Caleb Sumrall may not be leading the Berkley Bassmaster Elite Series tournament at Lake Guntersville, but catching the biggest bass of the day on his 34th birthday provided a pretty strong gift. Sumrall caught the 7 pound 6 ounce beast of a largemouth at high noon after a morning that fell well short of a party.
“This fish was a total day saver, or maybe even a tournament saver, because the first five hours of my birthday out there was not a good scene,” smiled Sumrall.
Sumrall sees life’s big picture clearly, realizing that catching fish is his job, but not his highest priority. “I’ve got two awesome healthy kids, a super sweet and supportive wife, and I’m fishing for a living, that’s a pretty good place to be at age 34, and while there’s still stress, it’s a different kind of stress than I had in my previous job,” says the Carhartt pro.
One of bass fishing’s all-time great Cinderella stories, Sumrall had just been laid-off from his job in the oil field industry when he won the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship on Lake Hartwell in October, 2017 to make enough money to keep the bills paid and get an invite to the Bassmaster Elite Series.
“I was managing 100 employees and trying to keep a $25 Million dollar a year company happy before I lost that job. That was stressful. And obviously this career is stressful too, but a better kind of stress,” says a reflective Sumrall.
Sumrall is rooming with Chris and Cory Johnston, as well as his close buddy Lee Livesay, and ironically, May 20th is Cory’s birthday too, so there’s a strong chance a few celebratory ‘cold pops’ might get consumed in Guntersville among the fun-loving bunch Thursday night.
But at the core of his 34th birthday is gratefulness and fellowship.
“Five years from now when I turn 39, I want to be known as a good guy, an honest and fun guy to be around, and hopefully have a couple Elite Series wins under my belt. The fellowship among the Elite Series pros is the best it’s ever been, and why not shoot for the stars, right?” quizzed Sumrall in conclusion.
You bet, pal. It’s your birthday. Shoot for the stars. And the 7-pounder you caught on your 34th birthday should provide a big boost toward a great weekend ahead.