After nearly 20 years of professional fishing, I finally got a Bassmaster Magazine cover. Every bass angler would love to be on the cover of Bassmaster, and I'm no different. I've had many stories and even a cover of B.A.S.S. Times, but the cover of Bassmaster has always eluded me. That's another major goal of mine that I can cross off the list, along with the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title and the winning of a Bassmaster Elite Series event.
What makes the cover even more special is that the shot wasn't just another photo. It was a photo of the fish that, in my mind, sealed the AOY title. The fish in the photo, was my fifth fish on the third day of the Lake Oneida event. When that fish got in the boat, I knew I had won Angler of the Year. Getting the magazine cover and the feeling I had when that fish came in the boat is something I hope to always remember.
Gary Tramontina, one of B.A.S.S.'s incredible photographers, was able to capture this moment at its height of excitement. Seeing that bass fly two or three feet out of the air was both exciting and scary at the same time. I fish a lot and sometimes get numb to the excitement of catching a fish, but that was something special. It's a great shot, but knowing what was riding on that fish makes it even better. I'd like to extend a huge thanks to Gary and the rest of the B.A.S.S. photographers for all they do to make us anglers look good.
When I got my magazine in the mail — with "Brent Chapman Angler of the Year" on the cover, and the mailing label with my name and address on it — I put it in a Ziploc bag and tucked it away for safe keeping. Mason and Makayla can show it to their grandkids someday. Until then, I hope to get out there and earn a few more covers!
I'd also like to take the time to tell everyone about what my good friend and Elite Series competitor Randy Howell is doing with King's Home in Alabama. In two weeks, they're going to give away Randy's 2012 Elite Series boat. I could go into how great the 2012 21HP Triton boat is or how it has the best motor money can buy in the 250 Pro XS Mercury motor, but that's not why you should support this cause. The best thing is your donation will go to a great organization that changes lives and makes our world a better place. Please see this video for more information on Kings home. To donate, please visit their site. For every $100 you donate you receive a chance to win Randy's boat. Somebody's going to get a great boat!
My tip this week is quick and easy. This is a great time of year to tie on your favorite buzzbait and go have some fun. Look for steep, rocky banks and places where the shad will come up to feed off the algae on rocks. You might be shocked to learn that some of my best buzzbait days have been with water temperatures in the mid to upper 40s.