Sports and Outdoors


 Lake Info

Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 322.49
Water Temperature:
na degrees - top
77 degrees - bottom





Bringing the heat
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Braves pitcher Sergio Becerra fires toward home plate during a Junior Midget baseball game against the Wildcats June 1 at Mabank’s George Watts Park.














Outdoors with Luke Clayton
Tawakoni cattin’ with the preachers
By Luke Clayton
Special to The Monitor

Ever think a fishing trip with a couple of preachers would be a bit “mild,” or possibly even boring? Better think again!
I just got off the catfish-laden waters of Lake Tawakoni with my buddy guide George Rule, my pastor, Greg Richards from Morning Star Church in Kaufman, and Pastor Mike Banas from the Community Life Church in McKinney.
“These guys are as much fun to have in the boat as anyone I’ve fished with lately,” Rule said. “They really know how to enjoy themselves.”
But then, who wouldn’t enjoy themselves by keeping busy pulling one catfish after another out of a hole baited with soured grain!
We’ve had a church fishing trip/catfish fry planned with Rule and his team of catfish guides for some time, and I thought it would be a great idea to get Greg out on the water and do a little “test” fishing before the trip.
We invited Greg’s buddy, Pastor Mike, along so he could see just how much fun a trip to Tawakoni fishing with Rule really is. Mike left making plans for a return trip with some of the guys from his church in McKinney.
Catching regular limits of “eating size” channel and blue catfish is an everyday occurrence when fishing with Rule at Tawakoni.
During the fall and winter months, catfish anglers from all over come to do battle with the trophy-class blues here.
Summertime catfishing at Tawakoni is a “numbers game.” Rather than doing battle with brute of a catfish, one can expect steady action on “skillet fish.” Granted, an occasional big blue is landed during the summer, but it’s the steady action that keeps the guide’s boat full.
We began fishing water about three feet deep along the edge of a shoreline weedbed, using Danny King’s Catfish Punch Bait under a slip floater. After 15 minutes and six catfish in the boat, Rule was pulling anchor.
“This just won’t get it. We caught 75 catfish here this morning in a little less than two hours fishing,” he said. “Let’s move to one of my baited holes in deeper water. The action will be much faster there.”
We headed toward some standing timber along a submerged bend in the Sabine River channel. All species of fish are attracted to bends in rivers and streams, and submerged channels that are invisible to the eye, but easily detected on sonar, are no different.
Very close to the west bank, we tied up to some standing timber in around 25 feet of water.
Rule explained he had been keeping this area heavily baited with soured grain and range cubes for several weeks. Catfish using the river channel as a migration route from deep to shallow water are attracted to the smell of the grain, he explained.
Once they find the readily available food supply, they stick around. “We catch catfish all summer long around structures such as this,” he said.
Rather than using the slip cork, as in shallow water, we fished vertically under the boat, dropping a No. 6 treble hook baited with the punch bait down to bottom, then reeling it up a couple cranks.
It wasn’t long until I heard my pastor begin to really get fired up.
“Man, these things are fast – you have to set the hook the instant you feel the strike,” he said.
Mike was a bit less vocal but no less interested in getting his hook imbedded in the mouth of what was to become the centerpiece of many upcoming evening meals.
For the next couple of hours, Rule and I enjoyed fishing and watching and listening to two devoted pastors catch fish and generally letting their hair down!
It’s been said that fishing is good for the soul. This time on the water fishing with two great men of God was definitely good for the souls of Rule and myself. We’ve both fished with lots of folks that shared out passion for catching fish, but none knew how to have a better time than this duo of preachers!
Contact guide George Rule at (214) 202-6641 or .
Check out Luke Clayton’s outdoors show and magazine, Catfish Gold, at  , or

Catch, Rope and Ride
Monitor Photos/Katherine Veno

Mabank Rodeo Queen Mitzi Pyle carries the American flag into Andrew Gibbs Memorial Arena Saturday at the start of a Ranch Rodeo sponsored by the Catch, Rope and Ride for Jesus Church in Mabank.






Monitor Photo/Katherine Veno
BELOW: The Carter boys – Cody Carter (left), Kevin Carter, Bobby Carter and Colt Carter – prepare to participate in a Ranch Rodeo Saturday, representing Mabank Feed Store. The rodeo was sponsored by the Catch, Rope and Ride for Jesus Church in Mabank.

Monitor Photo/Katherine Veno
Evelyn Garrison (left) and son Jesse Garrison, both of Mabank, pose with “Jake” at the start of a Ranch Rodeo at the Andrew Gibbs Memorial Arena in Mabank.







Monitor Photo/Katherine Veno
Mikal Reeder of Prairieville, accompanied by son Dalton and daughter Aaron, stands with his horse Boomer at the Ranch Rodeo Saturday.