Bassin' brothers find one another


Eddie Stiefel with brother Robert Mathis, united after more than 50 years.

Imagine receiving a call from your son, telling you he just got off the phone with your brother — a brother you never knew you had.

That’s precisely what happened to Eddie Stiefel, a Bassmaster Opens competitor from New Jersey, who’s fishing this week’s Eastern Open on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in Florida.

Not only did Stiefel discover he had a long lost brother, he learned that his brother is also a member of B.A.S.S. … and he, too, fishes tournaments.

What are the odds?

Even more incredible is that both are in Kissimmee this week on the same body of water (albeit fishing different events). Eddie traveled south from his hometown in New Jersey, while his brother, Robert Mathis, drove over from Odessa, Texas. The two are now reunited and pre-fishing together after 50-plus years.

Fate calling

“It was the strangest thing,” shares Stiefel. “My son calls and says, ‘Hey Dad, I just got off the phone with your brother.’ I said, ‘What brother? What are you talking about?’ 

“Then he tells me this supposed brother, Robert, went on searching our family history, and that’s how he found my son, Eddie Jr. It was mind-blowing. I didn’t know how to react. Then Junior forwarded a photo, and when I saw my brother’s image, I saw myself. 

“It looked like me in a cowboy hat!”

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