Since retiring from Lone Star Pipeline several years ago, Richard Ivy of Decatur spends his days immersed in his favorite sport and pastime – fishing.
Like clockwork, the 79-year-old makes routine fishing trips to his preferred hole on Ray Roberts Lake near Sanger.
“I pipelined for 37 years before the company merged,” the lifetime Decatur resident said. “The only thing I miss is pay day and a couple of few good people. Now, my life is fishing.”
“I am the self-proclaimed best fisherman,” he added with a smirk.
During the heart of the fishing season, the sport’s enveloping of his life is most evident as he sits in his boat from dawn to dusk (with a few breaks to eat), fishing reel in hand.
“From mid-March, when the water warms up to oh, about 65 degrees and the crappie starts hitting the bank through the fall, that’s when you’ll find me fishing the most,” he said. “I used to have a cabin right on the lake, but I sold it last year. It’s a good thing I still have lots of friends around there, and I can stay with them if I want to.”
His expertise of the sport isn’t limited to timing and technique as Ivy proudly concocts his own bait.
“I don’t fish with live bait. I use jugs,” he said. “I make my own bait. It’s stink bait, but it’s stink bait that I’ve made. I’ve been fishing a long time, and this is what has worked best for me.”
His self-proclaimed title as best fisherman is equaled by his skills in repairing boats.
“I have a shop that I use for several projects, but a lot of them are boats I work on,” Ivy said. “I fish a whole lot and work a little. I piddle around, build some stuff and work on boats to make a little money. If I do it, I do it right.”
This mentality has attracted the business of several customers. However, Ivy’s priorities do not align with the labor demand.
“I could get all the work I want, but I don’t want it to interfere with fishing time,” he said. “I’ve been there, done that, that whole working thing. And it’s not as easy as it was. (When bending down), it’s easy to get down but hard to get up, for instance. Now, I prefer to go fishing.”
Wherever Ivy may be – whether it’s at the lake fishing, in the shop working on a boat, driving through town or visiting his grandchildren – standing alongside him is his faithful companion, Hobo, a 3-year-old lab.
“He’s my sidekick,” Ivy said. “Wherever I go, he tags along. My kids are now grown and gone, so this is like my kid now.”
Ivy and his wife, Delois, a longtime employee of Wise County Medical Center, have three children, Delona Garrison and husband, Richard, of Decatur, Ricky Ivy and wife, Shelby, of Ponder and Sherry Brown and husband, Mike, of Eagle Mountain, three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.