No this isn't the title from the new Asleep at the Wheel album. This is that special time in Texas that comes along once a year when the temperature gauges reach that magical 90% mark. When the Northerns have made their last blow through the state, and the winds have shifted around from the South. And for the next 4 or 5 months the southern states get to return the favor to our neighbors up North and blow our crappy weather for them to enjoy. This is the time of year for putting off those mowing the yard chores, painting the house, fixing up the flower beds, cleaning the garage, or any other chore that got put off cause it was too cold to get done during the past several months. This is the time of year of Bar-B-Que filled weekends and garage sales. A time to get the pool ready for another season of chlorine filled eyes and air mattresses. Times to stretch out the hammock and watch the grass grow. Time to throw another horseshoe and eating watermelons. The time for grasshoppers and dragonflies, junebugs and butterflies, times for those damn lovebugs that seem to be everywhere. And its about damn time to get out the old boats, dust off the cobwebs and do some serious fishing!!
Anglers across Texas are waking from the winter slumbers. The Rockets have made a quick exit from the playoffs, so there is no excuses for staying home to watch the East Coast battle the West, unless the Spurs can pull off a miracle. Its time to take to the water with avenges to stockpile those freezers with some nice fillets for the coming summer fish fry's. Time to get up off the couch from watching those same old cable fishing shows where they catch trout after trout and do some catching of your own. Its time for those old familiar smells of summer of shrimp tasting Budweiser, squid and bologna sandwiches, fish-guts and pretzels. And you thought that plumbers were the only people not suppose to bite their fingernails. Its the time of summer fishing trip with the occasional fishing tournament throw in just for the fun of it.
All along the Texas coast on any given weekend anglers can find a fishing tournament in just about any category that suits their fishing style. From offshore to the back bays, from trout and reds, to kings and lings, tournament will be popping up during the next 4 to 5 months. Some tournaments like the CCA annual last 4 months and includes the entire gulf coast of Texas. This tournament offers some fabulous prizes for those anglers lucky enough to catch that special fish. Others like the hundreds being held on any given day at any given bait/tackle shop along the coast. Although the prizes may not be as big as the others, the entry fee is smaller, the Bar-B-Que at the awards ceremony is just as satisfying and the fish stories just as full of BS as the bigger tournaments. With a ten dollar or so entry fee, some extra time on your hands and some cold beer in the ice chest these little one or two day tournaments is just what the doctor ordered for a nice relaxing way to spend the weekend. Who knows you may even catch something that takes home the top prize, which is just icing on the cake.
For those anglers that are really looking to make a name for themselves there is the Trout Masters, held at various locations along the Texas Coast during the early spring and summer fishing season. The entry fees are a little on the pricey side, and you earn points depending on your finishes along the tournament trail. With the winner being the person who has accumulated the most points at the end of the tournament. Kinda like the NASCAR of trout fishing with your ride being those supersonic bay boats with 200 Johnson stuck on the back. Some nice prize monies can be accumulated along the way, but the real prize is the prestigious prize of trout master awarded to the leading point angler. Which should translate into some nice sponsorship or at least some decent bragging rights at the local bait camp.
So whatever classification you feel applies to you be it a novice junior to the most experienced old fart on the water. Somewhere, sometime, somehow you ought to be able to find a tournament or two along this vast Texas coast that suit your fishing style. Plop down a couple of dollars and enjoy the weekend festivities. Just like anything else in life, you can not win, if you do not play. There is no other feeling like coming in from a hard day of throwing lures and watching popping corks, when you know you have a monster trout in the live well. As far as that goes there is no other feeling like weighing in a monster trout and having a bigger monster trout weigh in 5 minutes before the dead line. But hey that's what it's all about. It's being on the winning side of the scale that can truly make for an memorable fishing trip that story can be told for many a fishing season to come. For those on the other side of the scale that story will also be told for many a fishing season to come, just not by you.
Finally check out some of the children tournaments that are held throughout the summer fishing season. Local charity group sponsors many of the tournaments for the disadvantage younger anglers out there that don't get to wet a hook as often as they would like. Most of these tournaments are strictly voluntary and are always looking for help. The rewards for donating ones time to one of these charities tournament can more often than not far exceeds the rewards from winning some of the other more prestigious tournaments along the coast. To see a younguns smile when he reels in that above average sheepshead is what fishing is all about. Where most of the participants aren't worried about winning a prize, even though most all anglers get something. It's just the sheer joy of catching something or even getting out of the house to enjoy the great outdoors. Heck even the saltiest of anglers are sure to crack a few smiles over the coarse of a day. It is nice dose of reality that all of us can use a little of every now and then. And a nice way to remind us once again what fishing and life is all about. A slimy fish on the end of your line and the sun in your face, it doesn't get any better than that. And who said fishing is a waste of time, surely not that kid with the big smile on his face..