db: Roy Bilby’s 25,000th bass

“Life is really up to you…”

Dateline: Your grail

“When you are not practicing, someone else is getting better.”
~Allen Iverson

“db, I just want to become a better Bass angler.”
~Roy Bilby
The dude who so far has caught 25,000 bass

There came this email from Bassmaster boss, Chris Mitchell: “What do you think?”

I’ve had emails from bosses like this before and they have gone bad pretty quick. I was halfway through typing my usual reply, “Wasn’t me…” when I noticed there was other stuff under the boss’ loaded question.

Check it out: “My name is Roy Bilby. I am a Lifetime member of B.A.S.S. In 1985 I started keeping a detailed journal of all my fishing trips. In 1986, I started keeping a running tally of all bass caught & released. It started as a quest to improve and I have done it religiously since that time, every trip. Some 3,000 entries. On August 6th of this year, I recorded my 25,000th bass!”

There’s some other stuff, but I kept it out in case I have to lawyer up, then this at the end… “I am a huge fan of Don Barone. If you think this story has merit, I would love to have him involved. It's kind of a bucket list thing for me to do a story with him.”

My reply back to Chris: Me a bucket list item? Dude, I’m not on my wife’s bucket list, don’t even think I’m on the dog’s bucket list…

Chris: “So you’ll do the story…”

Me: “Yep.”

Chris: “Oh by the way, he’s caught a bunch of fish you know.”

Me: “Huh.  He did?”

“…you must choose what to pursue…”


He did.

“I’ve kept fishing journals for 30 years now, can’t imagine fishing and not writing it down, I even bring a voice recorder and talk into the microphone right on the spot after the catch so as to not mix things up.”

Here’s Roy’s 30 years of journals:

Here’s some of what he writes down:

Here is where I’m supposed to take a photo of all the stories I’ve written printed out but to be honest, I never in my life have printed out one of my stories.


I lose stuff I keep so I stop keeping stuff which means I don’t lose as much stuff as I should be losing.

Kind of balances out in the long run.

Roy is a member of the Mohawk Valley Bass Anglers Club, a New York Nation group, fishes about 100 times a year around his home in Richmondville (50 miles to the left of Albany) and when not fishing is the Supervising Carpenter & Locksmith at SUNY/Cobblestone.

Me: “Are you a detailed oriented kind of guy, Roy?”

Roy: “Oh yeah, oh yeah, are you?”

Me: “Huh…um”

Roy: “No huh.”

“…set your mind on what to find…”

Me: “So, so, so, you know, um…”

Roy: “What I do with them, all the journals, in January the first big snowstorm we have around here, I make a pot of coffee, get all comfortable in my recliner and sit back and read the journal from the previous year, I get to relive every catch all over again.”

Me: “Hey Roy, is your wife there with you? (we are talking on the phone, forgot to mention that)…”

Roy: “Yep.”

Me: “Put her on.”