Some people take to fishing like a fish to water. They seem to have been born with an inbred desire to catch fish. This select group are what the old ball coach calls “naturals.” They make great fishermen, with a built-in burning need to figure out how to catch fish. It’s a wonderful habit for a person to develop at a young age.
There are a lot of negative things kids have access to these days, but the sport of fishing is not one of them. This great sport teaches them to focus on a goal, and rewards them with the patience to be successful. The real kicker is that it draws youngsters to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the great outdoors. Those advantages are limitless and last a lifetime. Every adventure is different, and it is an ongoing learning experience.
Dad, Kevin Cloud, planted the seed, and has loved to watch it grow. His eight-year-old son Tanner had been anxiously awaiting this day for too long. Dad and son headed to the sporting goods store for Tanner’s first rod and reel. After careful inspection, the youngster handpicked a custom rod and reel that felt just right. Now to find a spot where he could make a few casts.
Kevin drove to a canal on the side of the road, but the fishing prospects weren’t very bright. The water was funky, with visibility limited to a couple of inches. Tanner was all-in, though, and in a flash, he was casting from the bank.
His new rod and reel were awesome, and he casted for long distance and accuracy. Kevin had a ringside seat as his boy was in his element.
Suddenly a toilet-bowl-flush strike erupted, and Tanner set the hook with authority. His new rod bent double as he played the fish down.
The lunker bass weighed in at 6.58 pounds, and a bass fisherman was born. Tanner, a third-grader, is the youngest member of the Little Cypress Fishing Club, and life is good. Weekends, you can find him casting and winding to his heart’s content. Happy fishing!
Chase Arabie was working the banks of the Calcasieu River recently when a giant attacked. He eventually lipped a monster sow bass that was truly a trophy.
Chase measured the fish at 25 inches, but the rusty scale wouldn’t give him an accurate weight. He and his fishing pods estimated this old river hawg at 8 1/2 pounds. Chase released the giant to spawn again. This big river bass will be memorialized with a lifelike replica. This is what catch and release is all about.
Madison Watkins was bow hunting in big-buck Illinois last year when he caught movement. A giant bruiser buck approached as Madison readied himself. With the buck broadside at 40 yards, he let an arrow fly. The shot was slightly back, so he wisely backed out and waited.
Madison and his Cajun cohorts trailed the buck for 500 yards, and their hopes were dimming. But, through perseverance and good tracking skills, they finally found this Illinois giant piled up. It was 9 at night and a prettier sight was never seen as the flashlights lit up Madison’s buck. The 11-point would score in the high 150s and put a big smile on every hunter’s face — and especially on the face of his dad and fellow bow hunter, Wade Watkins.
Sometimes you just have to be living right!