Striper fishing trip on Red River yields big haul

Thirty for Thirty for Thirty: Striper fishing trip on the Red River nets three 30-plus pound fish
by Ed Godfrey Published: May 11, 2013

Norman O'Neal grew up fishing on the Red River. As a river striper guide below the Lake Texoma Dam in Denison, Texas, O'Neal has put clients on numerous big fish over the years.

But he's never had a day like Tuesday, when he and his best friend landed three 30-pound stripers within 30 minutes of each other.

What started as an afternoon fishing trip just to relax ended as a fishing adventure that never will be forgotten by O'Neal and Mitch Parsons of Sherman, Texas.

“I've been a fishing guide for more than 20 years and I have never boated three stripers in one day over 30 pounds,” O'Neal said.

The three stripers weighed 31, 35 and 38 pounds. After getting a tankful of gizzard shad bait from Lake Texoma, the pair of anglers headed down the river in an airboat to some holes where O'Neal has caught big fish before.

“I usually balloon (fish) this time of year, but decided to see just how aggressive the fish were going to be so I opted for free lining,” O'Neal said. “As soon as my bait hit the water it was getting hammered.”

The first striper caught on Tuesday weighed 16 pounds. The next fish started taking line, and after a long battle it weighed in at a whopping 35 pounds.

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by Ed Godfrey
Reporter Sr.
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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