2013 Elite Series Sabine River Challenge Presented by STARK Cultural Venues
Sabine River System - Orange, TX, Mar 14 - 17, 2013

AOY begins, TODAY!

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

“These are the days by the sparkling river…”

Dateline: A Dining Room Table Story

To the 100 Elite anglers out on the Sabine today, know this,

every cast counts,

every tournament day is one day closer to,

Toyota Angler of the Year.

To win AOY you must first be.


“…these are the days…”

Angler of the Day.

Angler of 32 days.

Angler of 160…fish.

“…the time is now…”

Take no day off, mail no day in, never,


never let up,

and never forget, Snuffy Stirnweiss.

“…there is no past…”

I remember the cigar, the tip moving up and down as he told the tale,

no smoke, only tale.

Don’t know the day, don’t know the date. It was Buffalo; it was Spring.

ESPN had sent me to Buffalo for some sort of story, or maybe it was just a stopover on the way back to Bristol, or outward to Cleveland or Pittsburgh, don’t remember.

But it was Buffalo, it was Spring.

I remember walking up the porch steps, ringing the doorbell, and standing back to lean on the wrought iron railing, “Donnie, honey…what are you doing in town…hey Sib…Donnie is here…”

In my arms, I held an extra-large pizza and three dozen wings from the La Nova Pizza joint over there on Hertal Avenue.

As I walked into the vestibule, then down the corridor to the back room, the TV room, Sib’s room, Uncle Sibby met me half way…he glanced at the pizza box…opened the brown bag and smelled the chicken wings…then stood back…arms/hands open saying with his body, not his mouth, “So…hey…”

“In my right jacket pocket.”

And as quick as a jersey pickpocket, like lightning his hand went in and came out…came out with the cigar, the cigar that was always in my right pocket in Sib’s house.

It was Buffalo.

It was Spring.

“…there's only future…”