2012 Elite Series Ramada Championship Oneida Lake - Syracuse, NY, Aug 23 - 26, 2012

Backstage @B.A.S.S.

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

“Now the seats are all empty…”

Dateline: Oneida Shores


Is there a sunrise, on the stars.

Or, is dawn a gift for only us.

In a moment the earth will pick the color of the day.

Oneida Lake will be the palate.

Waits the morning hue.

Sunrise…Oneida Shores.

I am standing alone on a dock.

Above me are the stars.

Below me are the frogs.

Do either know I’m here.  Know that we, are here.

I watch, as the gentle waves, paint the day.  First comes deep purple, then pink.

To my left I hear the flapping of wings before I see what rides the air.

And then comes the Heron skimming the canvas of the new day.

I listen to the frogs.

I watch the Blue Heron.

And I wonder, do they know I am here.

Do they care.

And I wonder, would dawn come if there were no frogs,

no Herons,


Would dawn no longer care about us.

If we silence the flapping wings.

If we make the morning symphony,


Then, two beams of light skim the water.

Then four, six, eight.

The Heron lands, the frogs go silent.

They know I’m here now.

They know WE are here now.

I don’t bother to turn around, I just stand there, smiling, waiting for what I know is coming, waiting for the comfort of two words.

Sunrise words.

Words that tell the dawn, thanks for the start, we’ll take it from here.


“….hey babe.”

And with that, for me, the B.A.S.S. Elite tournament is officially underway.


“…take the stage pack it up and tear it down…”


Back when you still have morning goobers in your eyes.

Back when you have dragon breath and bed hair.

Back when you can only see the alarm clock with your good eye.

Back then…B.A.S.S. has already begun, working.

Backstage @B.A.S.S. works dawn to dusk.

Backstage @B.A.S.S. works hours and hours, 10-12 hours a day, so that the Elite anglers can have their couple hours on stage.

You know those front and center, the ones holding the fish and smiling.

Now meet those you will never see.

But those who without whom, none of this would function.