I’m not a guppy anymore: My first B.A.S.S. tournament

I went into my internship at B.A.S.S. green. I didn’t know a single thing about bass fishing or the culture surrounding it. I had worked for my college newspaper and alumni magazine while I was in school, and I knew I wanted to try something different. Well, I got exactly what I wanted.


That’s why I was so excited to attend BASSfest at Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tenn. This was my opportunity to learn hands-on and see first-hand everything I had been working on so far. Little did I know just how well I would fit in among all of the bass anglers and fans. I’m the kind of person who loves grammar. I love words. I always have. Even at a young age, I excelled in my English classes, and early on I knew I wanted to be a writer. That’s why I studied journalism. I want to tell people’s stories. I kept that same mentality going into my internship with B.A.S.S. I was excited to learn the stylistic aspects of these publications, and I knew I had a lot of vocabulary to study if I wanted to know what I was reading and writing about. Spinner baits, cover, largemouth, smallmouth, jigs, livewells—all of these were new to me. I tried to teach myself all of these concepts, but with no avail. I’m the kind of learner who has to know what I’m studying and be able to relate to it in order to retain that information; otherwise, everything just goes in one ear and out the other.


I had the time of my life yesterday at BASSfest, and I have the sunburn to prove it! I was able to see everything that I’ve been reading and writing about for the past few weeks in person. I have such a better understanding of this corporation, the sport and its publications now that I’ve seen it all for myself. My editor, James Hall, took me and two of my co-workers out on his boat. Being a native Mobilian, I’ve spent a good amount of time on the water, but never in a bass-fishing boat. We even got to watch as the legendary Rick Clunn fished around some cover and structure. Later in the day, I even got to hold a bass! (I didn’t expect the mouth to be so boney!) I especially loved watching the weigh-in and seeing who would make the cut to continue fishing on Saturday and who would have to fish at Nickajack. All of the anglers, both the Elites guys and the Opens guys, were so nice and down to earth. And I couldn’t resist taking a picture with J-Pow (can you say fangirl?).


I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my Thursday. I learned more than I could have ever learned just sitting at a desk, and now I feel confident going into the last six weeks of my internship.