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KATHY AND JERRY'S VISIT TO

CADDO LAKE

      BY, Kathleene Baker & Loren Moore     

KATHY WRITES:

Jerry and Kathy had an unforgettable weekend at Caddo Lake with Loren Moore and his precious wife Johnnie. This was the first time the four of them had met in person. Kathy and Loren had emailed about things they had in common, such as writing, dogs, etc. Oh yes, Little Fox and Shiloh (their pooches) went on the weekend outing also.... Kathy had warned Jerry about Loren. "He is a storyteller and it's hard to tell what part is true, and what is fiction. I imagine he's like that in "real" life also." Little did she know just how right she was! They met at Loren's cabin on Friday evening. The dogs hit it off immediately, as did the four of them. Loren told stories and then Jerry told stories. The guys had a bit of competition going when it came to spinning yarns, and they all laughed until the muscles in their faces ached, and they had tears running down their necks. It was so late by the time they decided to call it a night, that Jerry and Johnnie decided they were not getting up before daylight to go fishing. They would "sleep in," take care of the dogs, and have breakfast ready when Loren and Kathy returned from fishing. Everyone finally settled in for some sleep, but the dogs had different ideas. Shiloh sat inside one room and whimpered, while Little Fox was doing the same in the other bedroom. No one was going to get any sleep with all that going on. Jerry and Kathy ended up with both dogs in their bed, and both dogs snored! Loren tapped on Kathy's bedroom door about 4:45 a.m. commanding, "All hands on deck!" They were on the lake by 5:00 a.m. As soon as there was a tiny bit of light Kathy could see fish hitting the top of the water about 50 yards away. She said, "Loren, look over there - we need to move this boat now!" He stood up to see what she was talking about, and the next thing she knew he went overboard. He was a sight floundering around in the water and she couldn't keep from laughing. She started looking for something to toss him to grab onto, and that's when she saw a huge water moccasin heading right for him!

LOREN WRITES:

"GEE, THANKS KATHY, FOR SHAKING THE BOAT WHILE I WAS STANDING UP! REACH DOWN HERE AND GIVE ME A HAND BACK IN THE BOAT." "SNAKE," SHOUTED KATHY, AS SHE POINTED AT IT. LOREN KICKED OUT HIS FOOT AND THE SNAKE WENT UNDER THE WATER. KATHY REACHED HER HAND DOWN AND STRUGGLED TO DRAG LOREN BACK INTO THE BOAT. LOREN DROPPED THE TROLLING MOTOR DOWN AND PULLED THE BOAT OVER TO WHERE KATHY HAD SEEN THE BASS HITTING ON TOP OF THE WATER. THEY STARTED CASTING WITH SASSIE SHADS, AND ON THE SECOND CAST KATHY CAUGHT A BASS. "THAT'S A NICE ONE KATHY. HE'LL GO AT LEAST FOUR POUNDS." IT WASN'T LONG BEFORE KATHY HAD CAUGHT SIX MORE BASS. LOREN STILL HADN'T CAUGHT HIS FIRST ONE. KATHY KEPT TELLING LOREN, "CAST OVER HERE, LOREN." "NO KATHY, I DON'T WANT TO MESS UP YOUR PLACE. YOU JUST KEEP ON CATCHING THEM." FINALLY THE ACTION QUIT AND KATHY AND LOREN DECIDED TO GO IN AND EAT BREAKFAST. WHEN THEY GOT BACK TO CAMP LOREN PUT THE FISH IN A FIVE GALLON BUCKET HE KEPT IN THE BOAT, AND CARRIED THEM UP TO THE CABIN. HE WENT AROUND TO THE FISH CLEANING TABLE HE HAD BUILT IN THE BACK YARD, AND STARTED CLEANING THE FISH. JERRY CAME OUT ON THE BACK PORCH AND ASKED, "DID YOU HAVE ANY LUCK THIS MORNING?" "JERRY, WE HAD A HUMDINGER OF A MORNING! JUST LOOK AT ALL THESE FISH. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A FISH FRY FOR SUPPER TONIGHT." " LOREN, THAT'S GREAT. HOW MANY DID YOU CATCH?" "WELL JERRY, UH . ER . UM, AW SHUCKS JERRY, I DIDN'T CATCH ANY. KATHY CAUGHT ALL OF THEM."

