2012 Cabela's B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship
Wheeler Lake - Decatur, AL, Oct 25 - 27, 2012

Pick 3 Day at Fed Nation Championship

“…but it's a five o'clock world when the whistle blows…”

Meet #48.

Jeremy Pridgen…32 years old…married…from Hahira, Georgia.  Wife of 5 years, Jennie, lives in a 3 bedroom 2 bath house with his two young sons, 4 year old Lane, 2 year old Jack.

Works in sales at Waller Heating & Air down the road in Valdosta, Georgia, “Yep, took vacation days to be able to fish this tournament.”

Tell me your story Jeremy Pridgen…tell me your story…

“I been fishing all my life.  Funny story, when I was 5 years old I wanted my father to take me fishing so he went out and bought me a rod and reel and one of those plastic baby wading pools.”

Since I don’t know this guy, or his story, I just sort of shut-up and listen, always a good choice.

“So my Daddy takes the baby pool, fills it with water, puts a worm on my hook and draws a line in the sand in the backyard and tells me this, ‘when you can constantly cast from behind this line into the pool…then I will know you are serious and I will take you fishing.”

Then dad leaves for work.

Several hours later he comes back home for dinner and Jeremy’s mother brings him to the kitchen window that looks out onto the backyard…and there, in the last light of the day stands 5 year old Jeremy STILL casting into the pool…and he hits the water every time.

“We went fishing soon after that.”

I get this…my father when I bought my first car, my father went out in the driveway, opened the hood and with some tools started taking part off the engine and throwing them on the grass in the backyard.

“When you can fix the car you can drive it,” was all he said to me.

I was a mechanical moron, still am, and Dad ended up putting the stuff back on the engine…but I got the point.

Jeremy:  “I don’t get to fish as often as I would like, maybe twice a month you know, wife, kids, family…and work come first…but man…man it is awesome to be here…”

And all he could do was look out silently at the boats.  I know, know the feeling about talking about dreams and having those dreams fade away.

Then this.

And what it comes back to, what it always came back to with Jeremy…family.

“I took my 4yr old Lane out fishing…just bank fishing…and wouldn’t you know it…he caught one…caught a bass…he was so happy when he caught it and held it up to show me…got to tell you I almost started crying…”

Almost did once again until I asked him my final question, “Why was that emotional for you.”

“Because you only catch your first fish, once.  Lane will remember that fish all his life, and he will remember me standing there with him, will tell his children that story, and I will always be there.”

The story of #48…family.