CULLMAN CO., Ala. (WBRC) - Jon Ray was a soldier. An award-winning Drill Sergeant and recipient of The Purple Heart after he was wounded in Afghanistan, but like many returning veterans he found the transition to civilian life difficult until he re-discovered his true passion.
Today with his son Caleb and his wife Emily, you’ll find Jon at Momma’s Bait and Tackle sharing that passion.
Jon said, “When we first opened, I figured the only way I’m going to be able to pull this off is if I get in good graces with my wife. So her being Momma, we named it Momma’s Bait and Tackle.”
So when you visit Momma’s Bait and Tackle on Highway 69 South in Cullman County, yes, you will meet Momma, Jon’s wife, Emily.
Momma-Emily explains, “They expect me to just be behind the scenes, so sometimes they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re Momma?’ Yeah. That’s me.”
You'll also want to see son Caleb, especially if you want to talk fishing. Most of the customers do.
“If they’re heading to a certain spot, I’ll tell them a certain place to go and how they’re biting and what they’re biting that specific day,” said Caleb who’s an incoming freshman at Troy University.
Jon adds, “Once you’re in the military and you’ve progressed through the ranks and then you get out and try to just adapt to the civilian world, you know a lot of veterans have problems with that and I had problems with it as well. I ran it by my wife. Why don’t we just open a bait shop somewhere? If I didn’t have my wife, you know sitting there patting me on the back the whole time saying ‘It’s going to be OK. We’ll get through this together,’ I don’t know where I’d be.”
Today the whole family is together, sharing their passion at Momma’s Bait and Tackle.