College hoops and bass

Coming back from California is kind of like having jetlag. It's like coming back from Japan or something. Between the long drive and the time change, it's tough. Usually I can never sleep past 6 a.m., but lately I find myself sleeping until eight or so. I need to get back into the proper time groove before we head back East. That's always a bit of an adjustment.

Since I didn't make the cut at Clear Lake, rather than heading straight back home, we went back to the San Francisco area to watch the Baylor Lady Bears play their first-round NCAA tournament game at Berkeley. We went to cheer them on and they won that as well as their second game. They're in the Sweet 16 now as well as the men. Good luck to the Baylor men's and women's basketball teams. We really have become a college basketball family.

It's funny because growing up I never watched it, but getting to know the coaches and seeing the success they're having makes it really easy to get into. I don't know what we're going to do when the tournament is over. I guess I'll have to start fishing again!

I'm getting to do something really cool tomorrow. I'm going to fish a test lake for the ShareLunker program. It's a sampling mission with the TPWD. It's billed as helping the state, but really what it means is I get to go fish a really great pond. What they've done is taken ShareLunker fry and put them into this strip mine lake. It's several hundred acres, is about 70 feet deep and has vegetation all the way around to about 20 feet deep. Five years ago they killed it out completely then began stocking every year class from the ShareLunker program. The oldest fish in there is 4 years old. That means we won't be catching 12-pounders, but it's fished on a very limited basis. There will be lots of 3- to 5-pounders. They're sampling the 4- and 5-pounders we catch by clipping a fin and finding out who the parent is. That way the can monitor the effectiveness of the ShareLunker program. I've fished that lake one other time, and it was beyond good.

We caught hundreds of fish at my LifeLine event there last year. It was the most fish I've ever caught in a day. But, since their goal is to see how big of a fish they can come up with in there, I'm going to spend a lot of time with a swimbait tomorrow. The excuse on the swimbait is to throw something they've never seen, but these fish haven't seen anything! A spinnerbait could work just as well, I guess.

Now, to get you up to date on Little Alton: Last week he fished the Bass Champs tournament down at Lake Amistad, and he and his partner finished second out of 170-some-odd boats. They had 25.86 pounds and lost by about 3 ounces. They were the highest finishing Skeeter, so they won the Skeeter bonus money as well. All told, they won about $6,000. That will go into his fishing fund to give him a little bit of padding for more events. I am really proud of him. Seeing him captain his own boat and make decisions on his own and do that well was impressive.

Early this next week I'll be doing a piece with our local news channel on how to take your kids fishing. It's aimed at folks who may not know how to fish. We're going to a local tackle store to show off some basic equipment as well as show some basic how-to. It'll be a live deal. Hopefully, we can help some folks get out on the water.