Why I Fish: Buddy Gross

“I believe it is what I was put on this Earth to do.”
— Buddy

Dateline:  Somewhere on the St. Lawrence

“What’s normal anyways?”
Forrest Gump

This is the exact moment Elite angler Buddy Gross knew what he was put on this Earth to do.

“It was like yesterday, I still remember that first fish I caught, my father gave me an old Johnson reel with maybe 4-pound line, nothing special. My parents back then were broke so I’m pretty sure it was a well-used reel…”

I’ve never met Buddy before, never talked to him before. I know he won an Elite gig this year, I know he, is at the moment, in second place in the Bassmaster Angler of the Year race. That’s all I know of the man. 

And yet, as he talks, I’m smiling, a big smile 

That’s what happens when someone who is put on this Earth to do something is telling you what it is that they do and it is that something … trust me on this, when that happens, it’s a magical interview.

“…so I’m fishing the bank and suddenly I get this bite and I start to reel and my rod and reel breaks, snaps, so I look around, it’s just me so I start hand lining it, grabbed the line and just started pulling the fish in with my hands and you know I’m like just 5 or 6 years old.”

Buddy Gross, that’s your sign, what you did there as a very young kid, is proof of what you were put here to do. 

Me, I would have dropped the line right on the spot and then would have run back to tell someone the whole story of what happened in great, short sentence detail. 

“On the way home my father stopped and bought me a baitcasting reel.”

Guess dad knew then too.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
Mae West