Mark Menendez – On the Mountain
I loaded my Yamaha bag and through in the Tacklewarehouse.com Ford and headed south to the Mountain! There are not many mountains south of me here in Kentucky. My destination was the Grand Opening of a new Gander Mountain store in Opelika, Al. It is a beautiful location filled with everything for the outdoorsmen. Strike King sent me to lend a hand over the weekend.
There were snake lectures with live venomous snakes on hand. Did you know that there are no poisonous snakes in the United States? Poison has to be ingested in to our bodies to be harmful. We do have Venomous snakes. They inject venom to cause damage! The Strike King Booth was close enough for me to learn that little bit of information this weekend. I was just an earshot away from the snakes which was a good thing! Snakes and I just don’t get along!
The Swamp People had the store packed! This is the second time in as many weeks that I have been at the same location. As the crowd grew, I saw some legitate swampers coming towards me! I have been gator hunting, bass hunting, and redfish angling with them for years. It was the former owners of Venice Marina south of New Orleans.
Dave and Debbie Balley adopted me 15 years ago when the first BASS event was held on the bayou. They had recently retired to a small town near the Gander store. After the appearance, I headed to their restored 1900’s southern style home for a great dinner. Their sons Brent and Brandon are charter boat captains in Venice. They know every inch of the marsh. They can also catch the “blue water” species as well! Brandon has extended an invite for me to be a first mate on an upcoming charter with some real good friends. I may just show up and crash the party! I can’t wait to see their faces!
It is time from me to head to Western Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) to teach my “Bass Fishing” class. This is the fourth edition of the class. It is a great school ranking second nationwide in community colleges. This is a fun class where the students will receive instruction on seasonal patterns, water temperature adjustments, and structure fishing basics. Each class member will receive lures, hats, and other goodies from Skeeter and Strike King. I enjoy passing my experience on to people that love to fish. I have to go before the bell to class rings!