Weatherford Living

A fishing story like none other for W’ford man

Lloyd Carlisle has been fishing since he was 14.
Lloyd Carlisle has been fishing since he was 14. Courtesy photo

Lloyd Carlisle doesn't remember the exact date, no matter how much he scratches his head trying to do so, but he does remember how much fun he had when he created one of the most special memories of his 73 years on this earth.

"I drove across the bottom of Lake Weatherford when I was 14. I didn't have a license, but that didn't stop me back then," he said with a chuckle. "Man, those were some good times."

Of course, that was shortly before the lake was filled with water. Ever since, Carlisle has spent much time on top of the lake.

Carlisle can't confirm if he was the first person to fish in Lake Weatherford when it opened around six decades ago, but if not, he's on a short list of the first few - and he's been fishing there ever since.

"I was there when it opened. I promise you, I was one of the first," he said proudly.

Carlisle, a 1959 Weatherford High School graduate, fell in love with fishing at a very early age. It's been one of the staples in his life ever since.

"That first time I'll never forget. It was in a little creek," he said. "I got me a safety pin, a little string and a stick. I caught one, and from that day on I wanted to do it as much as much as I can."

He didn't make his living fishing, working for Coca-Cola for 27 years and in the boat repair business for another 27, but he has made some money fishing - along with other memorable items. He caught his biggest bass, 9.95 pounds, in a tournament at Richland Chambers, and the top prize wasn't money, he said.

"It was a five-day event, and we were fishing for a hat," he said.

Speaking of hats, thanks to one he got a nickname, "Catfish Charlie." But that's not one that he has authorized.

"That was just on a hat a guy gave me, but I'm not a catfish guy," he said.

A bass man, Carlisle has never fancied himself a big-time competitor, though he does love the sport. He's fished mostly local tournaments, and he was preparing for a trip to Possum Kingdom at the time of this interview.

His favorite part of fishing, he said, is “finding them and outsmarting them.”

"Hunting them down, that's the thrill," he said. "It's hunting more than catching them; that's the fun."

With four children of his own (3 girls, 1 boy), 10 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren, he has no problem finding fishing partners.

"My regular fishing partner is my grandson, Kyle Clark, he's in his 30s," said Carlisle. "He's a bass fisherman. We just got back from Lake Palestine."

And what do you give a guy who loves to fish? Why, a sneakaway fishing excursion, of course.

"My girls and my wife took me to East Texas, and we caught some crappie. It was a great time," he said with a giant smile.

Until around five years ago, Carlisle could be found fishing almost every day at Lake Weatherford. These days, he's there every day, visiting friends at the marina, but he's cut back to a couple or so days a week, he said.

But don't ask him about the day he stops fishing for good, because, well, he said he won't be alive to be asked.

"As long as there's water, I'm going to be out there," he said.