This past June 3, 2006 proved to be a very special weekend for me. It was not only the first weekend that I had off since the Oilman’s Bass Classic back in April, it was also the first day in months to get close to a bass boat & bass fishing.
I had asked for this weekend off so I could help some of my sponsor’s with a few tournament duties. I was not going to fish the tournament this year but help with the weigh-ins and other duties that it takes to put on an event of this size. Several of my sponsor’s were helping this year with all the activity that this event draws. The ALBC is working very hard with our youth of tomorrow by showing them the good things that our great outdoors has to offer to them.
Along with the many ALBC volunteers, our Tracker Marine & Boat City, USA State Team, and Burger King Volunteers, all of our tournament duties went smooth as we enjoyed our fun filled day with all the kids. This youth tournament was held out of the Basin landing @ Henderson Swamp Lake in Henderson, La. The fishing began early at 6:30 am with a morning coke/orange juice and a hot Burger King biscuit. Each child was also given a free can of baits for the tournament. The tournament was divided into 3 classes for age & types of fish. We had a bream, crappie, & bass division. We also had a special class just for “other fish”. Now you must remember that we are Cajun down here and if it swims, we eat it! The other class was for gar, goo fish and any other fish known to mankind.
The final weigh-in time was set at noon so that all the weights could be calculated while the kids ate lunch. Once again the local Burger King of Henderson provided a great lunch for all of us. I know that I ate well over my share of burgers, but they sure were good. After lunch the drawing of door prizes kept all the kids on the edge of their chairs. The door prizes were rod & reels to mountain bikes to anything in between. I know there were enough prizes for all kids to take something home from this fine event. We also had guest speakers who not only talked about fishing, but encouraged the kids to do well in school & to enjoy our great outdoors. I was asked to talk about how much tackle it takes to fish a weekend tournament. To this day, I think I was set up on this question because I should have been sitting in the crowd with the kids learning about this topic. It seems that I have the bait monkey disease and he is always sitting on my shoulders everywhere I go these days. Instead of me telling the wife that the devil make me do it, I have to look her in the eyes and tell her that the bait monkey bit me again.
The ALBC put on a great tournament this year with more kids than last year. This special day just keeps getting bigger which means we are turning more kids toward fishing & the great outdoors than onto the streets of our cities. I for one am sure proud of this fact and I hope to see all these fine kids next year as the 23rd Annual ALBC Tournament rolls around. You can bet that I will be there to help and enjoy the fun. Maybe next year I will be able to tell all the kids how to get rid of that bait monkey. You know, the one that spends all your money and fills all your tackle bags with baits until you can’t tote them any more!
Until next time, tight lines & happy fishing! Please remember to take a child fishing, it just might make you a Star in their little eyes or show them that someone special cares about them! Also please remember our TROOPS; it is because of them that we have this great FREEDOM to enjoy our kids & the great outdoors!