Nebo and the Skeeter Owner's Tournament

It’s been a busy week. I’ve had Nebo at the vet for his allergies, and Trait and I have been getting ready for the 26th Annual Skeeter Owner’s Tournament here on Lake Fork starting June 6 and ending June 9. If you don’t know, Nebo is our dog. How he joined our family is a story in and of itself. 

We were at Mount Nebo State Park back in 2014 when this dog came out of the woods and jumped into my truck. The door was open. He didn’t miss a step. He just hopped right in like he owned it. He was cute, but it was obvious he’d been neglected. He was thin, had fleas and ticks and was generally an unkempt mess. He was a lost stray, for sure.  

I told Trait that we couldn’t keep him. A dog was too much responsibility with our schedule and with the amount of traveling we do all the time. I explained to her why it wouldn’t work. Well, that went over like a lead balloon. 

She looked at him and started crying — he did look pitiful — and so I did the only thing a real man could do under the circumstances. I folded like a cheap suit. Nebo got a good dinner, a warm bath and lots of hugs and kisses. He’s now a full-fledged member of the Zaldain family with all the rights and privileges that go with it, and I’m glad of it.

Now let’s turn our attention to the Skeeter tournament. It’s a big deal and shows their commitment to the sport of bass fishing.

At last count they are expecting something like 2,300 people. Not all of them will have boats, but I’m guessing at least half or better of them will so it’ll be busy from daylight to dark. 

The tournament is a little different from most. You can launch at any ramp on Lake Fork and there’ll be hourly weigh-ins along with big fish prizes and I think total weight. There’s a Junior Division and a Ladies Division. In total there’s something over $200,000 in cash and prizes that’ll be given away, and that doesn’t count all the good food they’ll provide.  

Trait and I are both sponsored by Skeeter so it’ll be a family deal. That’s pretty neat, getting to work with your wife on something you both love. As professionals we won’t be competing, but we will be talking family and bass fishing with as many anglers as possible. 

Helping out a sponsor and supporter like Skeeter is rewarding. The boat thing is kind of funny. Regardless of the make of boat you own you have a certain affinity with other anglers who own the same make, especially if it’s the same model and year. It’s almost like being in a huge family with everyone having the same interests and goals. 

But I have to tell you that swapping stories and techniques with hundreds of dedicated bass anglers is about as good. It’s surprising, too, the things you learn that you never even thought about. Let me tell you that there are a lot of anglers who for a variety of reasons never turned pro but who can fish with the best of us.

Next time we’ll turn our attention to actually catching bass. If you have something you’d like me to discuss, post it up under this column. I’ll help if I can.