The fish was this big!
It may be a fish story, but the fish were biting!
Durant Daily Democrat Publisher Denny Koenders took a one-day fishing birthday sabbatical away from running newspaper operations and reeled in the fish.
Family came to Oklahoma to visit and he wanted to show them a good time fishing on the lake.
Chris Stevens, fish expert with CD’s Striper Guide Service on Lake Texoma, showed the publisher exactly how it is done on the big lake.
Koenders himself is fisherman from way back, and was really impressed with the skill of CD’s in locating fish.
He’s fished all over but really enjoyed his excursion with the fishing experts of CD’s
Clayton Foutch is owner of the guide service. Fishing and Lake Texoma are in his blood. His and Steven’s Grandpa Drew Monroe helped build the lake and watched it flood to capacity. He was also an expert commercial fisherman.
German POWs provided labor for many aspects of construction of Texoma.
Drew Monroe helped supervise some of those POWs, among other things.
CD’s Striper Guide Service name pay homage to the elder fisherman and grandfather.
C is for Clayton Foutch and D is for Drew Monroe.
Both Foutch and Stevens are fishing experts with years of experience.
Chris Stevens said, “As a guide, you have to keep up with the fish on the lake. We monitor temperature and other factors. We got into fish on Denny’s trip, in shallow water after we put in at Cardinal Cove. It’s on the Oklahoma side.”
They took a 30-foot boat with plenty of room for everyone.
Stevens said, “Clayton works the oil fields and doesn’t get much time off. We used the trolling motor for a splasher to make noise. We have more than one boat and we took the big one with Denny.”
The publisher and fisherman Koenders wanted to treat his daughter Jennifer and son-in-law David Harris to a fishing trip on the lake that’s at his back door since moving to Durant.
Koenders said, “They took me out the last three years in Missori and I wanted them to be treated to a fishing trip on Lake Texoma for my 75th birthday.”
Koenders, at three quarters of a century on September 10, shows no sign of slowing down.
He said, “I went fishing all weekend. I love the serenity and peacefulness of the lake and fishing.”
Koenders has managed newspapers a good portion of his life and that’s what brought him to Southeastern Oklahoma.
He said, “I love Lake Texoma. I go out there every weekend. When Chris and Clayton offered to participate with us, we went and they did a fine job.”
Koenders said there are some that may not recognize the wonderful thing that is Lake Texoma. He said, “I think they don’t realize how wonderful it is to have the lake right here.”
He said his guide Chris was easy to visit with and worked hard to provide enjoyment for his passengers.
Koenders said he learned two crazy things from his fishing guide. “He stopped the boat, threw out the anchor then started the trolling motor. I said, ‘what are you doing that for?’ Chris said, we need vibration. So then we all three get our lines out in the water, and the next thing I see him doing is standing in the front of the boat slapping the water with an old fishing pole. He said, ‘I’m causing vibration,’ and as he said that, I looked up on the fish finder depth finder screen, here comes the fish.”
Koenders said they fished two more days while his daughter and her husband were here. He said, “We just love fishing. You can sit there and just relax and not think about anything else.”
He said if he catches fish or not, he has fun.
The fishing trip with guides is different than anything he’s experienced on water. Koenders said, “Going out with these guides on Lake Texoma is so different. It’s so much different than on the ocean. The guides are talking on our level and told some great fish stories.”
Koenders has his own fish stories to tell. One he tells is of a day he played hooky from work. He said, “My little girl and I went fishing. I put her in the pickup, I called in sick and we went to the lake. We get out there and we’re fishing and I’ve got a headache. So I’m laying up in the pickup and here comes my daughter saying, ‘Dad, something is wrong with your fishing pole.’ We had a 12-pound walleye on the line. I wanted to show this fish off, but it was going to be hard to do with me playing hooky from work. I put the whole fish in the freezer to show off the fish, but I played hooky and didn’t want to get caught.”
He’s now the boss and understanding of fishermen who play hooky to go fishing.
Koenders was amazed at the fish they caught that day. He said, “We weren’t out there very long and Chris said we caught our limit.”
A fishing trip is very affordable with CD’s regular charge which is $125 per person with kids 10 and under half price. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we drop that down to $100 per person.”
Weekends, the $125 price is a bargain considering it’s an experience to remember when the fish are biting.
Stevens said, “We try to encourage kids and they have fun, too.”
www.cdsguideservice.com is where you find CD’s Striper Guide Service on the web or (580) 564-6061 Clayton Foutch or Chris Stevens at (580) 564-5204 are contacts to book your fishing guide fun day.
Winter months promise bigger fish on Lake Texoma. The fish eat a lot in winter because it’s spawning season for the fish.
Stevens said, “During winter months the fish eat more and need more nutrition to spawn.”
The fishing trips they take customers on is a memorable event for families. You catch plenty of fish with experts and don’t have to do all the work.
Stevens said, “It ain’t about us. It’s about the people. We take care of all the work, so people we take fishing, enjoy the fun part. We clean the fish and bag them at the end. We bait the hooks and do it all.
“We went to the islands first and there were nice, good fish. Then we went back to Sherwood Shores. We just drifted through there and caught fish as fast as we could reel them in. Four people caught nearly 40 fish in 50 minutes.”
Koenders said everyone should enjoy the lake in our backyard. He said, “It’s a wonderful lake just right there. It’s a great lake that people should always enjoy.”
He said his daughter and her husband were impressed with Lake Texoma. Koenders said, “They were impressed with the facilities and all the extras at the lake, and all the parks with so much to do.
Stevens observes many things with customers as he guides them to fish. He said about the Koenders’ mission, “Everybody had a blast. It was as fast as you could get to it. Maybe I wasn’t putting the bait on fast enough.”
Stevens likes to leave shore before daylight for best fishing. He said, “We go early. We catch a lot of fish.”
That’s a case of, “The early bird gets the worm.”
Stevens said their guide service has perfect reviews on their website. He said, “We don’t have any bad reviews. We take care of our people. We make sure they have fun.”
Stevens said the new photos he’s always putting on the web shows people the fish they catch. That attracts customers because they want to catch fish.
Lake Texoma doesn’t have the activity it once had because of several factors. Other lakes get more money than Texoma from the Oklahoma government. An algae bloom a few years ago caused health warnings to be issued for Texoma. Stevens said, “That algae thing was a hoax. “
He said, “Lake Texoma is a wonderful swimming lake with plenty of beach and it’s got clean beaches.”
Stevens brings his new Brady Bunch-type family to the lake for their own fun. He said, “I’m marrying Marie Austring. Between us we have 8 kids.”
Just like his Grandfather Drew Monroe, Stevens will pass on fishing skills to the younger fisherman as time goes by.
Stevens said, “We have a good time with our people. We enjoy them and they enjoy the trip. When we get on the water, we forget everything about the shore. We forget everything on dirt. It’s about having fun, the peace of mind, and it’s for the memories. Our customers make great memories that last a lifetime.”
Koenders and his daughter and husband all now have a cherished memory of Lake Texoma and his 75th birthday fishing trip.
Koenders said, “We will always remember that fun day fishing on Lake Texoma. It was a great way to celebrate my birthday.”
Contact Dan Pennington at (580) 634-2162 or firstname.lastname@example.org