KATHY WRITES:

"Hi Johnnie - we're back. Loren is cleaning the fish and then we'll be ready to eat something. I need to wash up a little first. What did you and Jerry do this morning?" Johnnie replied, "We had a great morning visiting. We drank coffee, played with the dogs, and wondered how the fishing was going." Then Kathy told her, "Poor Loren fell out of the boat and tangled with a 6 ft. long water moccasin, but he's okay, so don't worry. He says I rocked the boat, but that's not how it happened. He tripped over his very own feet! To make things even worse - I caught all the fish. He had a bad morning. I hope his day gets better." Johnnie just laughed as she got things together for breakfast. She didn't seem surprised at all. He evidently had fallen out of the boat before! About then Jerry and Loren started through the door with the fish. But, disaster struck again! Little Fox and Shiloh had been playing "chase," and shot right in under Loren's feet. The fish went flying straight up in the air, and Loren ended up flat on the floor with fish raining down on him. Jerry, Kathy and Johnnie were laughing too hard to even help Loren up, and then the dogs got a whiff of the fish. They each grabbed one and took off. Those fish were supposed to be dinner! They left Loren on the floor, and took off after the dogs. By the time they pried the fish out of each dog's mouth, those two were a mangled mess. They'd be tossed outside for the raccoons once it got dark. They suddenly realized Loren was still on the floor as flat as a fritter, although he had managed to salvage the last 4 fish in case the dogs came back for more. He had them tucked up under his chest. Johnnie grabbed the fish while Kathy held the dogs at bay. Jerry helped Loren slowly get up, and he limped over to his chair. He just got positioned so nothing hurt too badly, when both dogs pounced on him at the same time! This startled Loren so badly that he jumped, which then caused him to screech with pain. All they wanted to do was give him kisses. They must have known they caused his terrible crash. All in all, Loren's day was not looking very bright, and it was still morning! One ankle had taken quite a beating as he fell out of the boat. Now his elbows were both banged up, and what's more, he had a goose egg smack dab in the middle of his forehead. Everyone felt sorry for him, and Jerry and Kathy were wondering if he'd be up for fishing that evening as they had originally planned.

LOREN WRITES:

