“Up this morning before the sun…”
Dateline: In, you know, shock…
I frozed hell.
Iced me a bunch of devils, I did.
And, you know, if you happen to be in line buying some Sweet Tea at Mickey-D’s and a pig flies by,
yeah that would be on me.
This whole month of Sundays.
I have somehow made impossible, possible.
If the Buffalo Bills win the Super Bowl this year, remember, I told you so.
“…fixed me some coffee and a honey bun…”
So why this sudden db-caused Paradigm Shift in the universe? Well, frankly, getting the sun to set in the east didn’t take much effort; all I did was say, “Yeah, right, I’ll fish a tournament when…”
But then, then, you know, this Toyota Bonus Bucks Tournament comes up, and it seems that somehow when I bought my Tundra, while signing the several thousand sheets of paper, 436 pages of Connecticut property tax forms alone for the privilege of taking my tags from the car I traded in and walking down the driveway and attaching them to the Tundra, but, but, but, somewhere in the stack I got me signed up as…as…a Tournament Angler.
And as I write this, $5 bills are growing on Ann’s oak tree next door.
So I’m sort of hesitating, not making any kind of real commitment you, or your attorney, could hold me to about fishing this thing when suddenly at the Toyota Angler of the Year shindig dinner for my bud Aaron Martens, I hear this exact sentence said, “Bowman is fishing the Toyota Bonus Bucks thing, you know….”
Now, between me and you, I know this sentence to be pretty much dang factual because they hadn’t yet turned on the beer tap.
I spot Bowman standing over with my bud, and co-author, James Overstreet, a photographer so talented he doesn’t even have an auto-focus button on his camera, so I go over, and depending on whether you have had any lie detector training or not, I may or may not have said a very civil welcome to Bowman, “If you are fishing that tournament and if I was fishing that tournament, I would kick your arse.”
Bowman stopped mid-appetizer chew.
Overstreet went to get his camera.
One more chew, it was some kind of girly appetizer thing Bowman was eating, and then this, “Bah-rone, you Yankee hippie, we are great friends but if you fish that tournament the moment we launch you will be my mortal enemy.”
It was at that moment, that exact moment, when Bah-rone became a gosh darn…TOURNAMENT ANGLER.
“…jumped in my pickup…”
Let me explain Bowman, Steve Bowman to you, he’s some sort of honcho over at JM Associates, the TV production company owned by my baseball loving friend, Jerry McKinnis, that makes all the Bassmaster stuff you see on the tube.
This is how I explain Bowman to anyone who asks me anything about the tall, maybe 10-12 feet tall, gravely voiced, all gnarled up skin Steve Bowman, to those who ask me about him I always say exactly this,
“Every ounce of success I have had writing in the outdoor world is because of him. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Steve Bowman.”
I owe him this career. Period.
How that happened, I have no idea. Whenever we talk, him an outdoor dude, me an indoor cat, it is always a who’s on first type of conversation.
I know we have made overhearers dizzy.
He is yin. I’m yang. But the dude has always had my back, but, but…I’m still going to kick his arse out there on the water, yep, just as soon as I get a rod, a reel, some string to put in the reel, some bait things, sunscreen, a fishing license (which is frankly shocking that a state would actually even think of letting me have one of those) and, um, you know…a…boat.
“…gave her the gas…”
I have covered sports for a long time now, and while I may have some questionable thoughts about some professional athletes I’ve chased around this planet, little if no respect for cheaters/juicers, I have always had enormous respect for the GAME.
Any of the games I’ve covered.
And that respect, ingrained in me, will be extended to the Toyota Bonus Bucks Tournament and the anglers, all of THEM, competing in it.
Respect for the sport, respect for those who love the sport.
So I’m not going to muck around like some clown in this tournament.
I will have help fishing in it, really good help with fishing, in it, and I will fish for whatever the limit of fish that the rules call for, and then I’m going to do this,
as soon as I catch the basses that will ultimately beat Bowman, my boat driver will weigh them, take a photo of me maybe holding them, maybe not, and then, then I will put the basses back in the lake.
I will not carry a sack of fish up to be weighed; I will leave that up to the guys who traveled hundreds of miles and paid their money to compete. To you dudes, I will not get in your way, not get between you and a check.
I don’t believe that to be good sportsmanship.
But I’m telling you, my fellow tournament anglers, this…out on the water I’m going to be doing a “Pick-3.”
As I’m fishing and I see you fishing as well, as long as it doesn’t bother you, I will float up next to your boat, and we will fish together…and talk.
An on the water interview while fishing.
So, heads up, if you are not Bowman, I may be stopping by for a cast and a chat.
If though, in fact you are Bowman, know this,
pork is in the air,
there are some devil popsicles,
this month is Sunday,
“…goin' out to catch a five pound bass.”
“Five Pound Bass”
Robert Earl Keen