Caney Lake included in 2022 opening Bass Pro Tour tournament venue

Three North Louisiana fisheries, including Caney Lake, will be the venue of the first regular-season tournament of the 2022 Major League Fishing and Bass Pro Tour Circuit that will take place from February 5th – 10th. 

Hosted by Discover Monroe-West Monroe, the six-day event will showcase 80 of the best professional anglers in the world.  Bass fishing superstars like Kevin VanDam, Ott DeFoe, Jacob Wheeler, and Louisiana pros, Gerald Spohrer and Cliff Crochet, will be fishing for a purse of more than $805,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable points in hopes of qualifying for REDCREST 2023, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

“We are proud to host this international event in northeast Louisiana in cooperation with the Louisiana Office of Tourism,” said Alana Cooper, Discover Monroe-West Monroe President and CEO. “We are excited to bring in some of the best fishermen to experience Sportsman’s Paradise.”

In the four-day opening Qualifying Rounds, anglers will compete on Lake D’Arbonne and launch at 7:30 a.m. from the Lake D’Arbonne State Park, located at 3628 Evergreen Road in Farmerville, Louisiana. The Knockout Round will take place on Caney Creek Reservoir on Wednesday, February 9th, where anglers will launch at 7:30 a.m. from the Caney Creek Hooks Marina, located at 400 Spillway Road in Chatham, Louisiana.

For the final day Championship Round, the final 10 anglers will compete on Bussey Brake, launching at 7:30 a.m. from Bonner Ferry Road, five miles northwest of Bastrop off of Hwy 593. Each day’s General Tire Takeout Ceremonies will be held at the respective launch ramps, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all takeoff and takeout ceremonies and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at

“This is going to be such a fun tournament to start the season,” Spohrer said. “Although these fisheries are all in the same region, they are all very different. D’Arbonne is probably going to be the toughest and most challenging fishery we face. The lake is definitely the most difficult to navigate – you have to idle a lot because there are so many stumps and other things. It eats up a lot of time anytime you try to get off the main channel and to the shoreline. There are plenty of big fish that live there, but it’s not a place where you’re going to get a lot of bites.

“If you make it through the Qualifying Rounds, Caney Creek should be really good. Caney is very easy to run around and it has a lot of grass – some real healthy hydrilla. We’ll see some good fish in the Knockout Round.

“Bussey Brake in the Championship Round is also going to be very interesting,” Spohrer said. “I’m not real sure how that is going to play out. There has never been a tournament there, but I know there are some big fish there. It should be good – hopefully it will be real good.”

As part of the event, fans will also have the opportunity to come out and meet the MLF pros up close and personal at the Major League Fishing Festival, part of the North Delta Boat & Outdoor Show at the Monroe Civic Center in Monroe, Saturday, Feb. 5, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 6, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite Bass Pro Tour anglers, register for the “Pick ‘Til You Win” game with a top prize of a 2022 Toyota Tundra or a 70-inch 4K UHD Smart TV, visit the MLF Kids Zone to catch a live catfish out of the fishing pond, meet characters from the PAW Patrol courtesy of Kid Casters, and enjoy live concerts from local musicians each day. For more information on the Major League Fishing Festival and the North Delta Boat & Outdoor Show, visit

Prior to the Major League Fishing Festival at the Monroe Civic Center, MLF will be hosting a kickoff event with kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Louisiana on Friday, Feb. 4, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. The kids will be the first to get a chance to catch live catfish in the Kids Fishing Pond and win trophies and certificates. Special surprise guests are also scheduled to appear.

Village of Hodge to hold Public Hearing on Tuesday, February 1st

There will be a Public Hearing held by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the Village of Hodge Town Hall, located at 406 West Central Street, at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, February 1st. The purpose of the meeting is for the proposed ordinance regulating telecommunication towers and antennas, providing for the issuance of permits for the construction and use of said antennas, providing penalties for the violation of said ordinance and providing for matters related thereto. 

All interested parties are invited to attend.

A copy of the proposed ordinance can be seen at the Village of Hodge office between the hours of 8:00am to 3:30pm or call the office at 318-259-4704

Quitman celebrates Senior night with sweep of Weston

Quitman High celebrated Senior Night with victories by both the boys and girls over Jackson Parish and district 2B rival, Weston on Friday. Being honored in front of the Quitman faithful were boys basketball players John Pabaya, LD Manning, Shane Rowe, Bailey Keys and Ty Simonelli along with Cheerleaders Raven Martin and Layla Shumake. 

Quitman 48 Weston 30 (Girls) With their sixth straight victory, the 10th ranked Lady Wolverines moved to 20-8 overall and to the top of district 2B with their second victory against no losses. Weston dropped to 15-10 and now after dropping their first two district contests face an uphill climb to get back into the title chase. 

The difference was the scrappy Quitman defense that held the high-octane, Weston offense to single digits in the first three quarters and nearly 26 points below their season average. The Lady Wolves managed only ten field goals during the game leading to their second lowest point total of the year. Emma Kate McBride made four of the baskets, including a pair of three pointers to lead Weston with ten points. Faith Beamesderfer scored six followed by five each from Briley Peterson and Jessica Newton. 

