I've had the opportunity to go out with Stripers Inc guide Brian Pritchard twice in the last few weeks. The first time on 12/12 was with my friend and my dad, we followed the birds and marked huge schools on the graph and did very well dead sticking with live bait between 30-40 feet deep. We were too cold to think of taking many pictures and only ended up taking a pic of the biggest of the day that was released successfully.
This guy came within 6 feet of me while the fish were being cleaned lol
On 12/20 we went back out but this time it was just my friend and I. Brian said he had a little trouble getting as many shad today so we would mainly be lure fishing with a white/chartreuse shad on a slow retrieve. We found some birds almost immediately and marked huge schools of fish. We had one pole set up dead sticking with shad and then we used a very slow retrieve without much luck. Finally had a decent 3-4 pounder hook up on the live bait but nothing with the exception of one bite on the lures so we moved on after about 30 minutes. We marked several more schools but didn't have much luck in them. My friend eventually hooked up with a nice one that we decided was big enough to release, followed by another nice 8-9 pound fish that we kept.
Right before we were going to head back to the marina I got such a strong hit on my lure I thought I must have gotten hung up until the fish took off with line and the fight was on! She worked me to the other side of the boat and put up an awesome, lengthy fight but I eventually got her in and it was definitely a new personal best at 38" long, 21" girth, and 19.8 pounds.
I got the measurements and pictures I needed to have a replica mount made and she was released to see another day but after about 2 minutes, the fish floated back up. Brian tried to revive her for a good 20-30 minutes and she would swim away but float back up at first, and then she seemed to just get worse so I agreed that I would keep the fish and have it mounted. I have since then wrapped the fish in a soaking wet towel, placed it in a few trash bags and have it in my dad’s deep freezer until I can get the fish down to Temple, Tx for Bill at Fin and Bones Taxidermy to work his magic on! He told me the return time should be relatively quick and I'm more than excited to see what he can do with this. Here are a few pictures of his past work, im not an expert but I feel like his attention to detail is incredible.
Overall I highly recommend anyone thinking about booking a trip on Texoma to give Brian a call at Stripers Inc. We have had a blast going out with him and definitely plan to go see him many more times in the future.