America is divided in a lot of ways, and today, I’m going to do something that goes against one of my fundamental beliefs – talk about Christmas before Thanksgiving even gets here.

I’ve never started putting up Christmas decorations until after the last turkey sandwich leftovers are long gone, and that tradition will continue. But I want to get notice out about an upcoming fishing tournament that’ll benefit Toys for Tots and bring a little extra holiday happiness to a bunch of kids in need.

Fish On Texas! is hosting its 3rd Annual Toys for Tots Catfish Tournament on Dec. 7 at Lake Waco, with headquarters being at Twin Bridges Park, and there are several divisions and numerous prizes up for grabs.

The divisions are boat ($80 entry per team), bank ($20 per team), and junior ($5 for anglers 16 and younger), and prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in each. Other awards will go to big fish, skunk (no fish), big ugly (biggest carp, gar, or drum), and there’ll be plenty of raffle prizes going out.

Teams of two are allowed for bank teams, and 3-person teams can fish from boats. Registration/check-in is at 5 a.m., and fishing will run from 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. Competitors have to be in the weigh-in line by 3:30. There’s a 4-pole limit per adult, and a 2-pole limit for the junior division. The heaviest 5-fish bag wins.

Each entry will also cover the cost of donating a new, unwrapped toy to a kid in need. Sponsorships are available, and donations are welcome. Google Fish On Texas! to find a link to their social media page and find out more about how to support this tourney.

Have bait, will travel

One of the guys you’ll see at the Toys for Tots tournament will be Richard Parrett, who has appeared in the Tribune-Herald outdoor column over the years. Parrett, who is now retired, now runs a mobile bait and tackle shop, making appearances at fishing tournaments and other outdoor events.

Parrett is also partnered with Texas Parks and Wildlife, and is a certified mobile weigh station. So next time you run out of bait or catch a whopper and want to get it certified as a record, call Parrett at 254-709-8931.

A different outdoor sport

I’ve written about Andy and Matt McNew so many times over the years that my computer doesn’t even put that red spell check line underneath their last name. Since they were in junior high, their outdoor successes and adventures, along with football successes in high school and college, have appeared on this page.

These days, they don’t have much time for fishing and hunting, thanks to their jobs teaching and coaching high school football (Andy is in his second year at defending state champion La Vega and Matt is a first-year coach at Bruceville-Eddy).

And it looks like I’ll be waiting a while longer for the next story, as both are heading to the playoffs. Congratulations to the McNew boys, and keep on.

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