Tiny Bio

"Tiny" Tim Smith

    Over the years people have asked me several things about myself, and different things about how I learned all these aspects of fishing and ideas and I decided to write this bio as it has the most to do with my learning to fish. A lot of this will have to do with my fishing background as well as other things that don't pertain to fishing.

    I was born in Chandler, OK June, 1959. My Mother was Betty Jo Richardson and my father was Russell Crawford Thompson. More photos of Russell. My father changed his name to Charles Smith for reasons unknown to me, but it was due to previous illegal activities or perhaps to avoid capture for some other reasons. I was raised partially by my mother and grand parents Floyd and Jessie Richardson and never met my father as he had left before I was born to parts unknown. I lived with my mother primarily until I was 11 years old when she remarried and I had an altercation with my new step father and then moved in with my grandmother and grandfather until I graduated from Davenport High School in Davenport, OK. I was a very difficult child to deal with for my grandparents and I thank god they were there for their guidance and upbringing in my teen years. 

     My fishing experience started when I was about 4 years old when my cousin, "Buddy" Billy Don Richardson started taking me with him to the crawdad (we pronounced it crawdead) hole which was not much more than a big mud hole on the north side of Davenport where the park is now. The pond was located just to the southeast corner of where the ball field is now and the little creek that ran just behind it always offered up a good place to catch crawdads. We also spent a lot of time at the Courts snake hunting, rabbit hunting and general pilfering around (The Courts was a 10 acre patch of ground where grandpa had a salvage yard. Davenport bought it and put the water tower and other things there). He would also take me to the old Tipton homestead pond about a 3/4 of a mile southeast of the crawdad hole where we caught rock bass and bluegill. We also frequented the Victor pond a mile north of Davenport on the west side of the road behind a oil well servicing outfit. We spent a lot of time at the Victor fishing hole catching bluegill and toting stringer of 50 or more bluegill back home where we'd spend hours cleaning them ... this is where I learned catch and release hahahaha. Was a lot of fun catching the fish but when it comes to cleaning that many bluegill and rock bass that was when the work began. We were at the Victor one day when my cousin Buddy caught a fish we'd never seen before, which changed our focus on fishing forever ... it was a small largemouth bass about 1.5 lbs. We then started getting the old Aboose inline spinners and fishing with those just have a blast catching all those largemouth and learning different things about it. My cousin's dad, Bob Richardson, worked with Dresser for a while and this caused them to move around all over the US for several years ... sometimes I'd go with them in the summers and Buddy and I would spend a lot of time hunting and fishing together. The catfish fishermen in the family were always my grandfather, Floyd Richardson, and uncle, Bob Richardson, but Buddy and I did our fair share of attempting to catch catfish while out on our yearly spring/summer fishing trips with the family to Keystone Lake or wherever else they may have went. While Buddy and I weren't cutting bait we would be rod and reel fishing trying to catch catfish which for the most part wasn't all that great of fishing with rod and reel but we didn't seem to care much as once in a while we'd catch one. Sometimes with more success than others but we were fishing and all other things never mattered much while doing that. My love of fishing was bass fishing though and when my cousin and family would move off to different places I'd be on my own and fishing for bass was the only thing I did in my spare time while not getting into other mischief.

    I married very young to my high school sweetheart, Glenda Cummings. Nov 6, 1977 and started a family immediately as our first child Timothy Michael was born Aug 7, 78 which was 9 months and 1 day after our marriage. 4 kids now Tim, Elizabeth, Donald, and Jesse. 3 grandkids by our daughter Sylvia, Cheyenne, and Samuel. Family Photos. This cut into my fishing time quite a bit as the responsibilities of raising kids took quite a lot of time. I'd still make it out fishing at least once a week while working in the oil field where I acquired the handle "Tiny" from one of the men that worked for me whose name was Bill Austin from Chandler. I was a pretty big boy then at 21 years old I weighed in at a healthy 330 lbs. I ended my oil field career on June 12, 1991 with a fractured L1 vertebrae which left me permanently disabled. I spent 2 years able to do nothing but lie on the floor for the most part as just standing would cause a severe burning. My back wasn't in that bad of shape after the injury but I went to a chiropractor in Cushing, OK that messed me up really good. He didn't see the fracture on the L1. The daily manipulations really tore stuff  up and it would take forever to heal. I caught pneumonia in 93 and had to quit smoking as a result and decided that if I didn't get out of that house I was going to die pretty soon so ........ I started fishing again.

