Make room for another Alton Jones on tour. No, Jimmye Sue and I aren't having another child. Little Alton recently started fishing team tournaments out of his own boat. I touched on it before, but my old Skeeter/Yamaha went to him for Christmas.
He's always expressed an interest in tournament fishing, and now he's finally getting to make his debut in the front of the boat. Before he always fished with me — and we had fun with that — but it's time for him to graduate to running his own ship. His first tournament on Amistad was a few weeks ago. He and a buddy got in a field of 200 boats and placed 34th. Not too bad considering they just showed up on tournament day without any practice.
He's beginning to prove himself in tournaments. It has really been a lot of fun for me watching him develop and grow into an angler, using things I've taught him and applying them to his own situations. That is very gratifying. His next event is at a lake closer to home, so he's been getting up every day at 5:30 a.m. to go practice for a few hours before school. I think he's beginning to learn that success is all about preparation. Hopefully, it pays off for him tomorrow at the Bass Champs tournament. I don't know if he'll go pro one day, that's for him to decide.
It's fun for me to see the energy and excitement in young anglers these days. When you do this for a career, it's easy to get caught up in the politics and distractions which can take attention away from fishing. It's very refreshing to be around people (like Little Alton) who love to fish for fishing's sake. Fishing is my job and loving it is the most important aspect of it, as well as teaching others.