How is it possible that creatures with brains the size of a peanut have such dominance over us?

No, I’m not talking about politicians, I’m talking about largemouth bass, and we get up at all hours of the night to go catch them, spend way too much money on fishing gear, and research/discuss/plan trips for hours before a trip. So much time and money are invested in chasing these green fish that you’d think we were trying to cure a disease.

But there’s also a lot of good coming out of bass fishing, and the weekend of June 30 – July 1 is testament to that, and you won’t have to go far to enjoy a couple days of fun, food, catching fish, and rubbing elbows with some of the top personalities in fishing. And as a kicker, you’ll be doing something good for kids with disabilities and other special needs.

CAST for Kids is hosting a celebrity pro-am fishing tournament June 30 – July 1 that will pair up professional and tournament anglers with special-needs kids in a day of competition and fun. The organization is the largest fishing charity in the U.S. and benefits kids with special physical, mental, and other conditions.

Some of the fishing world’s biggest names will be in Waco competing and teaching their skills and secrets to participants. Waco area pro Alton Jones will be joined by Jimmy Houston, Roland Martin, Gary Yamamoto, Wade Middleton, Keith Combs, Colt McCoy, and more.

A fundraiser buffet dinner will be held June 30 beginning at 5 p.m. at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco, where attendees can meet-and-greet the pros; bid on auction items (including bidding for a pro to accompany your team in the tournament); enjoy cocktails, door prizes, and raffles; and enjoy a delicious meal.

The next morning, anglers will compete for the $25,000 in cash and prizes, including a guaranteed $10,000 payout to the team with the heaviest 3-fish sack. The tourney is headquartered at Lake Waco’s Airport Beach Park and starts at 6 a.m., and the CAST for Kids event runs from 8:30 – 11 a.m.

The best part of these kinds of events is watching the kids and their families blur the lines between disability and ability – whether by catching fish, sharing a meal, or through the games and activities. Kids who participate will receive their own rod & reel, tackle box, t-shirt, and personalized plaque.

Organizers welcome participants, volunteers, and fishing coaches. For more information, call Lauren Marx at 254-760-6200 or e-mail her at castforkidswaco@gmail.com.

Hello summer!

It didn’t take long for the sun to start reminding us that this is summertime in Texas, and you can bet we’ll start setting high temperature records for 2017 on almost a daily basis.

The heat and light from the sun can be overwhelming, and if you’re on the water, you not only have the blast coming down from above, but also the light reflecting off the water’s surface. A mid-day summer fishing trip calls for some extra skin protection and hydration techniques like applying sunblock regularly, wearing protective clothing and hats, and drinking plenty of water or sports drinks to keep from becoming dehydrated. Sorry, but as wet as beer feels going down your throat, it doesn’t help the cause, so at least balance out your consumption.

In my mind, the best time to fish during summer months is early and late in the day when the sun’s rays are low and temperatures are more comfortable. Low light conditions are also preferable to most fish when it comes to feeding. Everybody wants to eat in relative comfort.

When fishing around dawn or dusk, choose a bait that’s darker in color than lighter and you’ll get more bites.

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