Fishing From the Border to the Bayou
Growing up in the West Texas desert, my fishing options were limited to irrigation canals and a small stream which was once the Rio Grande. Now, loving fishing as much as I did, I would pack my oversized tackle box with all my lures, jigs, and plastics (it was a pretty impressive collection for a 10 year old) knowing that all I really needed were a few hooks and sinkers since all our local area really had to offer were channel cats and carp, and would set off on my 2 mile bike ride towards the border. After a few summers of this I made a friend (Naldo) with the same love for fishing as I had and so the bike rides became more entertaining with someone to talk to. Naldo and I continued our bike rides to the border every summer until we learned to drive then it was a lot easier to hit our favorite fishing spots.
After high school I enlisted in the United States Air Force, and once I completed basic training and tech school I was stationed in Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, the state known as SPORTSMAN’S PARADISE!! Finally I would be able to fish like the clumsy guy with the Tennessee ball cap I grew up watching on TV!!! I could not wait to get a line in the water!! A few months passed along with winter and I purchased my first vehicle which I used to get to every lake, pond, and damn on the Mighty Red River, it seemed like Largemouth Bass were everywhere!! Any body of water I would hit I would catch Bass!! I fished every chance I got the first year there. I was in PARADISE!!
After my first deployment I met another buddy (Matt), who’s love for fishing matched that of my own. Perfect! I thought, someone to fish with who knows what he’s doing, who can tie his own lures on and deal with his own “bird’s nests” unlike my other air force buddies who had to be babysat while at the lake.. Matt also had access to a small john boat and a trolling motor that we would haul around through the dense woods to get to hidden ponds on base (lugging around the 60lb. battery was quite a workout). We hit every lake and pond on and around base with that little john boat and boy were we catching fish! We would load up our stringers to the max every time out. After a few months, I was allowed to move off base. The first apartment I rented was right next to a lake of course… Quail Creek provided us a place to fish and drink some cold refreshing beverages in a silver can (and boy did we put down some silver cans) without having to drive anywhere.
Every Friday evening the bank at Quail Creek Apartments was our launching point. About a year past and our routine was still the same, fish at Quail Creek on Fridays and hit Bistineau, Moon, or Flag lake on Saturdays. It was around this time that I received a call from my friend from back home… Naldo was up in Oklahoma visiting family and being that it was only a couple of hours away I insisted he come down and check out Louisiana… He agreed to come down for a while and so the next fishing trip was already being planned out, Naldo, Matt, and I were gonna put that john boat’s weight limit to the test!! Once he drove up to my apartment and after a quick introduction to Matt we were ready to launch!! Even though Naldo was doubtful of us catching anything, all three of us had a great day on the pond bagging 3-4 bass each in just a couple of hours. Needless to say Naldo was HOOKED on Louisiana fishing!!