Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The Fishing Tournament We Almost Won in 20 Minutes!
Our local High School Football Booster Club held its third annual Bass fishing tournament this past Saturday. This is a two man event in which you can fish anywhere you want and weigh in your three biggest fish. First prize to the winning team is $500 and a boat load of goodies. They also have prizes for the biggest fish caught for the day and different prizes for kids who fish in the tournament. There were 70 teams signed up to fish for the day and a large crowd gathered for the weigh in.
My partner for the day was none other than my 7 year old son Reid. Saturday morning was expecting temperatures in the high 30's so I made the decision to sleep in. My plan was to let the day warm up a bit and then hit a few neighborhood ponds in hopes of landing 3 fish that we could weigh in. My primary goal was for Reid to catch a fish so that he would be eligible for the kids big fish prize. He got up and got himself dressed as I did some work in the yard. He declared himself ready to go, so we loaded up the golf cart and took off.
Our first stop was his Papa's house. My parents live just down the road and have about a 4 acre pond. I know that there are some big fish in this pond because I have put several large fish in this pond over the past few years including 2 over 8 and one that was 9.5lbs. The biggest ever caught out of my childhood fishing hole was 12 pounds. We fished the pond pretty hard with not a lot of luck. I caught one small fish and threw him back. We decided to move on.
We headed down the street a little further to our second pond. This is a nice size pond with some cypress structure. We fished this pond with gusto to no avail. Not one bite. Time to move on!
Our third pond was a little pond that always produces fish. We have access to a little boat there so we loaded up our stuff and paddled out to where we always catch fish. You guessed it. Not one fish! I was stumped and Reid had lost patience. We decided to load up the gear and head for the house. We would grab some lunch and go watch the weigh in. At least we could have a good time watching teams bring in their fish.
As we were having lunch, my good friend Hal Wiley called me to see how we were doing. Hal was fishing with his son who is the same age as Reid. Hal had the same goal in mind that I did. He wanted his son to catch a fish for the kids division. I told him of our luck and he told me that the fish were biting at his little pond behind his house and to bring Reid. We decided to give it a try. Hal's house is only about two miles from the weigh in site so I figured we could stop in on the way.
We pulled up on the pond dam and got out a couple of poles. On my second cast I hung a 4.28lb bass. In 20 minutes I had caught a total of 6 more fish. They all looked liked twins as they were all in the three pound range. We had three fish that we could weigh in, but Reid had not caught one yet. I tried my best to coach him on where to throw his bait. He finally got a hit and landed a bass that weighed 3 pounds on the nose. It was the smallest bass out of the ones that we caught, but he caught it and therefore he had a fish that he could weigh in. We packed up and left! It took about 20 minutes!!
We were the first team to weigh our fish. We totaled a little over 10 lbs. I knew we would not finish near the top as a team, but Reid had a chance at the big fish prize for a kid. We actually finished in the top 15 for the day and Reid held on to the lead in his division for 68 more teams. The last team of the day weighed in a 4lb bass that was caught by a 4 year old little boy to edge him out. It was still a great day!
A local TV station interviewed Reid and will hopefully be up for the world to see on Youtube very soon. I will let you know when it will be available. I am glad to say that the interview did not go like this.....
Reid, tell us about your day:
Well, Team Diawa had a good day today. Our Stren line hung tuff as our Eagle Claw hooks found their mark attached to those Strike King Lures. We were able to land our fish with the help of The Big Dipper fishing net and keep them alive in our Yeti Cooler by using a Bubble Box aerator. If it wasn't for Gatorade and Lance crackers, I'm not sure we would have had the opportunity to brave the elements and fight off hunger and thirst. I'm just glad that Northface provided us with the proper gear to keep the wind from chilling our inner core and allowing us to use those Ugly Stick rods to our advantage. But I need to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors Browning Fishing and Duckpower, Inc. Without them none of this would be possible.
How do you feel about you leading the big fish category:
I'm just happy to be here thanks to our Jeep Wrangler who brought us to the weigh in on time on those Goodyear Tires, and for that Gerber booster seat in which I was lucky enough to sit. If it wasn't for that, then this big fish that was caught on a Dancin' eel using a Zebco 33 rod and reel combination wouldn't have been possible.
Thank you Reid:
You bet. Can I have a dollar so I can buy a Coke?
Luckily the interview was more about fishing with your kids and I got a chance to tell why I thought that was important. If you take your kids hunting and fishing, then you will not have to hunt and fish for your kids!!
Take a kid fishing! It makes winners out of all of us!