2013 B.A.S.S. Nation Eastern Divisional Sebago Lake - Point Sebago, ME, Sep 18 - 20, 2013

Pick 9! Part 3

Don Barone
Meet Herb Meyer.

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.

Dateline: Still Here, Point Sebago, lake Sebago, Maine

“Let's drink to the three thousand million…”

Meet Herb Meyer.  50 years old from Lyman, Maine, married two kids, on the Maine Team and a, hmm, um, an Eel catcher, thing, guy.

“I’m a mason…”

“Really…I didn’t think you could talk about that, like a secret or something.”

Herb just looks at me.  What?  I’m at B.A.S.S. tournament and you want to start talking secret societies or something.

“…I’m a bricklayer…a mason.”


Normally I begin interviews better than that.

Then, I get flustered a bit and call him, ‘erb, like the dude was a parsley or something.

I’m about to give the guy an out of the whole dang thing when he says, “I also catch and sell Elvers.”

This could go real well, or real bad depending pretty much if I ask him if he is in the Elves selling business or not.

“Elvers, you know, eels.”

Saved, he spoke first.

Herb, is a self-employed bricklayer from Kennebunk Port, Maine, “but db you pretty much don’t work in the winter time, so by spring the money is running a little tight, so I started catching and selling Elvers.”

I’m still freaked and basically have no idea what he is talking about and I’m google-less at the moment.


“An Elver is a baby eel, they come up all along the East Coast and up into the rivers of Maine from down in the Saragossa Sea off South America.”

Here’s my strategy for the rest of this interview, don’t ask nothing.

Shut-up and listen.

“Elvers come in from the ocean as babies and grow up in the fresh water.”

I write that down.

“From March 2oth until the end of May you can catch them, only a few hundred people in Maine are licensed to do that, me being one of them.”

I write that down.

“Europe and Asia buys them from us so they can raise them over there, we sell them by the pound, 3,000 elvers to the pound.”

I write that down.

“A couple of years ago I sold 63 pounds of them for $2,800 a pound.”

I stop writing.

“In two months I made $176,400 cash.”

I don’t need to write that down, I will never forget it.

“I took all that money and paid off every bill we had, bought a new Toyota Tundra, paid cash for it, put my license plate on it that says “ELVERS.”

I took a photo of it.

“Next month I’m going to be on the Animal Planet channel, they came up and filmed me catching Elvers.”

I’m going to watch it.

“I have a bad memory, I forget to do things, I was afraid I would forget to renew my Elvers license, couldn’t get a new one if I did that so my wife renews mine every year and gives it to me as my Valentine present.”

I would too.

“…let's think of the humble of birth…”

This one is for, The Big Guy.

Arthur Sullivan.

My wife’s father, passed a couple of years ago, was a career firefighter in Buffalo, NY.

I never called him, Art.

I never called him, Dad.

I called him, Big Guy.

He was a mountain of a man, I’m not, but I think he always liked me calling him that.

Random goes out the door when I hear of someone in the military, police or fire department.  So be it, that’s the way it is.