Quitman bolted to a 14-8 first quarter lead and never looked back on the strength of four points by Cali Deal, three pointers by Brayli Stewart and Bethany Leach and two points each from Emma Carter and Ansley Folks. Outside marksmanship by Stewart and Leach led to three treys each and 15 and 11 points respectively in the contest. Post player Deal also came up big with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Emma Carter pitched in with six.

Quitman (20-8, 2-0)148131348
Weston (15-10, 0-2)6681030
(QHS Scoring) Stewart 15, Deal 12, B. Leach 11, Carter 6, Folks 2, A. Leach 2 (WHS Scoring) McBride 10, Beamesderfer 6, Peterson 5, Newton 5, Trosclair 2, Barmore 2

Quitman 55 Weston 50 (boys) Clutch free throw shooting by Quitman offset strong, long-range shooting by Weston in a frantic final quarter that saw both teams combine for 40 points. In the end the 21-19 advantage by Quitman helped pave the way to the tight victory that lifted Quitman to 15-13 overall and 1-1 in district 1-2A play. Weston fell to 11-15 and 0-2.

On the night where five senior players were honored it was junior, Blake Carter, that stole the show with a season best and game high 23 points, 12 rebounds and 4 steals.  John Pabaya was a perfect 6/6 from the line including four clutch freebies in the pivotal final frame to finish with ten points as did L.D. Manning who also grabbed 7 boards. Ty Simonelli added 7, Logan Ponder 3 and Bailey Keys 2 to round out the Wolverines scoring.

A 4/4 performance from the free throw line by Davis Tolar, who finished the game with 10n points, five of Eli McBride’s 11 points and a three pointer from Bryce Zehr kept the Wolves close at 20-18 after two periods in the defensive minded first half. Ryan Feirn stepped up in the second half to score 9 of his 11 points.  Kade Shirley and Mitchel Mathews also played big over the final two quarters with Shirley making all six of his points on a pair of three pointers and Mitchel Mathews scoring all his five points in the contest. 

Quitman (15-13, 1-1)
Weston (11-15. 0-2)
(QHS scoring) Carter 23, Manning 10, Pabaya 10, Simonelli 7, Ponder 3, Keys 2 (WHS Scoring) McBride 11, Feirn 11, Tolar 10, Shirley 6, Mathews 5, Zehr 5, Otwell 2


Quitman 2-020-8
Simsboro 1-18-15
Quitman 1-115-13
Weston 0-211-15
Simsboro vs Quitman, Choudrant vs Weston

 Game Photos – QHS vs WHS Girls

courtesy of Mandy Mosely Robinson and Thomas Barker

Game Photos – QHS vs WHS Boys

courtesy of Mandy Mosely Robinson and Thomas Barker

Jonesboro officials excited about promise of improved infrastructure in 2022

It is said to always try and find a bright side to a negative situation. One adage says there is always a silver lining in a dark cloud. It would be hard pressed to get someone to say just one good thing that has come out of the COVID pandemic that has besieged America over the last couple of years. If you were to ask a public official from the Town of Jonesboro to state a good thing, they will give you 1.6 million of them. 

As in $1.6 million dollars of good things. Talk about a blessing in disguise.

The money was dedicated to the town through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), part of a multi billion dollar, federal relief package given to cities and township across the nation, designed to help relieve the burden the pandemic caused.

“The Town of Jonesboro received a federal grant the American Rescue Plan Act in the amount of $1.6 million dollars,” Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson happily reported.  “One half of those funds have already been received with the remaining portion expected to be awarded in July of 2022.”

The money couldn’t have come at a better time either as for the first time in several years, residents and Town of Jonesboro officials have real hope of finally resolving what has been a major problem for years. Actually, it is the combination of several problems that are intertwined. Ask any resident and they will quickly tell you it is the ongoing problems with the aged and decaying water and sewer system that are forefront. Ask town officials and they will tell you that financial problems are the root of the problems.

The fact is that the problem of one area leads to the problem in the other and back around again. 

This isn’t the only money that Jonesboro is expected to receive either.  Additional grant money in the amount of $1.19 million and $750,000.00 has been awarded from the Louisiana Community Development Block Grant (LCDBG) and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ. 

More applications for additional grant money has been sent to the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to Mayor Thompson applying for state and federal money is a requirement to survive in today’s environment. 

“So many rural towns across the state are financially strained and revenue challenged. Jonesboro is no exception. Our tax base is no longer strong enough to maintain the quality of life our citizens are accustomed to,” said Thompson. “Today we must realize that state and federal grants have become the lifeline of our very survival. Rest assured, applying for grant money will continue to be a priority of this administration.” 

That was not always the case. Simply put, when the Thompson administration took office in 2018, the Town of Jonesboro wasn’t eligible to apply for grants. That was because of the towns financial woes and restrictions placed as result of being on the Legislative State Auditor’s “non-compliance” list. 

For over a two-year period, administration officials and the accounting firm of Ken Folden and Company worked to bring the towns finances up to speed. While the work required to be fully removed from the “Non-Compliance” list was not complete the Legislative Auditor saw enough progress that in June, 2020, the town was temporarily removed so it would be able to apply for much needed funding that would bring the water and sewage system into compliance with LDH, LDEQ and EPA regulations.