"JOHNNIE I'M NOT FEELING VERY GOOD. I THINK I'LL JUST GO BACK TO BED FOR A WHILE. Y'ALL GO AHEAD AND EAT BREAKFAST." AND, THUS SAYING, LOREN GOT UP AND WENT INTO HIS BEDROOM. LITTLE FOX AND SHILOH WENT WITH HIM. AFTER KATHY, JERRY, AND JOHNNIE FINISHED BREAKFAST AND THE DIRTY DISHES WERE STACKED IN THE SINK, JOHNNIE LOOKED IN ON LOREN. HE WAS LYING IN BED WITH BOTH DOGS ON THE FOOT OF HIS BED. WHEN JOHNNIE OPENED THE DOOR LOREN OPENED HIS EYES. "ARE YOU OK? DO YOU NEED ANY THING?" JOHNNIE WANTED TO KNOW. "I'LL BE OK. I JUST NEED TO REST A LITTLE WHILE. WHY DON'T YOU TAKE KATHY AND JERRY AND CATCH SOME BREAM. THEN, BAIT THOSE LIMB LINES OVER AT JOHN'S HOLE. MAYBE WE CAN CATCH AN OLD FLATHEAD FOR OUR FISH FRY TONIGHT." LOREN ANSWERED JOHNNIE TOLD KATHY AND JERRY WHAT SHE WANTED TO DO, BUT NEITHER ONE OF THEM WAS VERY ENTHUSED ABOUT BREAM FISHING WITH UGG WORMS. FOR ONE THING, KATHY DIDN'T KNOW DOOLEY SQUAT ABOUT PUTTING A WORM ON A HOOK, AND SHE DIDN'T REALLY WANT TO LEARN. BUT BEINGS THEY WERE GUEST AND WANTED TO BE POLITE, THEY AGREED. SO, BY AND BY, KATHY, AND JERRY FOUND THEMSELVES IN THE BOAT WITH JOHNNIE FISHING FOR BREAM. JOHNNIE TOLD THEM THEY NEEDED 20 BREAM TO BAITALL THE LIMB LINES AT JOHN'S HOLE. "GOOD GRIEF, HOW LONG WILL THAT TAKE?" JERRY WANTED TO KNOW. "NOT LONG" JOHNNIE TOLD HIM. AND BEFORE LONG THEY HAD THEIR 20 BREAM. "NOW THE WORK STARTS." JOHNNIE HOLLERED AS SHE STARTED THE MOTOR. SHE RAN THE BOAT OVER TO JOHN'S HOLE AND SHUT OFF THE MOTOR. THEN SHE DROPPED THE TROLLING MOTOR, AND TROLLED OVER TO A BIG CYPRESS TREE THAT HAD A LINE TIED TO ONE OF THE LIMBS. JOHNNIE SAID TO KATHY, "KATHY HAND ME ONE OF THE BREAM OUT OF THE LIVE BOX." KATHY GOT THIS WOEBEGONE LOOK ON HER FACE AND SAID, "JOHNNIE . YOU REALLY DON'T EXPECT ME TO STICK MY HAND DOWN IN THAT LIVE BOX WITH ALL THE FISH, DO YOU?" "YOU BETCHA, I DO. THEY AREN'T GOING TO BITE YOU." "CRACKER JACKS, KATHY, GET OUT OF THE WAY, I'LL DO IT." SAID JERRY AS HE MOVED BACK TO THE LIVE WELL.KATHY WALLOPED JERRY ON THE ARM AS HE SCOOTED HER OVER SO HE COULD REACH THE LIVE WELL. "I'M A FIXIN TO THROW YOU OVER BOARD IF YOU DO THAT AGAIN." JERRY TOLD HER. JOHNNIE HAD TO TURN HER HEAD AWAY TO KEEP THEM FROM SEEING HER GRIN. AFTER THEY GOT ALL THE LINES BAITED THEY WENT BACK TO THE CABIN. WHEN THEY WALKED IN THEY FOUND LOREN SITTING AT THE KITCHEN TABLE EATING A SANDWICH AND DRINKING A 7 UP. ALL THE DIRTY DISHES IN THE SINK HAD BEEN WASHED AND PUT BACK IN THE CABINETS. THE DOGS WERE OUT IN THE BACK YARD PLAYING.

KATHY WRITES:

Everyone decided Loren still need to take it easy the rest of the afternoon. Johnnie checked his elbows and he whimpered when she cleaned them with alcohol. She said, "Loren, knock it off and act like a big boy - it's just alcohol." Kathy and Johnnie just looked at each other and rolled their eyes, knowing it was one of those "guy things." She put band-aids on both of them, since he insisted he was going back out in the boat later to check the lines. The goose egg on his forehead had turned black and blue, and he limped when he walked. He was a sight to behold! Since Loren needed to rest, everyone else decided to take it easy too. Jerry and Johnnie read, and Kathy took a nap since she had gotten up so early. Finally, it was time to get back in the boat and head to John's Hole. Everyone was hoping there would be a catfish to go with the four bass for dinner. Johnnie stayed at the cabin to fix a salad and cornbread. Hopefully they'd return with a catfish to clean, and then fry him up! They pulled up to the first few lines and the hooks were clean as a whistle. Jerry said, "It looks like a turtle enjoyed some big fat worms." Loren agreed. Then they saw the next line, and it was causing the limb to literally dance! The three of them could hardly wait to see what lurked down below on that hook. Loren and Jerry started pulling it in. Whatever it was, it was "big!" Jerry kept telling Kathy to get out of the way, but she wasn't paying any attention to him.

