As I prepare this week's article, I do so from my
grandmother's room at the nursing home where she resides since
the passing of my grandfather in April. She has suffered for the
past 11 years from the dreadful condition known as, Alzheimer's
Disease. Her health is fading and the end is near. In the many
hours I have and will spend with her until her demise, my
thoughts turn to reflections of my life with both of my
grandparents and my parents. We have had many wonderful years
together. Her passing will mark the end of an era in my life,
and the beginning of another.
In looking back over the impact my grandparents and parents
have had on me, I have a tremendous amount of appreciation for
their helping me learn to love the outdoors. Although my
grandmother was not the outdoors type, she encouraged my
grandfather to take us fishing as often as possible. My earliest
memories of fishing are with my grandfather and father.
Each summer my brothers and I came to Corsicana for a month
long visit with my mother's parents. My grandfather, Avery
Jackson, usually took a week of vacation so we could fish all
day, everyday. After returning to work, he would come home each
day and take us fishing until dark and all day on Saturday. On
Sunday, they had us in church, so we didn't fish one day out of
the week. Each summer, we got new cane poles, our primary means
of fishing. There is no telling how much money my grandfather
spent on minnows for us to go fishing. Quite a bit, I am sure.
We fished stock tanks and small lakes, mostly. We fished for
anything that would bite. We always had a great time, as long as
we were fishing. He always seemed to have time to take us.
My earliest recollection of fishing with my father is bass
fishing. My dad was always fishing bass tournaments. At one time
he was a member of three different bass clubs at the same time.
He took us out as often as he could. This is where my brothers,
Todd and Pat, and myself, learned to fish with rod and reels and
artificial lures. Although totally different from our cane pole
fishing around Corsicana, it was equally enjoyable and
educational. I am thankful that both of these important men in
my life took the time to share an American heritage with me,
Fishing is the number one leisure sport in America. More
people are involved in and more money is spent each year on
fishing than any other sport in our country. It is just good,
clean, wholesome fun for the whole family.
As both my grandfather and I got older, it became my job to
take him fishing instead of the other way around. He loved to go
to Richland-Chambers and catch sandbass when they were
schooling. Just before his death, we had made plans to go give
them a try in the upcoming days. Unfortunately, I will not have
the chance to do so. I will always wish we had been able to go,
one more time.
I am blessed with still having my father. He and I fish
together several times a year. We fish a few bass tournaments
together and we fish for bass and stripers when I visit him in
Arkansas. Occasionally we will travel to Missouri to trout fish.
Some of the best times we have ever had together have been on
the water and on the shoreline, fishing together.
Both of my brothers and I love to fish and do so regularly.
Had it not been for the love and dedication of my two greatest
heroes, who taught us to love, appreciate and respect the
outdoors, we might have missed out on the greatest pastime in
Take time to pass on an American tradition. Share the
heritage of fishing. Take a youngster or an adult fishing. It
might be the greatest thing you could ever do for them. If you
were lucky enough to have, now gray or slick headed men, take
you fishing when you were younger, find time to return the
favor. You might be surprised how much fun you have and how much
those old dogs can still teach us young pups. Until next time,
enjoy the Texas outdoors.
Email Tom at:
Lester owns and operates Four Seasons Lawnscape, a landscape and
lawn maintenance service, in Corsicana, Texas. He has fished for
most of his 35 years to some degree or another. He fishes
competitively in bass tournaments and is beginning his professional
bass fishing career in the BASS invitational circuit and the
Tom lives with his wife, Kelly, in
Corsicana, Texas, only a few miles from Richland-Chambers reservoir,
one of the hottest new bass lakes to open in Texas in the past ten
years. He formally resided in Cleburne, Texas, where he guided,
part-time, for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Tom is currently on
the field staff for Abu-Garcia, Norman Lures, Bill Lewis Lures, and
Inspiration Lures. He is also on the pro staff for Kalin's
,Castaway rods, and P-Line.
Tom enjoys fishing, hunting and writing
his outdoor column for the Corsicana Daily Sun and free-lance
writing. He is a former high school Agricultural Science instructor
and animal health pharmaceutical sales rep. He graduated from Texas
A&M University with a B.S in Agricultural Education and a Master of
Education degree. Tom likes being his own boss so he can take off to
go fishing, whenever he likes, and leave his wife in charge of the
Tom Lester II
Tom Lester II fishes competitively in bass tournaments and
enjoys his professional bass fishing career in the BASS circuit. In
addition to being a professional angler, Tom has been writing
outdoor articles for the past 3 years. His articles appear in his
hometown newspaper and on several internet web sites related to
fishing. Tom has recently developed an "on-line pro staff" program
to help readers by providing an avenue for them to ask a
manufacturer's pro staff member questions about products he uses in
the professional bass fishing arena.
He and his wife also own and operate Four Seasons Lawnscape, a
landscape and lawn maintenance service, in Corsicana, Texas. He has
fished for most of his 37 years to some degree or another.
Tom lives with his wife, Kelly, and daughters, Megan and
Tatum, in Corsicana, Texas, only a few miles from Richland-Chambers
reservoir, one of the hottest new bass lakes to open in Texas in the
past ten years. He formerly resided in Cleburne, Texas, where he
guided, part-time, for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Tom currently
serves on the pro staff for several
Tom enjoys fishing, hunting and writing his outdoor column for
the Corsicana Daily Sun and free-lance writing. During the
off-season, Tom likes to work outdoor shows and enjoys sharing
fishing information with others who enjoy the sport. He is a former
high school Agricultural Science instructor and animal health
pharmaceutical sales rep. He graduated from Texas A&M University
with a B.S. in Agricultural Education and a Master of Education