A short pause in the action

I’m writing this one a little early so I don’t know who won the Bassmaster Classic Wild Card (see results here). We do know who didn’t, however. That would be me. I had a horrible first day. That’s all it takes at this level. It was really disappointing.

Congratulations to the winner. I wish him the best come February.

The week before the Wild Card, when we weren’t allowed to fish Okeechobee, I had a great experience. I was privileged to take a couple of young men fishing who haven’t had the best start in life. It’s something I love to do. There really isn’t any better feeling than to show kids a good time, especially if that good time includes fishing.

We fished on the Butler Chain of Lakes. They’re relatively small but the water’s deep by Florida standards and the fishing is extraordinary. At the same time we were able to see a little of how the other half lives. The people who live around there aren’t rich. They’re beyond rich. The names include Tiger Woods, Shaquille O’Neal and Ken Griffey Jr., or so I’ve been told anyway.

I said I took them fishing — that was the idea behind the whole thing — but really they seemed to like the boat more than the fishing. We spent an awful lot of our time on the water going fast and turning sharp. When I say that, I mean fast and sharp by their standards. Nothing went crazy. We were always well within safety limits. I’m not going to get anybody hurt if I can help it.

We should all do more of those kinds of things. It’s not just about fishing, or the boat. There are a lot of youngsters who need to see men acting like men in a responsible way, adult men who are doing the right things. You never know when just one short trip will change one of their lives.

We should all keep that in mind when we’re asked to volunteer or contribute. It’s not that big of a deal for most of us but it could mean the world to someone else.

As of right now, it looks like we’re all pretty much off through Christmas and on into 2014. The first Open (Southern) isn’t until the third week of January. It’s on Toho. I’ll be in Florida most of that time and probably fishing every single day. I’d like to set a record down here this year — catch at least one fish every day. If you’re addicted like I am, you can understand my thinking.

Beyond what I’ve already said there isn’t much going on. I need to find some free time to do my shopping. I want to get Tracey something nice this year, something she’ll remember. Hopefully all of you are doing the same thing for the ones you love. It’s not about how much we spend. It’s about how much we think of them and how much we care.

And we all need to remember those who are less fortunate. It’s important to do what we can to help them.

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