John Proctor, Albert Collins and Jamie Laiche, in ninth, second and first place, respectively, all chose to navigate the stump-filled bayous of the Ouachita River in smaller boats.
We don't know what attracts so many FedEx employees to leadership positions within the B.A.S.S. Nation.
It's all relative, but today's forecast in Monroe, La., was calling for 2-3 inches of rain. It's safe to say we're on track to meet that estimation. The mud, puddles and flowing streams of runoff pretty much tell the story around the boat ramp and weigh-in stage. It's wet...
In a few short hours, six anglers will walk across this stage and qualify for the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro on Grand Lake O' the Cherokees. It may be a bit rainy when they do so, but for the six members of the B.A.S.S. Nation who will earn the chance to compete in the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing, a little rain is not going to stand in their way.
Shooting an on-the-water gallery today wasn't working very well due to 20 mph winds and sideways rain — not a good combo for a photographer toting a $3,500 Canon around. So, Preuett and I decided to get off the water and better waterproof my camera. After a short conversation with The Legend himself, James Overstreet, he gave me a few effective methods to keep the moisture out of my camera. The required redneck supplies include a big garbage bag and rubber bands... Real technological...
"It's completely different than fishing at home," Bruce Cooke of Zimbabwe told us after Friday's weigh-in. In fact, he described the Ouachita River as "treacherous" because of all the stumps. It is his first time fishing a river system, and while he tried to get in some of the back areas during practice, he felt it was a little dangerous. "All the bass fishing done back home is on lakes," Cooke said, explaining that bass aren't in the rivers in Zimbabwe.
When Samuel Bounds of West Virginia took the stage on Day 2, Jon Stewart mentioned the fact that Bounds is a pastor. "I'm glad I get to be a part of something as great as fishing," said Bounds, "but even more, I'm glad to be a part of something even bigger than all this." He then pointed up toward the heavens. A couple of people in the crowd yelled, "Amen!" And then, just like that, the heavens opened up. It started pouring.
Larry Triplett wore candy on his arm up to the stage on Day 1 of the championship. The quick backstory is that his wife, Audrey McKenney, thoroughly enjoyed this line in the contenders gallery: "Larry Triplett of Colorado may be the husband of the Colorado B.A.S.S. Nation president, Audrey McKenney, but he's not just arm candy. Triplett has been at this fishing thing for a while now, and this is his second trip to the championship."
Yesterday, B.A.S.S. Nation Editor Tyler Wade wrote about how, more than anything, the love of family is evident here at the BNC. You just have to attend the weigh-in to see what we mean — lots of little ones cheering on their fathers in what could result in a berth at the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro. Even if they're too young to really "get it," they can still sense what a big deal it is.
"The hippos can be a problem" was an actual line used on the weigh-in stage yesterday. Kieron Samkin was explaining how fishing at his home in South Africa is different than fishing the Ouachita River. "Do you have lions and elephants wandering around your lakes?" asked Jon Stewart, B.A.S.S. Nation director.