Fast forward to 2022 where the town of Jonesboro is now in compliance with Legislative Auditor Requirements. The result is more grants have been able to be applied for and more grant money has been received. Also, thanks to the infusion of ARPA money, the town is able to provide matching money for several water and sewer projects now being completed. bringing new promise of long-awaited solutions to old problems.

While the work being done bring new promise of long-awaited solutions to old problems, there is still a long way to go according to Jonesboro Public Works Director Calvin Wortham.

“We did an extensive evaluation of our existing infrastructure,” said Wortham. “It is imperative that we stay in compliance as we need the grant money available. While we are making good strides, we have just barely scratched the surface of what needs to be done.”







Five Tiger gridders anticipating “Signing Day”

The prospect of a large contingent of people descending on Jonesboro-Hodge High School this coming Wednesday, February 1st looks promising. The reason is that is National Signing Day. That is the day when high school football players from all over the nation make an official commitment to the college of their choice.

The way things look following the recruiting visits that were held over the weekend, up to five Tigers could be inking their signatures. Expected to sign the dotted line at various universities and colleges are Devontae Mozee, Tydre Malone, Justin Calahan, Javeon Andrews and Jamarriyea Lewis. It would be the largest contingent of JHHS football players from one class to ever sign collegiate scholarships. 

Maybe it could be traced to the advantages of today’s technology that allows college coaches to view videos of players through social media. In today’s world there is no longer such thing as a “diamond in the rough.” If you can play a college will find you. JHHS had several “players” this year.

The number of prospective signees is incredible. You don’t see that many players signing from one class virtually anywhere regardless of classification or location but especially not from a small rural school in North Louisiana. The last time that JHHS had anything close to the number of possible signees from one class was way back in the mid 1960’s when four inked their name to play at different colleges. 

Maybe it could be traced to the advantages of today’s technology that allows college coaches to view videos of players through social media. In today’s world there is no longer such thing as a “diamond in the rough.” If you can play a college will find you

Certainly, it is a testament to the dedicated work put in by the group who overcame incredible tragedy before the season began to lead the Tigers to the Class AA state semifinals. It is also a testament to the JHHS coaching staff, faculty and administration that worked diligently to help prepare them for the future. 

Here is a look at the prospects and where they are expected to sign

Devontae Mozee – University of Missouri
mozee1The Class AA All-State first team defensive back has received several other offers from smaller schools such as Phenix City College, Langston University, Louisiana Christian (formerly Louisiana College) and Grambling State. When MIZZOU (University of Missouri) of the SEC came calling this past Thursday, Mozee was on a jet headed to the campus on Friday.

Tydre Malone – undecided
tydre-3The all-time school record holder of virtually every passing category and twice, post-season All-Star Game participant, has received offers from Georgia Christian College, Northshore Prep College, HH Post Graduate Academy, Jefferson Post Graduate Academy, Lane College, Phenix City College and Goode Elite Prep Academy. 


Javeon Andrews – East Texas Baptist University
javeon-3The first team 1-2A All District Defensive End who had a strong showing at the Louisiana Gridiron All Star Game took an official visit to East Texas this past weekend and per tweets posted seemingly will be heading back. Also has received offers from HH Post Graduate Academy, Culver-Stockton College, Phenix City College


Jamarriyea Lewis – undecided
jay lewis“Big Play” Jay was unquestionably the “unsung” hero of the Tigers season. The first team 1-2A All District performer always seemed to be the one who made the play when it was desperately needed. Talented receiver and defensive back who got better every game he played and has his best days in front of him. Has received offers from HH Post Graduate Academy, Northshore Prep College

Justin Calahan – Kilgore College
justin-3Versatile athlete who excelled wherever he was on the field. Played receiver, defensive back, returned kicks and punts and even played quarterback at times. Took official visit to Kilgore this past weekend and according to tweets seemed to have found a home. Also has offer from Lane College.


Police Jury Finance Committee approves requests by Jackson Parish Museum and Sparta Commission

At the meeting held on Friday, January 28th the Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) Finance Committee approved budget amendment requests made by the Jackson Parish Museum and Fine Arts Association and the Sparta Commission.

With Committee Chairman, Lynn Treadway being absent, the quorum of Regina Rowe and John McCarty agreed to recommend the JPPJ amend the 2022 budget in the amount of $7,000.00 for the Museum and $1,500.00 for the Sparta Commission. 

Two shelving units were also approved to be purchased for the Clerk of Court office as was a recommendation to propose an ordinance to add fees for purchases made by credit cards. The decision to recommend a special election or include the renewal of the Health Unit and Council on Aging taxes on the ballot of already established election dates was tabled to allow further review. 


JHHS and Saline square off then split district games

Jonesboro-Hodge beat Saline 72-68 and 53-45 in boys and girls action on Thursday then split contests against North Caddo and Castor in representative district on Friday. The Tigers outscored Saline 41-28 in the second half, that included a game changing 19-9 advantage in the final quarter to rally for the victory. 

