Walking into the first day of work at a new job can be a hard task anywhere. Starting your first day at 4 a.m. on Day 1 of the 2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic is a whole other monster to wrangle.
Being at the Bassmaster Classic is a dream day for any tournament fisherman like me, but it was also the first day of a serious job opportunity, one that I didn’t want to mess up. Despite all of the chaos surrounding the Super Bowl of bass fishing, the coverage of the event had to be stellar.
Working with the BASStrakk system, as well as the Lowrance War Room, I quickly learned the expectations of working with the best fishing organization in the world.
Making the 90-minute trek from Lake Guntersville to Birmingham, Ala., every day gave me plenty of time to talk with and learn from true professionals like Dave Mercer, Steve Bowman and Jim Sexton.
Getting to Birmingham every morning after take-off and stepping foot into a “live” War Room meant I had to be on my A-game from there until I clocked out that evening. For periods throughout each day, it felt like I was in the middle of a war type atmosphere with all of the noise, phone calls, leaderboard updates and even the occasional microphone time. Sometimes I would sit in my chair, look around the room and just exhale at everything that had just taken in over a couple hour period.
With GoPro as a major sponsor of the Classic, much of the coverage was caught on the handy cameras without an actual cameraman aboard the boats. My buddy Shaye Baker had 1,000-plus hours of footage to sort through over the course of the event and, at times, that seemed like an insurmountable mountain; and yet, much of the footage from the water that B.A.S.S. used was because of his efforts.
The devotion of the entire B.A.S.S. staff, me included, is a major reason why the Bassmaster Classic is the holy grail of fishing. Knowing that all the photos and video will be created by true professionals and that the stories written will have a strong factual backbone goes a long way with followers of the sport.
The chance to work in the sport I love is an opportunity (and a blessing) that doesn’t happen often; and when it did, man , I was overcome with emotion regarding the opportunity. Traveling with the Elite Series this season was truly unexpected, but definitely welcomed. Come follow along as I log my story as a “rookie” worker this year on the Elite Series.