by Don Chaney

Don Chaney is the former mayor and a long-time resident of Crane.

Article #21
Taken from the Crane News, published February 26, 1998.


     Back in the 40's and 50's it was said that Crane was right in the center of the best fishing places ever, only 500 miles in any direction.  A bunch of us started going fishing to Sugar Lake, Mexico.  This is a lake on the San Juan River, 18 miles into Mexico from Roma, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley.  The lake was teeming with black bass and channel cat.  We would leave Crane at 5 a.m. pulling a boat and get there in time to catch plenty of fish for supper.  It was 530 miles. There were cabins and a restaurant there.  When we first started fishing there, as we were setting out trot lines and baiting them, the fish would get on the hooks before we finished getting them baited. We set out about 400 hooks.  Between times, running the lines, we would fish for bass with rods and reels.  I met some fisherman there once from Littlefield, Texas, who had 1,400 hooks on trotlines.  They brought huge ice boxes to take the fish home.  This kind of fishing and unregulated commercial fishing ruined the lake. Some of the folks we went down there with were John Reynolds, C. G. Nicholas and son, R. E. Westberry, Gray Webb, Bill and Cora Jean Clayton, Rev. Carl Treat, Rev. W. I. Perry, Neal and Pauline Cook, Joe Dorsey, Marian Brunette, Carl Milam, Mr. Peck, Wayne and Mable Brown, Al Hood, James Covell, Calvin Smith, Kay and Jane Burr and Kenneth Van Zandt.  Others who fished a lot there were J. D. Richardson, Eddie Galindo, Lloyd Hart and Randy Richardson.

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