With summer almost over, this article should have been written sometime ago. My bad for not bringing it out to lakegoers and boaters sooner.

This summer, for some reason, seems to have had more than its share of “you can’t tell me what to do on the lake” debates.

Mainly this year it has been Jet Skis and boaters who I really think don’t know what rules are in effect. Every marina and most leased boat ramps like ours have NO WAKE signs. Once inside the buoys you must slow down to idle speed and observe what is going on.

Most of the confrontations I have had with them in our cove have been friendly with only a few who, due to maybe having one too many or think the rules don’t apply to them, get kind of riled. It’s probably not entirely their fault. There has been little press given out by our writers or TP&W about getting the word out.

If a marina or cove is marked with NO WAKE signs approved by the Corp of Engineers, both the Sherriff’s office and game wardens can give you a ticket for making a wake inside them.

Also, most of the people I asked to slow down this year while we were talking didn’t know they could also be responsible for any damage to boathouses, boats or shore facilities in a marked area caused by their wake. This year I had not seen any warning or enforcement for wakening. There might have been some I didn’t hear about.

With that being said, this weekend will see Joe Copeland’s Future Bass Tournament go out of Alberta Creek. The fishermen entered are going to have company anywhere they fish. Stopping and jumping up on the deck and casting just might get you some unwanted company as weekend pleasure fishermen may take it you have surfacing stripers or sandbass, and this can draw company.

Black bass fishing is not nearly as easy now as it was earlier. The hot weather and water and muggy heat make it tough to concentrate. Bass can still be caught but you might have to change your baits and presentations.

Shade now is a plus; brush piles, breakwaters and rocky banks inside marinas and coves can also be productive. Thanks to the floods there are a lot more brush piles in Texoma.

Smallmouth might be a little easier to locate as they are likely to be in accessible water.Rocks, points, sand and shade are also pluses for them to be on or near. If fishing these places, some of them are going to be loaded up with silver fish.

I’m just not as into tournament fishing as I once was. Now being comfortable and cool is a lot more to my liking. This means starting early and quitting early. Here for the last three weeks I have been getting spoiled.

I’m golf-carting down to our boat ramp, using a friend’s boathouse and filling up quart sacks with crappie fillets. The unusual weather we have been having for July and August makes sitting in the shade with a cool breeze blowing on you, sipping on a cool one and reeling in the best eating fish in the lake really habit forming.

Susan and I are going to be eating a lot of crappie this winter: baked, fried or grilled they are outstanding eating.

Find a boathouse you can fish in that has been brushed out, get some 1/16 and 1/8 oz. Blakemore Roadrunners, soft plastic crappie baits and a bottle of Crappie Nibbles and you are in business. I recommend the big bottle of Nibbles because the crappie can take them off faster than you can put them on.

I don’t know why or what’s in the Nibbles but it makes a difference to the fish. I’m fishing tight line with no floats as it gives me a better feel for what’s going on.

One more tip — let the line lay on your finger while you fish it, which increases your feel ability five-fold. Don’t jerk hard when you set the hook, just a upward sweep is generally all you need. Also crappie have very tender mouths, hence the nickname of paper mouth.

Fishing is still lights out so get out and give it a try. Be thoughtful of other boats when you see them in fish.

There is already some bad blood according to Six old Geezers website out there, so don’t contribute to more. As my friend Jeff Foreman says, “Fish on.”