More than a bass fisherman


Last updated 9/24/2013 at Noon

I was in the retail fishing tackle business and guiding full time back in the 70’s when Richard Corder walked into my store one morning and asked me if I would be interested in providing a weekly report on Toledo Bend on his show on KOGT.

What he failed to tell me was that he would call to tape the report at 4:30 a.m. each week without fail!

I know it is unimaginable in this day and time, but there was no such thing as a cell phone.

Waking up at four when I wasn’t guiding was bad enough, but even when I was up at that hour finding a phone was never a given.

After pointing out that more often than not, especially in the spring, I was often on the road headed to the lake at that time of the morning, he replied without batting an eye, “Not a problem…stop and get you a cup of coffee at the little convenience store in Call or the Texaco station in Burkeville.

They both have pay phones.”Rain or shine…the show must go on!

Richard Corder passed away Sunday evening and anyone that ever spent even a few minutes with him will never forget him.

He was revered by his audience for his passion for bass fishing, but it was his ability to make them feel like one of the family that kept them faithfully dialed into KOGT morning after morning.

He was not reluctant to deliver his opinion on issues that mattered the most to his listening audience and was genuinely concerned with their well being. He was as comfortable explaining why a proposed bill wouldn’t work as he was talking about a local grandmother that needed a ride to church on Sunday morning and he was equally quick to tell me why you shouldn’t use anything other than black-neon ring worms for night fishing!

His wit was inevitably delivered without the hint of a smile, as were many of his jokes and more often than, not I was hesitant to laugh for fear that he may not have been joking.

He absolutely took great delight in eliciting that reaction.

On more than one occasion, while I cleared the early morning fog just prior to taping a show he would mercifully start me off with, “Did you hear about....?” If, for some reason, I failed to laugh, he would immediately say, “That probably wouldn’t have been any funnier at noon either.”It was rare indeed when the joke wasn’t incredibly funny and we would share in the laughing session that ensued.

From the day Richard first got sick, Gary Stelly was quick to make sure that his beloved fishing show never missed a beat.

Even though my phone now rings closer to nine o’clock than that dreaded 4:30 hour, I seldom do a show that I don’t think of Richard or one of our conversations before the tape started rolling.

All of Orange County lost a dear friend Sunday night, but his legacy continues in any local youngster smitten with duping a fish. As for me, I am thankful that his suffering is finally over and I truly believe that he already has St. Peter signing up members for his new bass club!

The catching was especially good on the river and in the bayous the day after the recent Friday-Saturday monsoon.

The initial runoff, which wasn’t that bad due to drought conditions, combined with a north wind to push both bait and fish out of the local marshes.

As you would expect, the redfish just went nuts, but most of the trout that were caught in that small window were not very large.

I don’t know if it was the result of the massive dose of fresh water or the larger shrimp boats pulling in Black’s bayou, but I was shocked to find the number of dead fish that we saw lining the shoreline Monday morning.

There were a few dead trout and redfish, but we found an incredible number of flounder and small drum floating well above the weir. At this point I have no idea whether it was a water quality issue or the result of bigger shrimp boats culling, but I haven’t seen that problem in the past.

September is almost over and I am still talking with Texas anglers that haven’t renewed their fishing licenses.In the event that you don’t take care of it online or even if you have a boat or trailer registration problem, don’t forget that the Parks and Wildlife office in Beaumont has moved next door to Gander Mountain.


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