Wes Miller said that

Jerry McKinnis

OK, this is the last time I'm going to talk about Davy Hite.

Actually the whole bass fishing world has been on a Hite kick, what with his son being accepted to West Point and his big emotional victory on the Elite Series last week in Alabama. Yes sir, there's a lot of stories circling around this man and they're all good. So no wonder the news is all Davy Hite.

By the way, here's another reason to write about him. The name of the town he lives in is not a name at all. It's a number. Davy Hite is from a town in South Carolina named 96. How can that be?

We have to check that out and when I find the answer I'm not going to tell you, because I'm not writing about Davy Hite anymore. Actually, this is not really about Davy today. It's about someone who is very important to bass fishing, who made an interesting assessment of Davy.

This is a very, very important person in the bass fishing world and you don't know him from a load of coal. He's a young man who has caught very few bass in his life, has only been a few times, and yet has been an important part of more major bass catches than anyone else in the history of professional bass fishing.

His name is Wes Miller. There, I told you that you wouldn't know him.

You don't have a clue who Wes Miller is, but every Elite Bassmaster angler knows him. From KVD to Skeet Reese, even first year Elite angler David Walker knows that if Wes Miller gets in your boat on the last day of an event, then you must have a chance of winning the event.

Wes Miller is the lead cameraman for Bassmaster television. With all due respect to the other camera operators who are pretty darn good, no one on the planet can match this guy.

Oh, by the way, a cameraman's position of covering an angler on the water for 8 or 9 consecutive hours is probably the toughest production gig there is.

Let's go back to the early 90s for a little history. This young 28-29 year old comes in the office wanting a job of any kind and we put him to work as a grip. That means he does everything from rolling cable to getting lunch for the crew.

This is Wes Miller of course, and in the mid 90s he started driving the production truck as we have now started covering the Mariner Tournament trail for the newly launched ESPN2 network.

That TV production will turn into the FLW tour the next year and although Wes is still driving trucks, he's watching camera guys as they do their work and asking a thousand questions. Yes, he wants to be a cameraman.

Obviously lots of things happen through those years and Wes Miller's transition from behind a steering wheel to behind a camera view finder was not done quickly, but we're getting ready to cover the very first FLW event and a cameraman goes down.

Well here comes Wes, "Please let me do this, I promise I can do it -- Please!"

This is national TV coverage. Our first FLW event. I can't put a young kid who is really just a truck driver out on the water. However, I had no choice.

And here's a funny thing. He covered David Walker, who was greener than Wes. If Walker had known that this was Wes's first time in a boat, he may have backed out. Walker didn't win, but spent about 15 years on that circuit before qualifying and moving over to the Bassmaster Elites. Wes Miller takes credit for Walker's success, but that's another story.

In those days, I use to call each cameraman maybe once a day. Well, I must have called Wes 15 times that day worrying whether he was going to get the job done. He did and in the process started a fabulous career that again I must say, put him at the level of the best photographer ever to step in a boat and cover a bass fisherman.

This little company became, and still is, famous for how we cover fishing tournaments. Several people are responsible for that, but none more than Wes Miller.

Now, what made me think of this "Miller History" was a conversation I was having with him about Davy Hite -- yeah, him again. Wes covered him last weekend. It's Wes's shot that will show you the spectacular last 3 minutes of Hite's last day for television.

Here's what he said yesterday though. "I've covered everyone from KVD, Skeet and Rick Clunn and I don't think anybody could have had the confidence and patience's to do what Davy did.

"I don't know of any angler in the world who could have had the focus and insight to stay with a plan that would never materialize until the last minutes of every day. Most competitors would have panicked and scrambled for a new plan. Davy blocked all those thoughts out of his head and hung in there. He was amazing."

That statement didn't come from me, Tommy Sanders or Mark Zona. It came from the mouth of a guy who in the eyes of the Elite anglers is more important. Wes Miller said that;

Now, what made me think of this "Miller History" was a conversation I was having with him about Davy Hite -- yeah, him again. Wes covered him last weekend. It's Wes's shot that will show you the spectacular last 3 minutes of Hite's last day for television.

Here's what he said yesterday though. "I've covered everyone from KVD, Skeet and Rick Clunn and I don't think anybody could have had the confidence and patience's to do what Davy did.

"I don't know of any angler in the world who could have had the focus and insight to stay with a plan that would never materialize until the last minutes of every day. Most competitors would have panicked and scrambled for a new plan. Davy blocked all those thoughts out of his head and hung in there. He was amazing."

That statement didn't come from me, Tommy Sanders or Mark Zona. It came from the mouth of a guy who in the eyes of the Elite anglers is more important. Wes Miller said that.

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