She wanted to see what was coming up through the water, and she wanted to see it now! He finally said, "Get out of the way - I'm not tellin' ya again." She walloped him on the arm once more and said, "Don't tell me what to do." Jerry looked at her with a twinkle in his eye, paused for a moment, and said, "I already warned you." Then he threw her overboard. Loren laughed so hard it echoed across the entire lake. In fact, he lost his balance with all that hee-hawing, and almost fell in again himself. To teach Kathy a lesson they left her in the water,hanging on to the side of the boat while they pulled in their catch. She pitched a terrible fit, but eventually broke down laughing too. Finally, they hauled the big dude over the side of the boat. It was the biggest Gar any of them had ever seen. That thing must have weighed 30 lbs. Loren took it off the hook and tossed it back in the lake ."We ain't eatin' Gar for dinner," he grumbled. Jerry said, "Loren, I've heard there are some big Gar in this lake, but that's the biggest one I've ever seen." "Yep, it's the biggest one I've seen too, but I've heard there are some real whoppers here in Caddo," Loren replied. They both threatened to leave Kathy in the water and come back for her. They tormented her until they had her fussin' and fuming, and then they finally drug her over the side and threw a towel on her wet head. They weren't very gentle. It was more like yanking her back into the boat, and now she had scrapes and cuts just like Loren. The way things were going; someone was going to end up in the ER before this weekend was over. Little did they know what Johnnie was dealing with back at the cabin? She had opened the backdoor to let Little Fox and Shiloh in, and then she smelled it! A skunk had sprayed both of them...... Meanwhile, Jerry, Loren, and Kathy went to check the rest of their lines.

LOREN WRITES:

JOHNNIE RAN THE DOGS BACK OUT OF THE CABIN AND SLAMMED THE DOOR. "PEEUUU, YOU TWO STINK. NOW I'LL HAVE TO GO TO MARSHALL AND BUY SEVERAL CANS OF TOMATO JUICE. I GUESS I'LL GO ASK MRS. TUCKER IF SHE WANTS TO GO WITH ME." SO JOHNNIE AND MRS. TUCKER LEFT FOR THE KROGER GROCERY STORE IN MARSHALL. JOHNNIE LEFT A NOTE FOR LOREN TELLING HIM WHERE SHE WAS. AS LOREN APPROACHED THE NEXT LINE, IT WAS PULLED IN NEXT TO THE TREE. "AH HERE IS OUR SUPPER. JERRY, GET THE NET READY." "LOREN, HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS IS NOT ANOTHER GAR?" KATHY WANTED TO KNOW. "BECAUSE THIS IS THE WAY A BIG OPP WILL DO. WHEN HE GETS HOOKED HE WILL MAKE A LUNGE OR TWO TRYING TO GET AWAY. WHEN HE SEES THAT HE CAN'T TEAR THE HOOK OUT OR BREAK THE LINE, HE WILL PULL BACK AGAINST THE TREE AND SAVE HIS ENERGY. THEN WHEN YOU PULL UP ON THE LINE, THE BATTLE IS ON." "OH LOREN, LET ME LAND THIS ONE." KATHY BEGGED. JERRY SAID, "KATHY YOU DON'T KNOW A THING ABOUT LANDING A BIG CATFISH. YOU BETTER LET LOREN OR I DO IT." "YOU? YOU'VE NEVER LANDED A BIG CATFISH IN YOU LIFE MISTER!" KATHY SHOUTED. LOREN GOT UP AND WALKED TO THE BACK OF THE BOAT. "I DON'T CARE WHO BATTLES THE OPP OR WHO NETS IT. YOU TWO DECIDE. I'M GOING TO SIT HERE AND WATCH." AND, THUS SAYING, LOREN SAT DOWN IN THE BACK SEAT.

