Bad news, little Alton...

Before I get to the bad news, let me get some things out of the way. Well, the talk that I gave at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center last week went really well. It was a lot of fun and I learned a bunch of good stuff. It was a different forum than I was expecting, too. It was a group of anglers, biologists and politicians getting together to promote fisheries management and conservation efforts. It was very well received by all parties. Sometimes there can be frustrations between these three groups as their key interests don't always align. But this went really well and it was a huge success. We talked of everything from increasing habitat for bass to aquatic plant management to stocking efforts to getting youth involved in all aspects of the sport. I think there is a lot of potential for a lot of good to come from it. Hopefully this kind of meeting will catch on.

Now for the bad news. Little Alton, I've got to sell your boat. This is for real. It's happening. I'm sorry. But, there is an upswing. Since your 20i will be gone, you'll be upgrading to my FX with the Yamaha VMax SHO motor. The main reasons I'm doing this is because I always want my children to know that we, as their parents, will always reward good decisions. Lately I've seen him make some really good choices in his life. He's got good friends, and is making good choices in both moral and spiritual parts of life. I chalk that up to the fact that he has a lot of his mother in him! Secondarily, this is the last boat he'll ever get from dear ol' dad. There's never been a more reliable engine than that SHO or a better fishing platform than the FX. I hope it serves him well through his Baylor career and as he starts out in tournament fishing.

Oh, and Alton, I don't have a new boat yet so we'll have to share the FX for a bit. Hope that works for you. I don't know if you all recall, but BASS did a story on Little Alton and I back when he turned 12 and I gave him his first boat. It was the same boat that my parents gave me when I turned 12. Check out the picture. It's an old Gamefisher bathtub-style boat. I think it's a 1973 or 1974 model. When I gave it to him I put a brand new 25-horse motor on it because the old one didn't run. We now keep it down at a private lake in east Texas. It's what I learned to fish from and it's what he learned to fish from. I see this FX deal as a continuation of that legacy. I'm just as excited today as I was when he turned 12 when I gave him the keys to that old Gamefisher.

Two other things: I'm going to a private lake later today to fish, and secondly, I'm in the planning stage of my second trip of the year to Falcon Lake. It's not going to happen until the very end of this month, but I'll let everyone know more about that as it gets closer. While I'm there, I'm going to renew my quest to catch my personal best bass. I'll be back next week to let you all know about Alton's reaction to getting his new boat and final details about the next Falcon trip! Oh, one other thing, we're considering breeding Grace, our youngest dog, with another championship bloodline dog as we're getting ramped up for bird season. I'll get back with you all on that later.

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