I have to smile in reading of Todd Woods' recent win on Clear Lake. One just does not read a lot about African Americans competing in, never mind winning, a bass fishing event. In the turbulent early '60's, my parents moved their 11 children out of New Orleans to the very edge of this huge Delta. That was a big blessing for this guy, for Lake Cataouatche was directly in my back yard.
I saved some money from grass-cutting and other deals and bought a fishing rod and some lures, and started walking the banks of these bayous, catching literally hundreds of bass along the way. One day, I happened upon a young black angler, Jay, who was giving the bass a hard time also. This encounter started a life long friendship and it was truly a lucky day. Over the years, Jay and I have boated some of the largest bass on this Delta. He just had the knack of knowing his prey, and how to take advantage of the prevailing conditions.
I would have never become a fisherman if we had stayed in the concrete city and I would surely have never met Jay either. Over the years, I have made it a point to take youngsters out to fish. I love to take out young guys who have no access to the waterways and nobody to show them. Many have become fishermen – and good citizens. It is a shame we cannot involve more of the youth in our cities in sports such as fishing. Our prisons would be a lot less full, and a drive-by would take on a whole new meaning.