Ethan Roberts scored 8 for Saline and Stephen Brown added six but the Tigers countered with seven players making baskets, including three points each by Cameron Joe and Chase Leonard to bring the quarter to a close at 16 apiece. Saline’s two Titus’s (Malone and Jackson) scored 7 & 6 in the second frame and Brown added five more as the Bobcats took a 40-31 lead into the break. Tydre Malone came alive with ten in the third assisted by seven from Ajay Tew and five by Jarrious Lumkin to help JHHS crawl closer to 59-53 setting up the finishing rally fueled by six from Joe, four each from Tew and Leonard, three from Malone and Devontae Mozee and a free throw from Savantez Phillips.

In the girls game, Xabrianna Jackson scored 32 for the Lady Tigers to lead all scorers and lift JHHS to their fourth victory in five games since new head coach Kris Cash took over the team. Georgia Robinson scored 19 points for Saline who dropped their eighth game in the last nine.

Lady Tigers win district opener

Coming into the district 1-2A opener against North Caddo, new JHHS girls coach Kris Cash had pushed all the right buttons since he took over the team at the beginning of January. The result was that after ending 2021 with a 2-10 record the Lady Tigers had won four of the five game’s they had played including taking victories over Class 4A Neville and Class 2A Winnfield, who had lost only once all season.

Cash once again proved his coaching worthiness as the “second season” surge continued on Friday with the 46-28 victory. The victory improved the JHHS record to 7-12 and more importantly 1-0 in 1-2A play. North Caddo, fell to 1-1 in district play and 8-11 overall. 

Xabrianna Jackson has been averaging over 30 points per game of late but from watching film of North Caddo he knew that the Lady Titans would have a player shadow Jackson to try and take her out of her game. The Lady Titans played a “box and one” defense all game which is where one player stayed with Jackson all game and the other four played in a zone on the corners of the paint. 

“I told the girls that it was going to be important that they look for their shot and not expect Xabrianna to do all the scoring,” said Cash. “Give North Caddo credit for doing what they tried to do but give our girls credit for stepping up like we needed them to.”

Anyone who has seen her play knows that you can’t stop Jackson. That is one reason she is listed as a “Player to Watch” in the Class of 2022 by Louisiana Girls Ranking (LGR). To their credit, North Caddo did as good a job on her as any all year to hold her to “just” 20 points but with Zymea Hoggro and LaRonda  McGuire stepping up to score 12 and 8 points respectively, JHHS cruised to victory. 

A’Jouriana Hoggro, Keasiah Andrews and Tyya Davis also tallied for the Tigers but it was the combined play of all on the defensive end that really made the difference. Utilizing an aggressive, 3/4 court trap after made baskets JHHS limited North Caddo to just four points in each of the first two quarters to surge to a 21-8 lead. The defense continued to apply the pressure in the second half and by games end the Lady Tigers had forced 39 turnovers and allowed just ten field goals.

JHHS (7-12, 1-0)129171046
NCHS (8-11, 1-1)4412828
JHHS Scoring: Jackson 20, Z.Hoggro 12, McGuire 8, A.Hoggro 3, Andrews 2, Davis 1 NCHS Scoring: Larry 17, Jackson 4, Sims 3, Evans 2, Edwards 2

Crucial Week ahead for J-H boys and girls

The most crucial week of the season takes place this week as JHHS will play three district games in four days. The week begins with a Monday game at Arcadia followed by a Tuesday tilt at D’Arbonne Woods Charter in Farmerville. For the girls, ten it is back-to-back games against Lakeside with the Lady Tigers hitting the road on Thursday and playing at home on Friday with the boys game following.

1-2A Girls StandingsDistrict Overall
North Caddo1-18-11
D’Arbonne Woods0-11-11
1-2A Boys StandingsDistrictOverall
North Caddo2-09-13
D’Arbonne Woods0-18-10
Monday: JHHS at Arcadia
Tuesday: JHHS at D’Arbonne Woods
Thursday: JHHS at Lakeside (Grils Only)
Friday: Lakeside at JHHS

Lackluster Tigers Upset by North Caddo

Entering into the Tigers home district opener, JHHS was sporting a #4 ranking in Class AA. Their opponent, North Caddo was sitting at #31. Safe to say that the Tigers were favored to win. The problem with projections though is that if the favored team doesn’t play up to standard you can throw all those projections out the window. 

That is exactly where the Tigers expected lead in district 1-2A play went as well after their lackluster performance led to a disappointing 67-55 loss. As result, JHHS is now ranked #7 and a game behind North Caddo, who is now undefeated after two games. 

The deciding factor was the Tigers play in the first quarter. Ajay Tew made a three pointer and Justin Calahan added a basket but other than a free throw by Chase Leonard that was all the Tigers could muster as JHHS had more turnovers than points. Meanwhile North Caddo ran through the Tigers defense like water through a sieve to score 21 and take a commanding 15-point lead. 

