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.
As part of the organization’s 50th anniversary, B.A.S.S. has provided me with an opportunity to investigate and write a series of “Where are they now?” articles chronicling important players from our history. I started with “Randy Dearman and the Birth of Braid” and next I talked to Joe Thomas about his iconic collaboration with the late Tim Tucker entitled “Diary of a Bass Pro.”
When I was 9 years old and my parents bought me my first subscription to Field & Stream, I was wowed by the idea that someone could get paid to write about fishing. At that time, unlike some of you, I had no clue that there was such a thing as a pro bass angler, so writers filled that aspirational target. I mean, come on, with a name like “Ted Trueblood,” more Hemingwayesque than that bestowed on old Ernest himself, how could the F&S scribes not inspire me to chase a life chronicling the outdoors?