KATHY WRITES:

"Okay, Jerry, at least let me try to bring the fish in. After tossing me in the lake, you owe it to me!" Jerry tested the line to see how big the fish might be, and immediately the fish was mad. He wasn't fighting hard yet, but the line had already sliced the skin on Jerry's fingers. "Kathy, there is no way you can handle this big fella," Jerry exclaimed as he was checking out his fingers that were now bleeding. Kathy was determined to give it a try and she told him so. "Just give me a minute to get ready because I don't even have any gloves with me." With that, she grabbed a towel off the bottom of the boat. She rolled it over a couple of times, wrapped it around her waist, and tucked the end into the waist of her jeans. Jerry and Loren were giving each other looks that couldn't even be described. What did this crazy woman have in mind? Then she ordered, "You guys get this boat between the tree and the line!" They looked more confused than ever, but started maneuvering the boat - she sounded serious! Once the boat was in place Kathy got in the swivel seat in the middle of the boat. She asked Loren how to remove the back of the seat. He reached up and just slid it off. Then she crossed her feet around the pedestal, and started barking orders. "One of you fellas get enough slack in that line to get it around my waist where the towel is. Then just keep the line up in the air so it doesn't drag on the edge of the boat and snap." They didn't say a word. They were speechless, but did as they were told. They knew for sure she had lost her mind, and there would be no catfish for dinner. Then the battle began. Kathy slowly started spinning that swivel seat and the line started tightening up around the towel. Those guys had never seen anything like it in their lives, but it was working! She could never have brought it in by hand, but son-of-a-gun, she had figured out another way. It was only when this 50 pounder got near the surface that he went berserk! Loren stood ready with the net, Jerry was keeping the line away from the edge of the boat, and Kathy kept spinning......

LOREN WRITES:

NOW THE OPP WAS REALLY PULLING ON THE LINE. JERRY DROPPED THE LINE AND STUCK HIS BLEEDING FINGERS IN HIS MOUTH. THE FISH WAS PULLING SO HARD IT SQUEEZED KATHY SO MUCH SHE COULDN'T BREATHE. SHE STARTED TURNING BLUE AND LOREN KNEW HE HAD TO DO SOMETHING. WHEN JERRY HAD DROPPED THE LINE, THE FISH WAS NOW OUT OF SIGHT SO LOREN COULDN'T NET IT. LOREN JERKED OUT HIS POCKET KNIFE AND CUT THE LINE. THIS RELIEVED THE PRESSURE ON KATHY AND SHE COULD BREATHE AGAIN. JUST AS SOON AS SHE GOT HER BREATH BACK SHE STARTED CALLING JERRY AND LOREN EVER BAD NAME SHE COULD THINK OF. "BUT HONEY" JERRY STARTED TO SAY, BUT KATHY DIDN'T LET HIM FINISH. LOREN WENT TO THE FRONT SEAT AND STARTED THE MOTOR. JERRY SAT DOWN IN THE BACK SEAT. LOREN PUT THE MOTOR IN GEAR AND STARTED FORWARD. KATHY STILL HAD THE LINE WRAPPED AROUND HER AND IT WAS STILL TIED TO THE LIMB. AS THE BOAT MOVED OFF KATHY WAS DRUG OUT OF THE BOAT AND LEFT HANGING FROM THE TREE LIMB. KATHY SCREECHED EVEN LOUDER, BUT LOREN EITHER DIDN'T HEAR HER OR DIDN'T CARE. JERRY NEVER SAID A WORD. LOREN MOTORED ON DOWN THE TREE LINE UNTIL HE CAME TO ANOTHER LINE. IT WAS THE LAST ONE. WHEN HE SHUT OFF THE MOTOR HE COULD SEE THAT IT HAD A FISH ON IT ALSO. HE PICKED UP THE NET AND PULLED THE FISH TO THE SURFACE AND NETTED IT. WHEN HE HELD IT UP FOR JERRY TO SEE HE SAID, "THIS OPP WILL WEIGH ABOUT 10 POUNDS AND WILL BE PLENTY FOR OUR FISH FRY TONIGHT." LOREN CRANKED THE MOTOR AND WENT BACK FOR KATHY. SHE HAD UNWOUND THE LINE FROM AROUND HER AND WAS SITTING ON THE TREE LIMB. LOREN PULLED THE BOAT UNDER THE LIMB AND KATHY DROPPED DOWN INTO THE BOAT. SHE NEVER SAID A WORD BUT THE LOOK SHE GAVE JERRY COULD KILL.