Six points by Tydre Malone, four from Cameron Joe and a pair of baskets by Javeon Andrews and Jarrious Lumkin helped the Tigers narrow the margin to 29-20 at the half. The Tigers would improve their scoring in the second half adding 15 in the third and 20 in the fourth period. It didn’t matter though as a needed stalwart defensive effort didn’t materialize leaving the Tigers hopelessly behind. 

Malone led the Tigers with 19 followed by 12 from Justin Calahan. Tew scored 8, Andrews 6, Joe and Lumkin added 4 and Leonard made two points to round out the scoring. Omarrion Miller and J. Jackson did the damage for the Titans with a game high 28 and 17 points respectively. 

JHHS (10-5, 1-1)614152055
NCHS (9-13, 2-0)218162267
JHHS Scoring: Malone 19, Calahan 12, Tew 8, Andrews 6, Lumkin 4, Joe 4, Leonard 2 NCHS Scoring: Miller 28, Jackson 17, Jackson 6, Bridges 6, Armstrong 5, Collins 4, Evans 1

Saline beats Castor for second district victory 

The Saline offense scored early and often on Friday, building a 25-7 lead by the end of the first quarter in their 85-46 victory against Castor. Five players, led by 21 from Shawn Staggs, reached double figures and 11 players scored in all as the Bobcats set a new season high in points. Ethan Roberts and Titus Jackson scored 11 and both Titus Malone and Stephen Brown added ten each. Kenton Lee Crawford pitched in eight with five others getting at least two as head coach Klint Robinson cleared his bench in the second half. 

With the win, Saline improves to 13-17 and 2-1 in District 1-B play. Castor falls to 5-22 overall and to 0-3 in league play. Both teams return to the court on Tuesday as Castor will face district 1B leader Doyline on the road and Saline will travel to Dodson.

To see a short video recap on the game that was aired by KTAL-TV in Shreveport click here:

Second half swoon dooms Lady Bobcats 

The Castor Lady Tigers outscored Saline by 14 points in the second half to cruise to a 59-39 victory on Friday night. The victory vaulted Castor, 12-11 overall, to the top of district 1B with a 2-0 record while Saline falls to 7-21 and 1-2 in district play.  

With Georgia Robinson, X. Lard and the Gray twins, Alana and Alaya scoring six points each in the first half Saline stayed close for two quarters. The second half was a different story as Castor rolled to 16-8 and 17-6 quarter advantages to win going away. Robinson led the Lady Bobcats with 13 points, mainly as result of 9-12 shooting from the free throw line. Alaya Gray also reached double digits with 11. 

To see a short video recap of the game click here:

District 1B Standings 

Boys StandingsDistrictOverall
Girls StandingsDistrictOverall
Upcoming Schedule of Games
Tuesday: Saline at Dodson, Castor at Doyline
Friday: Dodson at Castor, Doyline at Saline


The first time I ever met Memphis, TN resident, Ron Wong, I came away impressed with his ability to turn a bowl of doctored up corn meal into the absolute best tasting, crunchy and tangy hush puppies I have ever eaten, bar none.

The occasion was media weekend on Arkansas’s Little Red River where we were hosted by the folks at Lindsey’s Trout Dock. I also noted that when the meal was finished, Wong was working his way among the group with his camera, snapping photos of the participants. The next day on the water, I saw him several times in a passing boat, not holding a fishing rod but his trusty camera, documenting the rest of us working on the rainbow trout the Little Red is known for.

In addition to his cooking expertise and the magic he produces with his camera, Ron works alongside a media friend, Larry Rea, who hosts Larry Rea Outdoors on Memphis-area radio stations.

Where this hard-working fellow really stands out, though, is when he grabs his bass fishing rod and lures and heads for a lake. Social media outlets regularly show photos of Ron holding the lip of a gigantic bass just before releasing it.

Now that cold winter weather has set in and many bass anglers put away their rods until the spring spawn, I gave Wong a call to see how he manages to catch big bass even with temperatures below freezing.

“If you want to go out in below freezing weather, you’ll notice the eyes on your rod have a tendency to freeze up, making casting and retrieving virtually impossible. I always carry along a can of vegetable spray, such as Pam, and spray the eyes and also the reel to prevent ice from forming,” Wong said.
“Another suggestion is to wait until at least around noon on those frigid days to give the water a chance to warm up a degree or two, especially on the north and northeast banks,” he said.

Even when the weather and water temperature is cold, bass still must eat but Wong noted that they don’t eat as much as they don’t move around nearly as much in cold water.

“The key to locating bass in cold water is to find the bait fish. They tend to ball up in areas where the water is a degree or two warmer. In water 20 feet deep, it may be coldest nearer the bottom but you might find the shad balled up halfway up the water column at 10 feet.”

“I like to use a Strike King swim bait in a shad color on a plain 1/8 ounce jig head using a 3-0 hook. I’ll count it down to where it’s just below the bait fish ball so that when a bass decides to eat, it will see my bait first. You don’t want to fish it fast but slowly swim it, pausing every four or five cranks to keep it below the shad.

“Another good bait,” Wong added, “is an umbrella rig and I’ll put small size baits in shad color on the side wires with a slightly larger and different color jig on the middle wire. All you need to feel is one thump before setting the hook,” he continued.

