Eufaula — Stewart Ryan first put a fishing pole in his son Wyatt's hand when he was three years old.
Except to wash up for supper, he says it hasn't been out of the kid's hands much since then.
Wyatt is 19 now. He's a fisherman on the East Central University fishing team, and this week, he'll be competing against the old man and a lot of others at the FLW Bass Federation Central Division Tournament. If son beats father, dad admits, it won't be the first time.
Practice fishing began Sunday morning and continues on the lake through today.
On Wednesday, it's the real deal.
That's the day the Central Division of the FLW Bass Federation's annual competition gets underway.
The top two finishers from each of the eight states who comprise the Central Division — Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi and Nebraska — will compete for a trip to next year's national tournament at a location yet to be named.
Officials of the Bass Masters Federation aren't telling anybody the location until January.
Each of the states takes turns hosting these division bass fishing tournaments.
Last year it was in Texas and this year it's on Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma. It's about a one hour and 51 minute-drive from Ada, Ryan said. He should know. This Ada native has a house at Lake Eufaula.
The 52-year-old Ryan started bass fishing 24 years ago when he decided to join the Ada Bass Club. He's been hooked ever since.
Prior to this week's competition, anglers had to survive three qualifying tournaments in March, April and May.
The first was held at Lake Texoma, and the last two have been held at Lake Eufaula.
The division competition this week features 12 contestants, two from each state. It's made up of six boaters and six non-boaters.