Those who attended the 2012 Bassmaster Classic last February watched Brian Schram perform an acoustic set of music with his group “SCHRAM” just prior to the final weigh-in at the CenturyLink Center in Shreveport-Bossier City, LA.
Schram, The Rockin’ Fisherman, entertained the crowd with his original country-rock fishing songs and a moving rendition of Ozzy Osbourne's "Mama, I'm Comin' Home", dedicated to members of the United States Armed Forces returning from active duty.
Making a career in the music business is the longest of long shots. But Schram, 28, is a man with two dreams. He also hopes to someday compete in the Bassmaster Classic.
The Goomba Music recording artist began fishing for stream trout at eight years old with his father in northern Michigan. He became an instant bass addict at 12 when a largemouth blasted the gurgling Jitterbug he retrieved across the surface of a farm pond.
“I was wrecked after that,” Schram says.
Schram didn’t get serious about bass tournament fishing until he attended the 2011 Bassmaster Classic at the Louisiana Delta. The invitation to go there came from a friend, namely BASS commentator and TV fishing host Mark Zona.
Zona arranged for Schram to be in Kevin VanDam’s chase boat on the final day of the Classic. The high-speed boat ride, watching VanDam slam a winning limit of heavy largemouths, and the animated Classic crowd had a profound impact on Schram.
“That really lit a fire under my butt,” Schram says. “It gave me a passion I didn’t know I had for competitive fishing.
Later that year, Schram fished the Bassmaster Central and Northern Opens as a co-angler to test the water. This season he is fishing the Central and Southern Opens as a co-angler and the Northern Opens as a pro.
Schram’s love for fishing isn’t limited to bass. This is his third year as a bass/muskie/walleye guide on Lake St. Clair, the site of the second Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open for 2012.
If you like catching trophy smallmouths, big walleyes and huge muskies, Schram can put you on them. Sometimes his clients catch all three species the same day. (Contact Brian’s Guide Service for reservations: 734-709-4728; firstname.lastname@example.org.)
To make time for his music career, Schram limits his guide trips at St. Clair to three days a week. His passion for music hit him as suddenly as the pond bass that inhaled his Jitterbug.
“I was around 15 years old when I heard Joe Satriani playing guitar instrumentals,” Schram says. “I fell in love with the idea of playing music like that. A week later I had a guitar in my hands. I’ve never put it down.”
A self-taught guitarist, Schram has played with the Top Dog/Atlantic Recording Artist Uncle Kracker and performed with Kracker’s band on Jay Leno, MTV's Carson Daly, Regis and Kelly and other popular shows. He currently performs with Schram.
Schram also does solo gigs. One of them is performing before the final Bassmaster Open weigh-ins that happen at Bass Pro Shops outdoor stores across the country. His repertoire usually includes some of his original fishing songs, such as, “Bassin’ USA,” “Takin’ my Girl Fishin’,” and “The Spot Stealing Song.”
“I want to take my music as far as it will carry me,” Schram says. “My goal now is to be the Ted Nugent of fishing.”
NOTE: You can purchase Brian Schram’s music at iTunes, Amazon.com and brianschram.com. Schram has released three Fish Tales CDs and two CDs from “SCHRAM.”