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

Toyota Bonus Bucks live blog

Conditions aren't the greatest

8:11 am CDT, Sep 8, 2013

It should prove to be an interesting day. Currently there is no wind. We can't see if there is current on the lake yet. And it's forecast to be hot as blazes.


Most of us in the event are from other states, which makes this event pretty cool.


The conditions aren't the greatest, at least we think they aren't the greatest. It all remains to be seen.


Overstreet and I started fishing this event like we've seen the Elites do it over the years. It didn't work for us.


We finally decided to fish this place like we were at home and on the Arkansas River. That started producing some bites. But we have no idea if it will continue.


If it does, it's because we brought a little of Arkansas to Alabama.


They normally like that. It worked pretty well with Bear Bryant.

Boat No. 1 is on its way out

8:07 am CDT, Sep 8, 2013

Jason and Anthony journeyed to Decatur from Kentucky.

Ready to roll this morning!

8:05 am CDT, Sep 8, 2013

Don Barone is trying to see what we're throwing

8:00 am CDT, Sep 8, 2013

Combatants meet for the final time before it gets real

7:57 am CDT, Sep 8, 2013

The fun begins during practice

7:55 am CDT, Sep 8, 2013

Team of Darrell Pons and his son, Darrell Pons and the team of Don and Martha Goodfellow, a husband/wife team, chat on a practice day morning.
A beautiful sunrise sets the stage for a picture of their Toyota Tundras.

High School Invitational

8:15 pm CDT, Sep 7, 2013

The first ever B.A.S.S. High School Invitational was hosted right here on Wheeler Lake a couple of months ago. And tonight at registration, the champs showed up to meet the competitors.

High school coaches and champs on-site included Don Gowen, Brianna Tucker, Mitchell Gowen, Blake Gowen and Jim Garrie. All represent Decatur, Ala., high school fishing.

Dinner, with a side of smack

8:13 pm CDT, Sep 7, 2013

We are in the middle of the registration for the Toyota Owners Bonus Bucks Tournament.

Don Bah-rone is sitting at our table. He's still talking smack.

I guess I would too: His partner is former Elite angler and local guide Jimmy Mason.

Good for him. Overstreet and I may wish we had hooked up with a local hot shot by the end of this tomorrow.

We don't feel that way now, though. We're tired, beat up just like we had spent two days covering the Elites. Difference is we will be holding a rod instead of a camera. I think tomorrow is a better deal that an Elite.
We are actually competing in a tournament because I bought a truck. How cool is that?

Bah-rone is still talking smack. I'm going to start calling him Bah-run, because he won't stop running his mouth.

Tomorrow all of that stops.

Tonight we lift a glass to good competition. Then figure out how to unplug Jimmy Mason's alarm clock.

The Hunted

4:59 pm CDT, Sep 6, 2013



Dateline:  The Toyota Bonus Bucks Tournament


Check out this smack down:  http://www.bassmaster.com/blogs/toyota-bonus-bucks-live-blog/team-redneck-gunning-barone


Bowman/Overstreet…smack back coming your way…and I quote from you:


“Don Bah-rone, the Yankee hippee…would make an excellent second for Gallagher. He even wears goofy hats.” 


When  I worked at ESPN for those 15 years, I held the record for the number of people outside the company, who tried to get me fired.


I think, last I heard, it was 37…37 times, someone, other than the people who hired me, wanted to get me canned.


Here’s EXACTLY why…as an investigative reporter I would always do interviews as, “an excellent second for Gallagher,” while wearing, “goofy hats,” on backwards.


A few weeks/months later once the story hit air and the interviewees saw how much trouble/how much evidence I had on them they would inevitably call one of my several thousands bosses and try to get me fired.


ESPN never fired me.


ESPN never killed a story of mine.


One boss once told a friend of mine exactly this, “if they take his looks as someone stupid or someone they can intimate, they do so at their own peril.”


“...and another one gone…”

More smack:


“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.”


