Schools & Sports


Lake Fork Guide Seth Vanover with one of many chunky shallow water catfish landed last week.


I love catching catfish when they are biting on ‘tight line’ on bottom, when they are in the flooded grass and willows during the spawn, over holes baited with soured grain and when they are ‘on the rocks’ feasting on gar eggs. I love the tug of a catfish on a trotline! But my biggest thrill is watching a floater (cork) begin to jiggle on the surface and then disappear, pulled down by a chunky channel catfish that has moved into the shallows to put on the feed bag!

Gun Safety

It’s never too early to begin teaching gun safety to a youngster. This photo was taken years ago when Luke’s grandson Jack was just learning to hunt. Photo by Phil Zimmerman

Gun Safety

At its basal level, a shotgun or rifle is a tool designed to do one thing: push a bullet or charge of shot down its barrel. That’s it! Those of us that love shooting and hunting with firearms have all sorts of specialized uses for our ‘tools’ and we have learned to adapt them to meet our special needs. But unlike many tools, firearms have the ability to protect us from harm, or to aid in putting a venison steak on our plate, or possibly provide us with a big skillet of fried quail and gravy. We cherish our firearms and become attached to them in ways that we would never feel about a chainsaw or hammer which are also ‘tools’. A firearm we have used for many years takes on a life of its own, and we look at it almost as we would a prized hunting dog. When we pick it up for a cleaning and put a light coat of oil on the barrel or stock, our mind is flooded with past memories: that brace of bull sprigs we took with our old English made over and under, or possibly that 300-yard shot with our trusty .270 on whitetail that enabled us to put that big whitetail mount on the wall.

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Retired Lake Lavon crappie guide Billy Kilpatrick (LT) and guide Brandon Sargent with Lead Slingers Guide Service show off some nice crappie landed last week


I began writing about retired Lake Lavon crappie guide Billy Kilpatrick a quarter century ago when he first began his almost quarter century guiding career on Lake Lavon. I first fished with guide Brandon Sargent this past fall at Lake Ray Hubbard. This week, I was honored to join both guides on Lake Lavon for some springtime shallow water crappie fishing.


Farm ponds provide some exciting fishing for special species including this chunky bass Luke caught last week.


I grew up in northeast Texas in the fifties and sixties, way before there were big reservoirs to fish. My mother and dad were avid ‘pond’ fishermen and had access to the majority of farm ponds in northern Red River County. They were avid bass anglers; my mom used a steel rod and one of the ‘knuckle buster’ reels of the era. She had only a couple of lures and I remember vividly retrieving her snagged Lucky 13 plug from willow branches on many occasions. But the majority of our fishing was done with Calcutta poles and live shiners below a ‘cork’ or floater. We would ease along the ponds and vertically drop the live bait into likely bits of cover. Back then we ate every fish we caught, including largemouth bass.


Accurate rifle shooting requires regular cleaning, especially of the rifle’s bore. Drew Clayton is busy shooting a good group with his Airforce Airguns “Texan” 45 caliber.


If you’re like many deer hunters, the last time you touched your hunting rifle was several months ago at the close of deer season when you gave it a quick spray of gun oil, wiped it down and placed it in your gun cabinet. If you take a quick glance at your trusty rifle, she will look as good as new on the outside but what about your rifle’s bore? Did you take the time to completely remove all the fouling (carbon and copper) that accumulated throughout the season? It’s the lands and grooves inside the barrel that stabilize the bullet as it spins down the barrel. If these are plugged with residue, the bullet simply isn’t spinning correctly and accuracy cannot be achieved. If, like many Texans, you shoot and hunt with your rifle throughout the year on hog and exotic game hunts, regular cleaning is very important.

North Forney High School Winterguard

North Forney High School Winterguard Places 4th in Colorguard Competition

The North Forney High School Winterguard recently competed in the North Texas Colorguard Association (NTCS) Colorguard Competition and finished with a top award. The competition, held on Saturday, March 26 in Lewisville, Texas was one of several competitions the North Forney Winterguard will compete in this year.


Forney Messenger

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 936, Forney, TX 75126
Physical Address: 201 W. Broad St., Forney, TX 75126
Phone: 972-564-3121
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