Finally, said Wong, if the water is clear, look for cover such as standing trees, lay-down logs or especially stumps. Sunlight will penetrate the water and warm the side facing the sun a degree or two. That’s where the fish will be, he says.

From an accomplished chef to an award-winning photographer to a radio co-host to one of the country’s best bass anglers, Ron Wong is the complete package.


CANEY LAKE – Bass fishing has been best fishing deep water with deep diving crank baits, jigging spoons and tail spinners. Yellow bass are mixed in with the largemouths. Crappie are in the deep water out from the dam with best catches made on shiners or jigs fished 3 feet off the bottom in 30-35 foot water. No report on catfish or bream. For information contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Fishing is slow. No report this week. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – Crappie fishing is best fishing the deep tops, 15 feet deep in 18-25 foot water on shiners or jigs. Bass are fair in the run-outs from river lakes to river with spinners, crank baits and soft plastics working best. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Crappie fishing has been best in the channel fishing 20 feet deep in 25 – 30 foot water on jigs or shiners. Bass are in the channels in deeper water with crank baits, jigs and soft plastics picking up some. Bream fishing is slow while catfish are still biting cold worms fished off the banks. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Mixed catches of crappie and barfish are coming from the deep water out from the dam fishing 30 feet deep in 35 foot water mostly on shiners. Also, some good catches of crappie are being made at night fishing around the lighted piers. Bass are fair on Chatter baits. A few bream have been caught off the banks on night crawlers. No report on stripers or catfish. For latest information, call Misty at Kel’s Cove at 331-2730 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Catfishing has been good on cold worms. Crappie fishing has been fair with some big fish caught fairly deep off the banks on shiners or jigs. No report on bass. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – The water is low; launching boats is a near impossibility. No fishing this week. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is slowly falling but there have been no fishermen out this week. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.

JPRD Youth Basketball League Week 2 Results


Game Results of Saturday, January 22nd

Ages 5&6 League

Spurs 21 Bulls 6
(Spurs) River Waggoner 8, Carson Knox 6, Cutter Whisonant 3, Jeremiah Jones 2, Jess Potts 1, Mary Katherine Malone 1 (Bulls) Isac Session 3, Bryce Martin 2, D.J. Hudson 1

Pelicans 25 Clippers 7
(Pelicans) Jacob Toms 10, Ashton Anderson 8, Kaden Blewer 3, Caylee Mauthe 1, Leia Green 1, Bryce Mauthe 1, Braxton Lawson 1 (Clippers) Mason Caldwell 2, Brenleigh Whitman 1, Beaux 1, Jase Watkins, Drake Shoemaker, Ryleigh Puffer 1

Spurs 17 Lakers 9
(Spurs) Jeremiah Jones 10, Carson Knox 6, River Waggoner 1 (Lakers) Colton Haney 3, Kylee Ann Allen 2, Clark Atkins 2, Ladaryeon White1

Bucks 21 Warriors 11
(Bucks) Koplen Taylor 14, Ayden Chatman 2, Carlea Jones 1, Logan Blewer 1, Jersey Kate Corley 1, Jesslyn Williams 1, Crew Tidwell 1 (Warriors) Mayson Terral 4, Reese Johnson 2, Sebastian Love 1, Trenton Jerry 1, Carter Hall 1, Landrie Watson 1, Madi Spillman 1

Week 2 top scorers: Koplen Taylor 14, Jeremiah Jones 10, Jacob Toms 10 

7&8 Girls League

Mercury 21 Aces 16
(Mercury) Ainsley Bouges 10, Scarlett Parks 6, Adeline Anderson 2, Lizzie Kate Sullivan 2, Charlee Mauthe 1 (Aces) Naakyah Walker 10, Kate Keiffer 2, Lily Tolar 2, Morgan Osborne 1, Chloe Maxwell 1

Aces 22 Stars 6
(Aces) Kate Keiffer 10, Naakyah Walker 8, Hinley Hall 2, Chloe Maxwell 1, Lily Tolar 1 (Stars) Hadley Garner 1, Khaliya Cash 1, Kelsey Shaw 1, Leah Atkins 1 

Week 2 Top Scorers: Kate Keiffer 10, Ainsley Bouges 10, Naakyah Walker 10

7&8 Boys League

Hawks 26 Blazers 10
(Hawks) Jagger Ingram 13, Asher Norred 7, Carter Kelley 2, Cruz Nomey 2, Landry Garrett 1, Maddox Naron 1 (Blazers) Rhett Emmons 5, Jase Tinsley 3, Trey Wall 1, Jaxon Anderson 1

Thunder 20 Kings 18
(Thunder) Caiden Jackson 18, Clay Burton 1, Eli Jones 1 (Kings) Jase Reed 7, Mason Tolar 5, Khyree Boston 2, Noah Martin 2, Cameron Leonard 2

Magic 24 Celtics 4 
(Magic) Bentley Ponder 12, Kutter Blalock 7, Maddox Graham 3, Caleb Robinson 2 (Celtics) Bentley Hall 1, Grant Williams 1, Mason Tolar 1, Noah Martin 1

