Earlier this week, I wrote about the strategic elements in deciding when and where to gas up in tournaments requiring long runs. With Monday’s announcement that the 2020 Bassmaster Classic will be on Lake Guntersville again, it raises another critical issue for those competing – where do you sleep?
Unlike many of you, I’m generally of the opinion that golf is a waste of good real estate, but nevertheless I was moved by seeing Tiger Woods celebrate his victory in the Masters on Sunday. As fishing fans have already been reminded this year, you should “never think that your best days are behind you.”
After nearly 25 years of tournament fishing and 15 years of writing, I remain fascinated by the tow vehicles anglers use to get from Point A to Point B. Whether it’s Craig Lamb telling me about his days of being a personal driver for Forrest Wood’s Ranger-pulling Lincoln Continental, or Rick Pierce telling me about the Lane brothers’ grandfather pulling up to Rodman Reservoir in an old green hearse, I love to hear about anything outside the ordinary.
I really wish that I’d had some formal training in journalism, because despite a wealth of informal mentors I’ve had to learn many of the hardest lessons through trial and error. One of the skills that I’ve worked hardest on in recent years is the not-so-simple act of building working relationships with specific anglers and industry personalities. I suppose in hardcore investigative journalism they’d call it “cultivating sources.” It involves access and trust.
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 meet my eventual demise trying to track down some glitter boat chasing fishing immortality.
Another Bassmaster Classic is fast approaching and as I looked back at the event’s recent history I was surprised to learn that the last western winner was Skeet Reese in 2009. As westerners have increasingly established themselves at the top of the Elite heap throughout the regular season and in accumulating AOY titles, there’s been a dearth of big trophy traffic going leftward across the country.
I’ve been getting consistently published in bass magazines and on related websites for over a dozen years now, so even though I sometimes still feel like an absolute rookie, I guess that makes me an old salt. I came into the gig accidentally, with no contacts and no journalism experience, so I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way.