Editor's Note: Longtime BASS Senior Writer Tim Tucker was killed Monday, July 16, in an automobile accident near Gainesville, Fla. His contributions to our sport were immeasurable, and he will be deeply missed by everyone who loves bass fishing.
"Hey, can you do me a favor?" asked the man next to me, sitting in a camp chair, holding the Day 2 results of the 2000 Lake Martin Bassmaster Tour event.
I had just met Tim Tucker the day before, but I had absorbed the words of this legendary outdoor scribe since I was old enough to pronounce "crankbait." This was my first assignment as BASS Media Relations Manager, so whatever he needed, I was planning on getting.
"Of course," I replied.
"You see that speaker?" he asked.
"You mean the one on top of the big tournament weigh-in trailer?" I returned.
"Yep. Could you turn it toward me just a little bit? It's pretty hard to hear over here," he finished.
I was hoping he was going to ask for a bottle of water.
Scaling the tournament trailer during a weigh-in was a pretty tall order, but seemed doable. I grabbed the oversized hinges of the rear fold-down door and climbed. Trying to stay out of view of the audience, I angled the speaker toward Tucker. He gave me the thumbs-up, grinning.
"I can't believe you actually did that," he laughed upon my return.
"I was just kidding! But, I suppose I can hear a little bit better now," he
Hearing, in his defense, was not Tim's claim to fame. Instead, Tucker became an icon in the bass fishing world because of his voice.
He would speak to up-and-coming pros about how to make a living on the water, oftentimes holding court for rookie anglers at tournament weigh-ins. He would talk to kids about the basics of bass fishing. He spoke to every BASS member, with typical Tucker wit, in almost every issue of Bassmaster Magazine over the past three decades. He was one of the voices of Bassmaster Classic radio, offering color commentary on the Super Bowl of bass fishing. He spoke to up-and-coming journalists, offering advice for being successful in translating the out-of-doors experience to the reader who desires such yarns.
Without his support, I very well might not have continued my dream of becoming an outdoor journalist. So it seemed fitting that he would call me on a weekly (if not daily) basis once I became editor of Bassmaster Magazine.
"What can I do for you today?" he would always start the conversation.
And "today" usually meant next week. My running joke with Tim was that he could spell every word in the dictionary but "deadline." He would always offer a half-hearted belly laugh at my jab before he'd jab back.
"I wouldn't take so much time if I knew I had a decent editor to catch mistakes," he'd reply.
After hearing of the car accident that took Tim Tucker's life, I, like the rest of his friends and industry fans, sit in silence.
I miss Tim Tucker's voice. I know he had much more to tell.
If only there was a speaker to adjust, eh Tim?
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