Sports and Outdoors


 Lake Info

Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 322.04
Water Temperature:
na degrees - top
68 degrees - bottom



Underwater Tactics
Fresh line catches more fish
By Ken Cook
Special to The Monitor

Fishing experiences can range from both the pleasure that comes from catching a fish to the pain and frustration that comes when “the big one” gets away.
For every successful fish story you might hear at the boat ramp, there are probably many more tales of anglers left in disbelief as the fish of their dreams breaks their line – never to be seen again.
For those of you fishing for fun, the heartbreak is usually temporary.
For those of us who fish for a living, that same heartbreak can also break the bank. One missed fish can be the difference between cashing a paycheck and going broke.
That’s why professionals – myself included – make every effort to minimize the chances of this happening to us. First and foremost, we start with our fishing line.
Your fishing line is the only connection between you and the fish.
Fishing line, as it ages, comes into contact with many things that all work to break it down and make it weaker.
The repeated stress and strain of fighting big fish, rubbing on rocks and timber, sunlight, water, even a fish’s teeth can cause your line to become weak and more likely to break the next time you’re fighting that big fish.
The best approach is a proactive approach. That’s why I respool my reels after each day of competition.
It takes some time and costs some money, but it’s better to spend a few dollars on fishing line than those several thousand because I lost a fish.
For those of you who aren’t fishing every day, the best thing to do is carefully examine your line before each trip, and look for cuts and abrasions.
If your reels have been sitting in the garage for a long time, or if they spend a lot of time in the sun, take the time to respool them.
If you use colored line, check the colorfastness. If the color has faded, chances are that it is time to respool.
I prefer to keep bulk spools for respooling, because it helps me save money and time.
I keep them closed in a cabinet in a cool, dry place with the date of purchase written on each spool. It is important to store the line away from sunlight and moisture.
Today’s technology means has brought us superior fluorocarbon line like Berkley Vanish, and superlines like Berkley Fireline, tools that give anglers the strong, manageable line they need to land big fish.
But, even the best line can wear down after prolonged use. Whether you fish for fun or for a paycheck, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Respool often and avoid the heartbreak of a lost fish.
Ken Cook is the 1991 Bassmaster Classic winner and a 14-time Classic qualifier. A former fisheries biologist, Cook lives on his ranch in Meers, Okla.


Tongue tag
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Rascals pitcher Walker Baty (left) tags out Big Ballers runner Aiden Kelly (10) before he reaches first base during their T-ball contest April 30 at Mabank’s George Watts Park.



TVCC to host Smith camp
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Mike Landers and Pat Smith Basketball Camp will be conducted on the campus of Trinity Valley Community College in Athens the week of June 11-15.
The camp is open to girls and boys grades 2-12, with age group classifications, and also is open to both day campers and resident campers.
The camp will be from 8:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday with the camp ending at noon Friday.
The camp will emphasize shooting form and skills, ball-handling drills, individual perimeter and post offense, one-on-one competition, shooting leagues, along with three-on-three and five-on-five competition.
Each camper will receive individualized basketball and athletic workout programs.
Camp fee is $125 for day campers and $250 for resident campers who stay on campus. Each camper will receive a camp T-shirt, and lunch will be provided daily, with three meals per day for resident campers.
For more information, or to receive a camp application, contact Patrick Smith at (903) 675-6218 or e-mail


Upcoming Games

Semi-Pro Football

May 19
Xtreme vs TBA
(first round of TUFL playoffs)