By TODD NAFE
When I was growing up, I always broke or bent my glasses. I played just about every sport that was around, and I also spent time running around in the woods like an infantryman, and about half of my school photos look like I had just finished. being hit in the face with a basketball.
Once, while fishing at Lake Waco on a hot summer afternoon, I decided to cool off with a swim, and as I fell off the edge of the boat into the water, my goggles were swept away by the splashes. I could see them swaying downward in the water, and I started to grab them, thrashing wildly as if I had some kind of conniption. Luckily, I was able to throw them into my hand before they fell to the bottom.
Once back on board, I had an idea to prevent this from happening again, so I broke off a few pieces of a polystyrene cooler lid and threaded the goggle frame ear cups through them, allowing them to float in the water.
A few days later, I had gotten some plastic tubing and made a goggle floatation device that my friend Spencer called the Opti-Float (named after Steve Martin’s Opti-Grab), and I had no I don’t even have to worry about losing my glasses. if I did a cannonball off the back of the boat.
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But unlike Steve Martin’s character, I didn’t commercialize my invention. A few years later, however, someone did and got rich. Sometimes necessity is a mother.
There are plenty of things just waiting to be obtained, including easy ways to get into fishing logs. Most lakes have a high enough threshold to set new records for largemouth bass, but there are so many species and categories not met or claimed by someone’s little fish that if you take the time to officially weigh your catch, you could probably set a new body of water record in the space of a weekend.
For example, I know I caught a freshwater drum that weighed over 5.80 pounds from Lake Waco, but I didn’t feel like hauling a big gaspergou to the Academy to weigh it down on the official scale because I was busy catching crappie for a fish fry when this huge drum swam past and made me think I had a big wallmouth on the line.
If you’re using a fly rod or are a beginner angler, body check-in bars are usually pretty low for central Texas waters. In fact, the Junior Angler Largemouth Bass record for Lake Brazos is 2 pounds, and surely one fly fisherman has caught a white bass over 1.3 pounds from Lake Waco in the last five years. .
The thing about catching a record fish – or coming up with a multi-million dollar idea – is that you can’t win the prize if you don’t put yourself out there.
It’s tournament time!
You say you’re a good bass fisherman? Want to put money where your mouth is? Well, the Big Sticks Bass Club Open Tournament this Saturday at Lake Waco will let you see how you stack up against the best anglers in Central Texas.
The tournament will be headquartered at the Speegleville boat launch (marina) and the entry cost is $60 per team. There’s also a $10 raffle for a half-day guided fishing trip with Hooked Up Outdoors. The tournament runs from first light to 3 p.m. and the raffle prize will be awarded after the weigh-in. There is a guaranteed prize of $1,000 for the winner, and payout for other finishers will be determined by the number of competing teams.
For more information, call 254-855-9619.
Let’s be careful there
Nothing can ruin a day outdoors like a careless accident, but the proper preparation and practice of safety will almost always keep these problems out of the way.
Some things to remember are to make sure your fishing license and boat registration are up to date, to have safety equipment on board (fire extinguisher, flotation devices, working lights and horn, first aid kit , sunscreen/insect repellent, etc.), and good boating, fishing, and swimming practices.