Park Cities People Bassmaster Still Reeling Them In
As a kid, Alton Jones used to ride his 10-speed bicycle around the Park Cities, holding a fishing pole in one hand and a tackle box in the other.
Forty years later, he might have ditched the bike, but he’s still holding the tackle box and the fishing rod. And Jones hasn’t lost any of his lifelong passion for a sport in which he’s been a professional for more than a quarter century.
Jones has been one of the top anglers in the world for the past several years, and he reached the pinnacle of the sport in 2008, when he won the Bassmaster Classic in South Carolina (and was subsequently invited to the White House to meet fellow Texan and outdoor enthusiast George W. Bush). He doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon.
“If you’re 10 years into a career in a physical sport, you’re done,” Jones said. “But fishing gives you some longevity.”
Jones credits his maternal grandfather, who taught him to fish at age two. In the years that followed, they fished at lakes in East Texas almost every weekend. Jones began reading Bassmaster magazine when he was 7.
Growing up in the Park Cities, he used to throw bread in the water at Caruth Park to attract carp. And he caught some bass in Turtle Creek. Later, Jones became the president of the field and stream club at Highland Park High School, where he graduated in 1981. Read Full Story
Alton Jones returns to Cayuga Lake
Inside Elite Boats: Alton Jones
6th: Jones Running Short
Photo by: Seigo Saito
> Day 2: 4, 11-12 (9, 29-09) Jones said his primary area may be running low on fish.
"They're still biting in my area, but there's just not as many," he said. "I've been sharing it with James Watson and Bernie Schultz and we've picked over all the easy stuff. It'd take something like the wind pulling another school up to replenish it, and that could happen.
"Where I'm fishing has better-than-average quality. I'll try it for 2 or 3 hours tomorrow and if I've caught three, I'll probably stay the rest of the day. If not, I'll go to plan B or plan C."
He's fishing extremely shallow and has done the majority of his work with a 3/8-ounce Booyah Bankroll jig with a YUM Craw Pappy trailer. He's plying both docks and isolated wood.
He had a shot at another strong bag, but lost a fish that he estimated weighed at least 5 pounds.
"I can't cry too much because everybody loses fish, and I know that one and some others will be out there tomorrow." Read more
3rd: Jones’ Confidence Swells
> Day 1: 5, 17-13 Jones came into this event focused on figuring out what the Grand Lake bass would be doing during the midst of a week-long warming trend. So far, he feels like he’s piecing the puzzle together – and he’s not concerned about who he has to catch on the leaderboard.
“It’s a 3-day tournament for a reason and my job is to stay consistent,” said Jones, who finished 31st at Grand in 2013. “If I stay consistent, it really doesn’t matter what (the leader) does. I’m going to catch everything I can catch and we’ll see how the chips fall.”
Jones caught two limits’ worth of bass and culled three times (the other two didn’t help him) as he fished more methodically than some of his competitors.
“The fish were positioned exactly where I thought they would be and that’s been one of the keys for me – figuring out how they’re setting up so when I come into those little places I can fish them with a little more patience than maybe somebody who’s not really sure exactly what the fish are doing,” he said. “That’s been a big advantage for me.”
His confidence in his pattern is such that he went back through areas today that didn’t produce bite is in practice, but had the right mix of structure and habitat.
“I know where they’re supposed to be and not every place that has the right stuff has one, but for example, today I fished several places in practice that were set up right that I didn’t get bites out of, but I was able to go to them today knowing it was the right stuff and I caught a couple key fish where I didn’t get a bite in practice,” he said. “I hope I can stay on top of them. I fished my practice not based on what the fish were doing a week ago, but on what I thought they would be doing with a week of warm weather. I put my eggs in that basket and I knew it would work really well or not at all. Today, it worked really well." Read more