By Jim Gildea
June 15, 2012
If you mention “father and son bass fishing” in New England, one name comes to mind – Joe and Steve Lucarelli.
Steve has been a fixture on the tournament circuit for years and started fishing with his son, Joe, when he was quite young. They have won many team tournaments together, including the ABA Nationals.
Most people remember when they finished first and second at the FLW Stren tournament on Lake Champlain in 2009. This was the first, and only time, a father and a son have finished one-two in a major bass tournament.
The tournament that I remember best was when they won the Northern Bass Customer Appreciation Tournament on Lake Winnipasaukee. This tournament has been held for many years, and it’s the biggest of its kind on the local scene. It draws over 100 teams, and has a pretty hefty payout for a local tournament. Everyone around these parts fishes it, and to win it is a big deal.
Some moments are so vivid, so powerful, and so emotional they become etched in our minds. One such moment was listening to Steve Lucarelli try to explain what it meant to win a big team tournament with Joe.
I think Joe and Steve had a bunch of top finishes over the years, but never a first. When the event was over, and they were awarded their check, Steve tried to put into words what it meant.
His words were, in effect, “You have all watched my son grow up. You’ve seen him learn and progress, and watched him grow from a 12 year old boy to a man. To win this tournament, with my son, means more to me than you can possibly imagine.”
To watch a father overcome with pride and joy, sharing a triumph with his son, is something I will never forget.