Thursday, August 18, 2011
Close to Nowhere
Went to fishing tournament — didn’t fish
Family and good friend Marion Pryor called me Wednesday and asked if I’d like to go with her to a fishing tournament. My first reaction was to wonder why she’d asked me. I don’t fish, ever.
Turns out, Marion and Sonny’s oldest grandson Nathan was a participant in the tournament. Nathan won the MS Junior Bass Tournament with The Bass Federation and had qualified to fish in the national championship.
The national championship for anything is a big deal, and this was a really big deal. Sponsored by the National Guard, there were several fishermen as guests that earned half a million dollars and up fishing in tournaments. I may be remembering wrong, but I think the really big guest had won over $2,000,000. Fishing!
Marion and I, along with Nathan’s parents, Angela and Chris Morlock, and Angela’s parents, Nancy and Harold Dunlap, were at the DeGray Lake boat ramps at 5 a.m. on Friday to watch the boats “blast off.” The 41 boats, with 82 state champion fishers, ranging in age from around 9-10 to 18, didn’t actually leave the boat ramp until around 6:30 a.m. It was really a cool sight watching all the boats cluster around the floating dock and then take off to go fishing for six hours.
While they were fishing, the rest of us went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, then Marion and I took off shopping.
Arkadelphia, Ark., is a nice town, but there were no quilt shops to be found. We did find a great thrift shop and a Dollar Tree store.
We had to be back at the boat ramp by 1:30 p.m. for the weigh-in and we got there early for a good seat.
So, from about 12:30 until around 3:30 or 4, when the weigh in was finished, we all sat in the 100-degree heat. Nathan, naturally, was one of the last ones to weigh in. He only had one fish, but it was a whopper and weighed about half a pound less than the winner, who had three fish.
Nathan didn’t advance to the next round, but another guy in his fishing group did, Matt Baker of Olive Branch. Matt and Nathan are both in the Mid-South Junior Bass Club, directed by Nathan’s dad, Chris Morlock. Matt came in fifth, nationwide.
Marion bought me a birthday steak dinner at a fish place called Fish Net that was the best steak I think I’ve ever eaten. I also discovered spicy pickled green tomato relish there. Yummm!
We spent Saturday in Hot Springs, where I found a quilt shop and we got home late Saturday night, exhausted but happy!
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