Smack back:


I have several NFL lineman friends, covered bunches of NFL games from the sidelines and the locker rooms, in my entire decade of covering the NFL I have never actually ever witnessed a lineman shiver any inanimate object, much less a Toyota dashboard.


That’s just what lineman in Disney movies do.


Since that may be the first time either one of you have ever laid a “shiver” on anything, please be careful…don’t want you hurting and moaning about your casting arm having a touch of the “shivers” or something.


BTW…I too am “psyching up for battle,” by blasting The Stones through my headphones and drinking frozen Margaritas so cold I too am…shivering.


“…and another one gone…”


More Smack:


“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.”


Smack Back:


Mambe Pambe all you want about me not weighing in fish, but I am not going to get in the way of legit anglers coming here to fish this tournament, I’m not going to do anything that hinders their ability to excel…for me dudes this is just a story, with a smack down going on, I will not ruin anyone else’s day…


…I say that so that if you think I haven’t prepared for this and done some homework on this and that I’m walking into the drawdown unarmed you are thinking so…at your own peril.


But Team Redneck…if you want to stick out whatever color neck you have on the scales…I’m ready.


WE weigh-in like this…everyone else weighs in, IT IS THEIR TOURNAMENT BTW…then you and Overstreet go forearm shiver something ON THE WAY BACK TO YOUR BOAT.


You and Overstreet, against me…back out on the water once the final fish is weighed in…we go out for ONE HOUR…you shiver your fish into the boat…at the end of that hour we will come back and face the scales.


Sudden death.


One hour.


“Crawfishing” back at you.


I bought a 7-day Alabama fishing license, I’ll go to the scales all week if you want.


“…hey I'm gonna get you too…”


Last Smack:


“Bah-rone is fishing his first tournament, and it’s up to us to beat him to smithereens, just like Gallagher walloping a watermelon…. two horsemen of the apocalypse are galloping your way. “


Two horsemen of the apocalypse, would technically be just “Two Horsemen of the ____lypse.”  You dudes are just half an apocalypse, you’re going to need a bigger, “____lypse.”


…at your own peril.


I may look like Gallagher, though I lean more to a resemblance to David Crosby myself,


I don’t actually ever get my head in the game until you say I stink, or can’t do something, or that I’m sure to fail,


in the beginning many folks said a writer who doesn’t fish writing about fishing would never last,




dudes, I want to thank you because now, now, you’ve got me interested,




in the last year and a half I’ve had,


Prostate Cancer,


Brain Tumor,


Fractured Knee,


beat that apocalypse,




“…another one bites the dust.”

Another One Bites The Dust




Team Redneck throws down gauntlet

1:47 pm CDT, Sep 6, 2013

James Overstreet and I (better known as Team Redneck) have spent a full day of practicing on Lake Wheeler.


Both of us are veterans of these type games, each with about 30 years of experience. We’ve spent more than our fair share of hours running around lakes and rivers trying to figure out the latest, best pattern on the latest, best lake or river. Bah-rone may not realize it, hell we may not realize it, but Team Redneck is a legitimate set of anglers.


(Hey Bah-rone, “pattern” is basically a constant repetition of what the fish are doing in a specific fishery)  As for Wheeler, as far as we can tell, the pattern is a very definitive not-biting anything. But we aren’t deterred. Not for one minute.


We understand you have signed up and teamed up with a local stud. That’s certainly okay with Team Redneck. We have faced more difficult odds than this in our days together.


You are old enough to probably remember Custer’s last stand. Just as assuredly as he whispered, “not another Indian” in your youth, you will surely utter “not another redneck” by the end of the weekend.


And justly, we accept your challenge or “duel” as we southern gentlemen like to refer to it. You mention you have purchased a 7-day Alabama license. Team Redneck has purchased a 365-day license each and we welcome the duel for as long as it will last.


To be honest, we are actually happy about it. Our practice has sucked. I can’t come up with a more descriptive superlative than that. The suckiness of it will surely get better the moment this tournament is over, so expect us on the dueling field the moment you are ready.