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 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.
I just spent five whirlwind days in Texas, fishing three different lakes with four different Classic qualifiers – Clark Reehm, Keith Combs, Albert Collins and Lonnie Stanley. Frankly, I’ve always believed that bass fishing sucks throughout much of the country in November, but the bass in the eastern part of the Lone Star State must not have gotten the memo, because the numbers of fish were absolutely insane, and while my hosts kept complaining about the lack of big ones I really didn’t notice