     I went to Keystone dam and started fishing there as much as I could tolerate catching quite a few blues and the corps of engineers would open that center sluice gate to aerate the water for the fish during the summer and I thought if I could fish out there I could catch quite a lot of fish as it'd seem they'd be drawn to that area ... so I abandoned all my current fishing equipment in storage and started looking for some really stiff surf rods. I found a couple at Bixby, OK but they were set up for baitcasting reels and used for trolling. I bought the rods which were 16810 fenwicks 14' long and took them to the dam ... I put a 9000 daiwa reel on one of the rods and threw it and it went about 75 yds but had a problem with the line breaking ... I started using a shock line and working with it a little and then got to swinging the weight figuring out just how to get the most centrifugal force out of them ... I started hitting the dam pretty quick even though the rod had bait caster eyes on it. I then took the rods to Larry Sellers at Woody's Bait and Tackle about a mile from the dam and got him to retie the rods for me putting spinning eyes on them. I got them back and put a 488 mitchell reel on one and was hitting the white water the first trip out with them.

    The locals there didn't know me at the time and when I started whippin that lead around they was looking at me and snickering to each other like I was some kind of mentally handicapped individual but they quit laughing when they seen my sinker not only hit the running water but it went completely over the rooster tail that was produced by the open sluice gate. Since then I've went as far as to hit the other side of the dam twice under perfect conditions. 800 ft casts were common for me at the time as I still had a lot of upper body strength and pretty good hand eye coordination. I thought I was the originator of swinging the lead but found out later that they actually had casting competitions and they used something known as a pendulum cast. Well this got me to wanting to compete myself and this was in 96 when I was wanting to get involved with competition casting but I couldn't find out anything about where they were held or anything.

    Then in early 98 I had a heart attack which left me pretty weak and with a condition known as AFIB atrial fibrilation and under medication to control this my health kept deteriorating.

    A man I knew from Keystone Dam emailed me the link to the breakawayusa.com message board. I went to the board and got acquainted with the people there and told them of my past casting which there were a few skeptical of someone from inland being able to cast but I found out they were holding a competition on Oct 16, 1998 at Austin, TX. I made plans to attend and was going mostly to see what equipment they were using. I took with me a 7000c3 abu with levelwind and an old fiberglass Lamiglas rod. I had two of these rods made for me after I'd had the heart attack as I was no longer able to throw the fenwicks due to current health conditions. I entered the competition and casted 629 ft which was 4th overall and 2nd in the AA class which I found out was a good cast for the equipment I was using but was no where near what I was capable of before I'd had the heart attack.

    Nick Meyers ... one of the owners of breakawayusa.com sponsored me with a 1509 stinger breakaway rod and I got the rod and 6500c3ct reels and went to cast them in really bad weather. The wind was blowing about 40 mph straight out of the south but there at keystone dam there's about a 30 ft rock ledge that lets you get shielded from the south wind but when you've got a wind like that the sinkers will fly forever ... I had a converted 7000c3 that I'd taken the levelwind off of and this day under these condition I threw that new rod well over 900 ft and hit a trash can on the other bank where a man was standing about 15 ft from it I guess ... it hit the can and he ducked and took off running to the side thinking the world was coming to an end or something as he was all alone over there with no one in site and boom hahaha. The bad thing that happened that day was I totally blew my elbows out making it hard to even grip a drinking glass well enough to take a drink. It also messed my right shoulder up quite a bit so my casting was put on hold for quite sometime. Later on Ron Sutton wanted to pick me up as a full equipment sponsor and sent me a new PPT Tournament rod designed by Neil Mackellow from England (former world champ). I took the rod to the dam about 2 weeks before the next tourny and it gave me no resistance at all and I overextended my shoulder and messed it up really good. I sent the rod back and declined the sponsorship even though Ron had offered me the Ziplex Primo Synchro rod and any reel of my choice due to other reasons. I went to the Corpus Christi Open where all the big name casters had shown up ... several National Champs, two former world champs and the reigning Texas State Champ. I didn't have much hope of competing well with the injured shoulder against this crew of casters but ended up throwing 774 ft with the hurt shoulder and placing only 12 ft out of first place. I took third behind Hector Hernandez (texas state champ) and Roger Mortimer (former world champ).