Week 2 top scorers: Caiden Jackson 18, Jagger Ingram 13, Bentley Ponder 12

9&10 Girls League

Mystics 35 Storm 10 
(Mystics) Jalynn Jiles 27, London Burks 6, Lauryn Robinson 1, Addison Phares 1 (Storm) Syla Malone 7, Mollie Burris 3

Fever 10 Sparks
(Fever) Tesse Kate Reeves 4, Maggie Wall 4, Bailey Tinsley 2 (Sparks) Ada Claire Tidwell 4, Landry Horsfall 2, Lily Lablance 1

Mystics 36 Sky 22
(Mystics) Jalynn Jiles 29, London Burks 4, Audrina Martin 2, Skylar Lamkin 1 (Sky) Hannah Aldy 10, Sophia Kliebert 6, Ella Simonelli 3, Julianne Ford 2, Skyleigh Webb 1

Week 2 Top Scorers: Jalynn Jiles 29, Jalynn Jiles 27, Hannah Aldy 10

9&10 Boys League 

Raptors 30 Rockets 10
(Raptors) Eli Henderson 11, Damon Lilies 8, Mason Thomas 7, Jake Moak 2, Levi Martin 2 (Rockets) Jadyn 7, Jaxen Culpepper 2

Thunder 21 Grizzlies 11
(Thunder) Quantavius Campbell 10, Aiden Reed 4, Jasen McNeil 4, Brady Malone 2, Levi Southeen 1 (Grizzlies) Noah Spillman 9, Burch Gill 1, Ayden Watkins 1

Celtics 25 Kings 9
(Celtics) Jack Robison 10, Cannon Tatum 6, Raylon Bradford 5, Josiah Ramsey 2, Carson Savana 2 (Kings) Lucas Leach 6, Lukas Bandy 2,

Week 2 Top Scorers: Eli Henderson 11, Quantavius Campbell 10, Jack Robinson 10 

11&12 Girls League

Wings 14, Dream 12
(Wings) Adaya 5, Kinsley Ponder 2, Hallay Taylor 2, Reese Womack 2, Brylee Cuthrell 1, Emma Kate Toms 1, Jazzmine Stuckey 1 (Dream) Annie Mosley 4, Brooklyn Brown 3, Braelyn Patton 3, Briley Jones 2

Lynx 16 Dream 14
(Lynx) Sanaa Tatum 6, Kinley Walker 6, Brooklyn Loyd 4 (Dream) Braelyn Patton 9, Briley Jones 4 Brooklyn Brown 1

Liberty 24 Sun 11
(Liberty) Shacoria Mallard 12, Samone Mallard 5, Ali Claire Palmer 4, Hailey Chatham 2, Allie Robertson 1 (Sun) Livi Otwell 6, Abby Martindale 2, Avery Watson 1, Carlynn Waters 1, Ella Robinson 1

Week 2 Top Scorers: Shacoria Mallard 12, Livi Otwell 6, Sanaa Tatum 6, Kinley Walker 6

11 & 12 Boys League

Spurs 22, Lakers 18 
(Spurs) Jack Thomas 7, Hayden Seymore 6, Kolt Keiffer 4, Zach Smudricks 3, Derrimie Malone 2 (Lakers) Micah McGee 8, Channing Gray 4, Tanner Allen 2, Corbin Ussery 2, Deuce Waters 1

Bulls 48 Bucks 25
(Bulls) Michael Malone 22, Asher Rhodes 9, Cash Ingram 7, Aiden Rhodes 4, Gregory Hendricks 4, Braedyn Turner 2 (Bucks) Joseph Delaney 6, Leyton Younse 6, Kaleb Maxell 4, Ryder Gray 3, Rashad Carter 2, Jhadarious Bishop 2, Gunner Younse 1, Colt Guyotte 1

Lakers 32 Suns 28 
(Lakers) Remy Kennard 10, Micah McGee 9, Channing Gray 9, Corbin Ussery 2, Deuce Waters 1, Rylan Mauthe 1 (Spurs) Bryce Tolar 20, Jaxon Brown 5, Mathew Odom 2, Jake North 1

Hornets 21 Mavericks 18
(Hornets) Atden Greer 8, Malachi Harris 7, Bunner Fontenot 6 (Mavericks) Luke Rowe 9, Caden Jackson 7, Aiden Marsh 2 

Week 2 Top Scorers: Michael Malone 22, Bryce Tolar 20, Remy Kennard 10

13 & 14 Boys League

Blazers 57 Heat 29
(Blazers) Abel Leach 22, Shane Reed 18, Larson Thomas 6, Jackson Bougues 6, Brody Tidwell 5 (Heat) Brayden Martin 13, Liam Weaver 7, Kason Roberts 6, Tamedrick Jackson 3

Magic 45 Celtics 41
(Magic) D.J. Palmer 15, Jeremiah Jerrerson 14, Skylar Nelson 12, Jamarcus Dozier 2 (Celtics) Taden Thomas 25, Ty Henderson 8, Hudson Pullig 4, Kace West 3, Tre Dill 1

Week 2 Top Scorers: Taden Thomas 25, Abel Leach 22, Shane Reed 18 

Watershed Commission approves bid for work on Ebenezer Boat Dock

The Jackson Parish Watershed Commission (JPWC) approved a bid submitted by Mark Droessers to install
pressure treated boards above water line and below top deck at Ebenezer boat dock to prevent boat damage due to low water.

