James Overstreet and I are roaring eastward from Arkansas to Alabama, our boat in tow and Tundra humming. We look like a couple of NFL linemen psyching up for battle. Every once in a while, Overstreet will send a forearm shiver to the dash, growl out a “Bah-rone” and then sit back and work himself up again.
This is living, I tell ya.
We are on our way to Decatur, Ala., for the Toyota Bonus Bucks Tournament this weekend. Neither of us is a stranger to driving hundreds of miles (325 miles to be exact) to a tournament. We do it about every other week.
Typically, though, we are headed to an Elite or an Open or an All Star event where we spend more time shooting photos of anglers and writing about them than actually fishing.
For this one, we are loaded for bear. We have enough tackle, rods and reels and every thing in between to catch every swimming fish in Alabama. But that’s not the bear we are talking about.
If you check out “Flyin’ Pigs,” then you might get an idea of the bear I’m referring to. Yes, he’s a teddy bear, our good friend Don Bah-rone, the Yankee hippee who has a style with words that is unequaled in our business, even though he would make an excellent second for Gallagher. He even wears goofy hats.
I still remember when Bah-rone and I worked for ESPN and I had to beg him to come to his first tournament on Lake Champlain. I think he caught a Volkswagen in the parking lot before Skeet Reese confiscated his rod and reel.
Bah-rone has been a fixture on the bass scene since, even though he has been banned from casting anything for several years. In the last few days, he’s laid down the gauntlet on Team Redneck (me and Overstreet). That little gauntlet is not something a couple of good old boys take lightly.
That’s why Overstreet and I are swapping shivers to the dashboard on my new truck.
Our initial plan was to head over to Wheeler, a lake where we have covered several tournaments, but have yet to wet a line, spend a few days relaxing and casting for a change.
Then the Yankee-hippee growled and the whole landscape changed.
Bah-rone is fishing his first tournament, and it’s up to us to beat him to smithereens, just like Gallagher walloping a watermelon.
Bah-rone is already crawfishing, just a little, planning on not weighing any fish, just taking photos of whatever he can find as some sort of proof. As veterans of this game, the measuring stick is and always will be the scales.
So here is the call out: Bah-rone, bring your fish to the scales or forever be ridiculed by Team Redneck. Beat us on the scales, dude. I don’t mind losing. One-day tourneys are not easy for non-local anglers to come out on top. But play the game the way it’s supposed to be played; let the scales decide who has a crocodile mouth or tweety-bird ass.
As far as Team Redneck goes, we don’t mind finishing next to last, as long as you are last.
Two horsemen of the apocalypse are galloping your way.