Along for the Ride

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I’ve blogged for B.A.S.S. at the last 10 Bassmaster Classics, and while I still geek out on it, the boat rides scare the hell out of me. Between wind, boat wakes and general idiocy on the water, I assume that there’s at least a 42.8% chance that I will meet my eventual demise trying to track down some glitter boat chasing fishing immortality.

I know it’s why James Overstreet and Steve Bowman toted around the Triton-that-would-not-die for years and years and years, and now Bowman brings his personal Phoenix whenever he can. Unfortunately, there are times when it’s just not feasible to bring a personal boat – usually either at stumpfests like the Red River, or when we’re staying in an urban environment that doesn’t make storing or launching a boat particularly easy.

That’s when we get a local to drive us around, which results in something of a mixed bag. We’ve had some good ones, like David Perciful at Conroe in 2017, but also the occasional nightmare. The latter group have certain bad habits in common:

1)     They want to prove that they have the fastest boat on the lake;

2)     They think it’s necessary to get right up in the prop wash of KVD/Ike/Skeet/Jason Christie. Here’s a hint, it’s hard to lose a dude being followed by 80 rooster tails;

3)     They spend half the day talking about how many tournaments they’ve won;

4)     And #3 leads them to constantly correct the contenders, as in, “KVD should really be fishing the other side of this cove,” or the ever-popular, “Aaron is dropshotting totally wrong.”

When you get one of them – and again, I stress that most of them are responsible and sane — It’s rare that they have just one of those four traits. They seem to come as a package deal.

Fortunately, this year photographer Shane Durrance and I had Elite rookie Mike Huff on the practice day and Andy Crawford and I had local Chuck Hennessey during competition. Both of them intuitively understood what it means to be fishing for a big check, and therefore got with the program from the get-go. I’m glad that we did not interfere with any angler’s performance, did not get ejected from the boat, and that I didn’t need a hemorrhoid pillow upon my return to work Tuesday. In that respect, no one except Ott DeFoe had a better week than I did.