The action was taken by Commission members Gary Joynor, Jimmy Waggoner, Wes Harvey, Kent Hightower, Roy Barlow, Daniel Ponder and Jerry Chestnut at the regularly scheduled monthly meeting held on January 20th.

 In additional action it was agreed to approve a building permit for Mr. Johnny Henderson, approve a dock permit for Jeff & Christie Huckaby and have new boxes made for both boat launches for a cost not to exceed $500.00.

The board also voted to clarify Rules and Regulations of Sec 3-2 (A) BUILDING NEAR OR ON WATER RESTRICTED ORDINANCE to be introduced at the February 17th, JPWC meeting.

Museum and Fine Arts Association toured by Jonesboro Library Staff

The Jackson Parish Museum and Fine Arts Association welcomed the staff of the Jonesboro Branch of the Jackson Parish Library recently for a guided tour. It was the first of what is hoped to be the first of many tours by the business community and residents of Jackson Parish during the year.

Led by Library Board President Barbara Johnson and dedicated Board members, as well as, many volunteers from the community a tremendous amount of work has been done so that the history of Jackson Parish can now be viewed in a unique, real-life setting. 

“We would like to thank Mrs. Barbara Johnson, President of the Jackson Parish Museum and Fine Arts Association for her generous hospitality while giving our staff a tour of the museum,” said Library Director Floyd Knox. “We look forward to having many partnerships in the future with the museum and highly recommend viewing the wonderful historical finds from Jackson Parish that are available.”

The Museum that is located at 515 Cooper Avenue, just across the street from the Jonesboro First Baptist Church, is now open every Saturday from 9:00am – 1:00pm. Group tours can also be scheduled by calling 31`8-450-5561 or 318-426-6511.

The Best Drug Ever

“Just say no!” This has been the slogan to fight the drug war going on in this country since former First Lady Nancy Reagan introduced it in 1982. Her work was extensive and diligent in fighting the war on drugs. This fight still continues today and it appears it’s a war we’re losing. With little to no border control and our government leaders refusing to recognize that we have a border crisis, the battle rages on. As a teen growing up in East Texas, I had very little exposure to the drug world, but knew it existed. In the 1970’s, marijuana, speed and cocaine were the drugs of choice for those that chose that route looking to get high. Today I’ll give you my perspective on my drug of choice back then, one that I’m still addicted to and crave today.

As most of you already know, athletics have played a huge role in my life and are responsible for the opportunities that have come my way over the years. I enjoyed a great high school career, running track and playing both baseball and football, which included winning the Texas 3A State Baseball Championship in 1978. I was blessed with a football/baseball scholarship to Northwestern State that resulted in being drafted by the Montreal Expos (today’s Washington Nationals) in 1983.

Sports for me, was a drug that came with both highs and lows. Drug addicts talk about how they just can’t get enough of whatever they’re craving. For me, I could relate because I was the same way. I could not get enough of the rush that sports gave me. I thought about it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I would dream of getting my next high by hitting a home run, making a great play, or scoring a touchdown. Success in the sports arena came fairly easy for me, as God blessed me with good athletic ability.

But let’s talk about my first addiction…. bass fishing. Fishing has been an addiction for me since I caught my first bass as a kid walking the banks of our ranch stock ponds. This all started for me in the summer of 1969 when I got my first Zebco rod and reel combo. I was basically self-taught. I remember getting my hands on a copy of Bassmaster magazine that was full of tips and technique illustrations anyone could follow. One of the gifts I got on my 10th birthday was a subscription to Bassmaster magazine.


Back then there were only a few fishing shows that existed. I watched “Fishing with Virgil Ward” and “Outdoors with John Fox.” Both were great, but then I found a show called “The Bassmaster’s,” hosted by legendary Bob Cobb. This introduced me to guys who actually fished for a living. Are you kidding me? You could make a living catching bass?!!! Now this had my full attention, and I could not wait for it to come on each week. I remember watching anglers like Tommy Martin, Bill Dance, Rick Clunn and Roland Martin, guys who became legends of the sport.

For me, there’s always been something about the moment you set the hook and a fish starts to pull drag. The adrenaline rush is unmatched and unexplainable! You don’t know how big your catch is until you see it jump out of the water as it is trying to throw your bait, or you swing it in the boat. Even today, despite the many bass I’ve caught over my lifetime, I still get this huge rush of excitement. So, I guess this makes me an addict! I just can’t get enough bass fishing action! It can be so rewarding, whether you’re catching small one-to-two-pound bass or five and six pounders. It’s still the same rush!

To wrap this up, if you’ve never had a fishing experience before, find someone to take you who knows what they’re doing. Go hire a fishing guide or an experienced angler who can teach you the ins and outs of fishing. If you want to get high, go fishing…whether it’s for bass, crappie, redfish or trout! The species doesn’t matter; the high is still the same. But beware, it can be addicting! Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf