A Visit to the Mothership

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I joined B.A.S.S. in 1983.

I fished my first B.A.S.S.-affiliated tournament in 1995.

I published my inaugural article in Bassmaster in 2006.

They promoted me to the position of Senior Writer just a few years ago.

Despite all of that history, I had not visited B.A.S.S. headquarters – in Montgomery, Orlando or Birmingham – until Wednesday, when I attended a meeting at the brain center.

Despite what you and I may have expected, the building’s exterior betrays no hint of what is inside. There is no leaping bass sculpture in front of the building. It is not shaped like Bill Dance’s head, with an entrance at the mouth and a balcony coming out of the “T” in his hat. It is not on “Bigmouth Road” or “Catch’em Lane” (the latter of which is the street address of one past Classic winner and AOY).

No, it’s just a regular multi-story office building. The B.A.S.S. suite, likewise, is unremarkable at first glance. Cubicles, offices, desks, break room, coffee pot. It’s the décor and nomenclature that sets it apart. Not only are there “Largemouth” and “Smallmouth” conference rooms, but there’s not a single wall without some sort of bass fishing history, memorabilia or recognition affixed to it.

If you think you have difficulty focusing at work now, spending too much time daydreaming about finally getting out on the water this weekend, imagine how hard it would be to concentrate with Rick Clunn or KVD staring down at you from a blown-up magazine cover. I know that it would be difficult for me, except that a big part of the reason you’re sitting there is to catalyze and celebrate the next great moment in bass fishing history. It might not look like much, but it’s where the sausage gets made and heroes get built.