Hey, everybody, this is my first column, and if you’re reading it, please know how much it means that you’re taking time to get to know me.
My goal is to share a lot about fishing, but also a lot about my life as a recent Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Champion now competing in the upcoming Bassmaster Classic and the Bassmaster Opens.
My love of fishing began in the middle seat of a fishing boat on Iatt Lake in Central Louisiana. My dad ran the trolling motor and his dad, my “Pop,” sat in the rear seat.
Sadly, Pop died when I was 10 years old. And to this day, it’s still really tough on me. Fact is his headstone features a sketched image carved into the granite of Dad, me and Pop fishing on Iatt Lake with its well-recognized cypress trees.
Pop hauled pulpwood in the logging industry, and he would have loved to watch my fishing career unfold. His daughter, my Aunt Bonita, is well aware of that, and being the big heart that she is, she gave me a gift at Christmas that I want to share with y’all.
Inside a brand new Carhartt duffle bag was a jacket and a note from Aunt B to me. It said, “Brett – I gave this jacket to Pop as a present a long time ago. When he died, I kept it. I want you to have Pop’s Carhartt jacket and cherish it. Carhartt is a great company that has selected you to sponsor. As you fish, and live life, may Pop be with you in his Carhartt jacket. I’m so very proud of you and I know Pop is too. As he always said, ‘Love God. Love your country. Love your family.’ Represent God, and let him be the Lord of your life. I love you, B.”
I talk about signs from something bigger than me a lot. And I also believe that everything happens for a reason. Now that I’m blessed to have Carhartt as my biggest sponsor, there’s no doubt that Aunt Bonita’s decision to keep Pop’s jacket when he passed 14 years ago was no accident.
I packed Pop’s jacket in my Tundra for the 18-hour drive from West Monroe, La., to Kissimmee, Fla., for the Bassmaster Southern Open and every time I’d stop for food or gas, I’d slip it on when I climbed out of the truck.
And I gotta tell you; the fact that it fits perfectly on me is pretty comforting.