2013 Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners Tournament Wheeler Lake - Decatur, AL, Sep 7 - 8, 2013

Tournament Virgin, Part 2: 1/1,000 of a second

Jimmy MasonJimmy Mason

“And here comes boat #78…Don Barone and Jimmy Mason,” Dave Mercer announces as we go down the line and out onto the lake.  It was that moment that out of the corner of my eye I saw Jimmy take off his hat and start talking softly to himself.

“What was that all about Jimmy?”


I don’t say anything; if he wants to, he will.

“I pray for our safety, I pray for my family, and I pray for my little baby boy.”

Later in the day he told me, “It’s always the same prayer, The Lord’s Prayer.”

Up until yesterday, I had never met Jimmy, so for the 3 1/2 hours we spend out on the water he would tell me where to throw the shaky head, or the topwater lure thing, but then he would ask questions.

“In all the sports you have covered, which one was your favorite?”

“This one.”

“Really, not the NFL?”

“Jimmy, no offense to the NFL and its players but if I went to an NFL practice and I picked up a football and threw it on the field, no one would pick it up.  If I invited all 99 Elite anglers to my house for a barbecue and I put a 55-gallon drum in the backyard and filled it with water…99 dudes would be pitchin’ or flippin’ to it.”

Jimmy just laughed and shook his head, yes, and I know he was thinking how he would pitch to the 55 gallon drum now in his mind.

It was getting real hot, and I was melting so I sat down in the passengers seat and sort of drop shotted off the side of the boat. Jimmy was throwing at and around some huge docked barges, aiming mainly for the shaded area, large splashes were happening all around us.

“Did you see that fish roll?”


Another big splash, “So, Jimmy, when you see a fish jump like that do you throw at that spot?”

“Yeah, I do.”