these geese different is that they do not migrate. They breed and raise their young in Missouri, so someone with MDC thought it was a good idea to help out and move some of the geese around the state. Theodosia was chosen as one of the areas to establish a population of these big geese, and the work began.

The geese were used to nesting high on the Missouri River bluffs, but the bluffs around here were not nearly as high and lacked nesting sites. After several ideas were kicked around, they settled on the use of large washtubs for the geese to use for nesting. With all the dead timber still standing from the 1957 flood, they picked the largest dead trees and cut them off level about 10 to 15 feet above the ground, and that became the base to set the tubs on. One tub was set across from the dock in our cove, and the rest were scattered across the lake. Some were above the bridge with a total of 15 tubs in all. The tubs were painted olive drab and became a topic of more questions than you could believe.

As I said, we told the truth, but nobody believed that wild geese would use a painted washtub for nesting. One warm summer day, two young ladies rented a paddleboat, and when they returned, their first question was ... well, you can guess. 

That day alone, I already had been asked the same question several times, so it was time for some fun. I told them the painted tubs were placed in different areas and were for flood control because the lake flooded from time to time, and when it got over the tubs, it would drain out. Don't forget … these tubs were sitting atop dead trees, but as I said, they believed me. As far as I know, they still think floodwater drains out through dead trees. 

In 1973 when we built our current office dock, we realized that people like to see and feed the fish around the dock, and from them doing that, we had gathered a lot of bluegill on the surface and carp that would feed on whatever fell to the bottom. We told Jack Holt, our architect, to provide a place in the breezeway where we could have an observation pool with a rail, and once it was built, we would install vending machines to sell fish food. 

The local feed stores kept catfish pellets in stock, and the pellets floated so the carp couldn't use them, but after a time, the pellets would sink. Problem solved. Although they were bottom feeders, before long the carp began to try to feed on the surface where all the food was floating around. It took some time before they became proficient at it, but they did. 

Every day the same question comes up: What are those big fish in the hole? And, Bull Shoals being well known as a bass lake, I started telling the young folks the carp were golden-mouth bass. But one day after telling some kids that story, they went running off the dock, and shortly afterward their father came back with them. I thought, Boy, am I in trouble. But the father said to me, "I've heard about those golden-mouth bass, but I’ve never seen any."

That was the last time anybody heard about golden-mouth bass from me! 

P.S. Join us on Saturday for the White River Valley fishing tournament. Cookie’s will be open at 5 a.m., and the weigh-in begins at 3 p.m.