KATHY WRITES:

Loren had been careless after getting the Opp in the live well, and had left the treble hook lying on one of the seats. As soon as Kathy fell back into the boat from her tree house, she spotted it immediately! "Jerry, would you change seats with me? My snacks are back there by the seat you're in and I'm hungry," Kathy lied. After running off and leaving her hanging in the tree, he decided it might be wise to do as she asked. That's when he plopped down and buried the hook in his behind! He screamed as he jumped up, "I've been snake bit!" Kathy was laughing like a hyena, but Loren didn't know what the problem was. He stopped the boat and said "Jerry, where? You gotta show me!" Jerry turned around and bent over as he said, "It bit me right through my jeans, I guess." Loren spotted the hook and burst out laughing too! "Jerry, you haven't been `snake bit' but it's almost as bad. You've got a treble hook buried in your rear. I'm gonna have to cut your jeans away and take a look at that. If it's buried too deep, we'll need to make a run to the ER. You probably need a tetanus shot anyway, just to be on the safe side. "Jerry was shaking Kathy saying "knock it off - what's wrong with you anyway? You're acting like an idiot! "Kathy had a strange look on her face and was mumbling all kinds of strange things: "Huh? What? Did I fall in again? Where's my fish? Am I breathing okay?

Why am I stuck out on this limb?" Then she laughed hysterically for a few moments, before starting in again. "Oh no, Shiloh stinks! Hey, quit shaking me Jerry, and I mean it!" Jerry was getting upset and embarrassed. Right there in the middle of the Bass Pro shop, Kathy was acting like she was drunk, or something. "What's wrong with you anyway? I left you sitting here by this boat, and now you're acting really weird. Are you sure you're feeling ok? I've got to get you out of here before they call security and throw us out!" By now Kathy had was starting to come out of it. "Jerry, I think I either fell asleep, or had a daydream like I've never had before. We were fishing with Loren and Johnnie Moore at Caddo Lake, and you wouldn't believe everything that happened. Gee, it seemed so real. You know, I read a couple of his convoluted fishing stories before we came over here this morning. Those stories are always full of bizarre things....that has to be what happened." Jerry had poked and prodded until he had her out of the store, and they were nearly to the car in the parking lot. "Well, if that's what his stories do to you, I'd suggest you stop reading them before we go out in public. For Pete's sake! Did you notice how people were looking at you? I wanted to crawl in a hole!" "Well excuse me for livin'! A person can't help what they dream. You're the one that left me by that fishing boat while you roamed around the hunting gear, and you know how I love to fish! I know one thing for sure - when we get home I've got to email Loren and tell him about my dream. Knowing him - he'll turn it into another story that ends up in Chicken Soup for the Fisherman's Soul. Hey - that wouldn't be so bad, would it? The minute they got home Kathy emailed Loren with all the disastrous details of their visit to Caddo Lake. She waited and waited, but he never wrote back! It is possible he lost her email address. But, more than likely, he was afraid she'd want to go fishing. Kathy never heard from Loren again...... THE END!!!! COPYRIGHT 2004

 

 

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