Like a lot of guys, I took up fishing on my own. My dad never cared for it and doesn't to this day. But I know I could not have gotten to where I am without his support and encouragement.He's always been supportive of what I do, and he still is. When I was a kid, he got me a subscription to Bassmaster Magazine. I'd get it and read it cover to cover. Aside from his time, he bought me the best thing any 13- or 14-year-old who is in love with fishing could want: a 17-foot bass boat. Because he gave me a boat, he actually gave more of his time because I wasn't old enough to drive. Some of my fondest fishing memories back then are the times I spent on the boat with my dad.He grew up on the Mississippi River and had always been around the water and boats but had never been interested in fishing. He was more of a pleasure boater. Maybe that's why he could tolerate the hours I spent trolling around lakes with him along for the ride.
Since he didn't like to fish but had to drive me to the lake, he was stuck in between a rock and a hard place. To make the most of his time, he'd bring along the newspaper. I'd be up front on the trolling motor without a clue as to what I was doing, and he'd be back there reading the paper. Every so often I'd look back and, after a while, he'd go from sitting to lying down. He'd lay there across the seats and be fast asleep. That's how exciting he thought fishing was, and I can't imagine that's changed much.What also hasn't changed is his support for what I do. He asked very little of me, but gave all of himself to me. He's still behind me 100 percent, and, like a lot of guys, if I ever need anything, I know who I can call.