On Monday I got to spend 90 minutes in the boat with David Fritts, 1993 Bassmaster Classic Champion, 1997 FLW Championship victor, and widely acknowledged crankbait savant. About a decade ago I’d spent a day with him on the Potomac River on a tour practice day, but that day he was focused on finding fish so I really couldn’t pick his brain. This time, it was all about the Q&A.
The first thing I do after getting a new boat is to take the butt seat out and store it in my garage until it’s time to send the whole deal to the next owner a few years later. I guess I might be inclined to pull it out if fishing in open water or a rough day, but now that I no longer fish tournaments those days are few and far between -- which means that at best a butt seat on the front deck would get in my way and at worst it might knock me into the drink.
If I’d had to guess which of the non-current Elite Series pros would have accepted the “Legend” invitation to rejoin the top tour at B.A.S.S., I wouldn’t have hesitated to answer “Roland Martin.” For reasons of his own, though, Roland turned down the spot and David Fritts accepted it. That surprised the hell out of me, because while there can be no doubt that Fritts was once a tremendous tournament angler and innovator, he’s been an afterthought for many fishing fans in recent years