    My health has gotten worse since then and the last two competitions I went to I couldn't cast at all hardly so I've decided to quit the competitions as the travel is really hard on me.

    Over the years from 1994 to present day I've refined catfishing techniques and ideas to improve my catch and decided that I'd pass on this information I've learned over the years to others that were wanting to start catfishing. I spend on average about 3 hours per day fishing when I go ... sometimes staying for 6 hours or so. I usually catch quite a few fish using these techniques ... some learned from other fishermen and others I've designed myself and through trial and error figured out some ways to do things that help surf rod fishermen cast with heavy line and then when the line hits the water allows the sinker to switch to light line in the case a big fish hangs the sinker in the rocks it'll break off easily allowing a person to get the fish in easier ... bait presentations are very important I've found ... testing fresh shad heads against shad heads that were dead for more than 1.5 hours and even testing shad heads against iced down shad ... there is no comparison as the heads cut from live shad produced 5 or more hits to 1 or even greater. Live shad has it's place as well as bluegill heads and fillets. Balloon fishing is also a great way to cover a lot of distance with the proper wind using life savers to drop the bait after it's dissolved in the water. You can use one balloon as a float and another to hold the bait and sinker up tied to the lifesaver and when it gets to the proper place you want to fish you let it sit and in just a few minutes the lifesaver will drop the bait. I learned this from some people that fish at Sooner Lake.

    Hope to get to know as many people as possible through fishing as that is one of my favorite things to do while fishing is visiting with people and also online ... I hope these pages help people catch more fish and help to clear up any questions they may have about catfishing. Good fishing to you all ... I don't wish people good luck as luck has nothing to do with it.

##################################################

Update: Found my family through this bio page.

Update June 6, 2002 Through this Bio my brother's daughter found me on the internet and I've found out that I've had 2 older brothers and 2 older sisters. I also found out why my father changed his name and that was to evade child support on two other families he'd started and bigamy. My brother, Mychal, has issues outstanding so we've since discontinued contact with one another (final correspondence). His sister Vivian Fuller from Arkansas I've not contacted yet nor my other sister in California who's name is Marilyn Stringer. Her brother Steve Stringer died in 2000 from an aneurysm or heart related problems.

UPDATE: July 30, 2002. I met my sister Vivian and family from Mnt. Pleasant, AR ... I dropped by on my way to Ohio's Indian Lake tournament and spent the day visiting ... they're really great folks and I'm goin back this weekend with wife and grandkids hopefully to meet the rest of the family ... I missed Dennie and his wife and kids and Eric's family , but hopefully I'll see them soon ... here's some photos of Vivian and family.

UPDATE: Aug 23, 2002. My sister Marilyn sent me some photos today ... one of our father that was taken 4 days before he died. Marilyn's family photos

UPDATE: Dec 21, 2004. I've contacted several Thompson family members all over the US ... my father's brother in Indiana and his wife, Beckham's son in Illinois and Beckham's Grandson in Montana. Beckham was my father's uncle and he had a son named Beckham also that was in the US Air Force most of his adult life. I've still not been able to get in touch with my father's sister Wanda Ladd who's supposed to have married a guy by the name Barnett. The last contact with them that we know of was in East Alton, IL. 

I've got my family tree information uploaded to Rootsweb.

Sincerely

Tiny