Jaxon Heard

The photo is of three-year-old Jaxon Heard with his first fish, a largemouth bass, that he caught from a small lake in Mt. Calm while fishing with his family.

Courtesy of Susie Heard

I was 3 years old when my dad first took me fishing, and I’m not sure whether my memories of that trip are from the day itself or from the stories I heard about it over the years.

Long before cell phones were around to document a kid’s first catch (or to allow a dad to call his wife after darkness fell to let her know that he and his son were on their way home and not lying in a ditch somewhere), all people really had to go on when it came to chronicling a monumental event like that was through the spoken word.

I caught a sunfish on my first cast, and instead of throwing it back, I decided to hold on to the fish for the rest of the day – and I mean, I literally held on to that little fish for the rest of the day and into the night. It was a one-and-done. By the time we made it home around 10 p.m., it had dried out and its skin had chemically fused to mine.

Since I was only 3, I didn’t understand all the names my mom was calling my dad, but I do remember getting scoured in the tub, and if I had been able to count to 3 that night, I would have been able to determine how many layers of skin she scrubbed off of my hand.

Thanks to modern technology, nowadays, a kid’s first fish doesn’t have to be stressful at all, and it can be instantaneously broadcast for the world to see, as was the case last week when 3 year-old Jaxon Heard reeled in his first fish.

Jaxon’s family is steeped in the outdoors and has shared the love for fishing with him, and on a recent day at the Mt. Calm baseball fields with his mother, Taylor, and grandparents, Terry and Susie Heard, he hung into his first largemouth bass.

“We were using wacky worms, and the fish were really hitting hard,” Susie said. “He hooked the fish and was excited and really struggling to get it in, especially as it got closer to the bank.” Jaxon got a little advice and assistance from his family during the fight, and after landing his fish, he announced that he had caught a “cat perch” that was “5 feet long.”

With a description like that, I’d say we have another natural-born fisherman and fish-tale teller in our midst. Welcome to the club, Jaxon.

Topwater bite going strong at Lake Whitney

Catching fish on topwater baits is about the most exciting way to go. Not only do you feel the fish on the other end of the line, but you get to see the explosive strike that sprays water and stirs the heart.

Lake Whitney striper guide Clay Yadon says the topwater bite is going strong at his home lake, followed by just as much action afterward.

“It’s been crazy good,” he said. “They’re up shallow hitting topwater baits early on in the day, and after that bite is over, we’re getting out and fishing the humps and channel edges, and drifting the flats in 20 feet of water and absolutely murdering them.” He reports easily going through 100 shad each day.

On trip after trip in recent weeks, Yadon and his customers have limited out on stripers and then turned their attention to catching sand bass on RSR slabs.

Yadon says he’s got a few days open on his calendar between now and the end of May. But once in a while he’ll have a trip cancellation that can be picked up on short notice. Check out his Facebook page (Reel Deal Striper Guide Service) for day-by-day accounts and announcements.

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