I’m now four-for-eight.
As a cleanup hitter, that would be a good ratio of success. For someone providing vasectomies, not so much.
I’ve covered eight Classics for B.A.S.S., and in four of them I was in the boat closest to the winning angler when he caught the fish that put him over the top. In 2010, James Overstreet and I were in Beeswax Creek when KVD sealed the deal. In 2011, we were in Cataouatche when he did it again. The following year we used and abused half the boats in Shreveport getting to Chris Lane, and in 2013 we watched Cliff Pace eke out the victory.
Of course, it wasn’t all skill or superior decisionmaking on our part. With Overstreet as the unquestioned number one shutterbug on staff, they needed to give the best chance of taking that most important shot. Still, we thought we were pretty damn special.
Then things went downhill. In 2014, we rode the Randall Tharp train until the end, but succumbed (along with Randall) to Randy Howell’s last minute charge. In 2015, Overstreet was out of Commission, but I was with Skeet Reese all of Day Two before transitioning to Casey Ashley on the morning of Day Three. I don’t really count that one as following a winner, because we weren’t locked to him all day.
Last year, back in Tulsa, we were all-in on Jason Christie until his buddy Edwin lit up the scoreboard on Sunday to claim the victory.
This year, photographer Nate Sims and I followed Brent Ehrler, who led after Days One and Two, for the final two days. He ended up third overall, so after four “wins,” I now have four straight in the “loss” column – or, if you’re being more charitable, the “near miss” column.
Time to get back on track and start a new streak in 2018. If you’re an Elite Series angler who qualifies for next year’s rodeo on Hartwell, I’m the dude you want to see on Championship Sunday.