Wake up “Bubba” it’s time to sell your bass boat. You know that shiny new metalflake rig out there in the garage? You need to take it down to your local boat dealer and see what they’ll give you on trade for a flat bottom, cause while you were settin there on your butt someone was out there killin your favorite fishin hole. You know that fancy new Shimano reel you bought last week for that “High Tech” CastAway worm rod? You can hang that sucker on a couple nails on your wall and head out to the hardware store for a ball of twine cause your next fishin trip is gonna be spreadin “Stink Bait” on a catfish Trot Line.
SMARTen Up “Bubba.” Yea that’s what they call us, “Bubba.” They think bass fishermen all have tobacco juice droolin down their chins and vacuum chambers for brain containers. They think you’re so STUPID that you won’t even notice they’re killin your favorite fishin holes. They think you’re so STUPID that you can’t see all the potholes in the dilapidated marinas on Lake Livingston after they killed that lake and turned it into the states biggest “Pig Wallow.” Well guess what “Bubba” they are bringin that dog and pony show to your lake. They’ll turn your great fishery into a “Mud Hole.”
Now that I have that rant out of my system let me explain my point in a more logical fashion. It’s very hard not to be overwhelmed by cynicism in the face of such a perverse ecological tragedy.
God blessed Texas with this nation’s greatest bass fishing waters. A combination of ideal climate and the world’s best fish and game department produced prolific bass fisheries, like Sam Rayburn, Toledo Bend and Lake Fork, that were the envy of bass anglers from all over the globe. Aside from smart Texas Parks & Wildlife (TP&W) biologists there is one very important factor that makes the fisheries outstanding, Hydrilla. As I’m writing this story I realize I was hesitant to even put the word down in print, Hydrilla. The “Spin Doctors” from Lewisville have put out so much negative Propaganda in the past few years on Hydrilla I’ve subconciously begun to believe it’s a bad word. “Bull Corn”. We all know it’s been good for Texas waters.
Before they killed all the Hydrilla in Lake Conroe, my home, water clarity was 8 feet or more and it was one of the best bass fishing lakes in the country. Now it’s another “Mud Hole” like Livingston, Lake Houston and Cedar Creek. I walk out my back door every day and it turns my stomach to recall standing on the deck and looking down into crystal clear water at every kind of fish there is swimming by in great numbers. Now I won’t even let my kids swim in it and if I have to get in it to do any repair work on the bulkhead I feel I have to rush in the house and take a shower to wash the crud off me.
Now river authorities around the state like Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) are dumping Toxic Herbicides into our lakes and rivers, on a regular basis, to kill Hydrilla. Why? Because a few wealthy waterfront property developers wield powerful political influence on state officials and because the Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation (AERF), Inc. represented locally by USAE Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility, Lewisville, Texas, has been conducting a massive, nation wide, propaganda campaign to convince the public that Hydrilla is a horrible menace that will completely take over lakes. They constructed a series of shallow ponds in Lewisville so they could make sure they would mat over . Then they take pictures of the matted ponds and show them around the state telling people this is what will happen to your lake if you don’t put Toxic Herbicides in them to kill the Hydrilla. The sad thing is that people believe them, assuming since they are scientists and have a research facility, they must know what they’re talking about.
Here’s something the public isn’t told. Who is AERF? Gold Members are American Cyanamid, Applied Biochemists, Cygnet Enterprises, Dow AgroSciences, Elf Autochem, North America, Monsanto Corporation, Rhone-Poulenc, SePro Corporation and Zeneca – all chemical companies. There are many more chemical company members. You decide why they are telling the public what a menace Hydrilla is. Duh…
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Hydrilla is a problem, although I don’t personally completely accept this premise. How do we deal with it? First of all we don’t have to turn our lakes into biological wastelands. Hydrilla can be managed, it doesn’t have to be annihilated. We can have our cake and eat it too. There are many lake managers in the north central U.S. that will point to their management records of “mechanical weed control” that produce improvements in aquatic life (fish “Bubba”), water clarity and recreational boating access.
I’m not alone in my evaluation of this Hydrilla situation. I stand in very good company with Ray Scott, (you may have heard of him), Ed Parten, Roland Martin, Bill Dance, Earl Bentz, Bob Cobb and Glen Lau just to name a few.
This is where you come in “Bubba.” It’s time to prove to the chemical pushers that your ole noggin is good for somethin besides a hat rack for that new Skeeter cap you got with that shiny bass boat parked out there in the garage. Here’s the plan.
A new organization has been formed SMART. SMART stands for Sensible Management of Aquatic Resources Together and our members are not chemical companies. Our members are a coalition of the states largest bass fishing organizations. Texas Black Bass Unlimited (TBBU), Texas Association of Bass Clubs (TABC), Texas B.A.S.S. State Federation and Honey Hole, to name a few. The mission of this organization is to provide leadership and education in the arena of aquatic resource management and to demonstrate the benefits of mechanical control of aquatic weeds.
“OK, OK McCarty I get the picture, what can I do?” – you’re saying to yourself. Here’s what you can do “Stink Bait Breath” – SMARTen Up. Right now….that means as soon as you put this magazine down…send in a tax-deductible donation to the purchase of our first Harvester: $5, $10 or whatever you can afford.
The first fund raiser will be held in Houston on August 14th at the Hotel Sofitel Greenspoint, ‘An Evening with Ray Scott.” Other pioneers of the bass fishing industry already scheduled to join Scott in Houston at this event are: Roland Martin – Legendary angler; all-time tournament winner and TV Superstar; Bob Cobb – 30-year pioneer with B.A.S.S. Bassmasters Magazine and Bassmasters TV; Glen Lau – renowned cinematographer and creator of the award-winning epic “Big Mouth Forever” and host of his own TNN TV show; Earl Bentz – founder of Triton Boats and 30 year innovator and pioneer in the quality and performance of bass boats; Bill Dance – Super Star and bass fishing pioneer celebrity. The list of “Bass Fishing Super Stars” is still growing.
Tickets are $100. A limit of 500 tickets will be sold and each ticket holder will be entered in a drawing for a 1999 Dodge Quad Cab truck.
Seriously now, I give twenty, sometimes, eighty hours a month in support of this organization because I want to do my part to preserve a sport that has given so much to me over the years. Please lend a hand and do as much as you can to support this project. Make your check payable to SMART and send them to PO Box 11729, Houston, Texas 77293. Thanks – Pat McCarty – Proud to be called “Bubba”
– Lake Havasu
– Lake Havasu