With the Bassmaster Elite Series season finally over, it’s time to return to my “other” life away from professional fishing. That focus revolves around family, friends and … you guessed it … pecans.
I think most bass pros have a life away from the tour that’s very different from what they do for a living. When you spend that much time on the road, away from home, away from family and on the water, you need balance. For me, that comes from home and from our family pecan farm. It’s where I can reenergize myself while still enjoying the outdoors, which is where I like to be as much as possible. Hunting is a great outlet, too, especially now that my son, Kade, is old enough to get out in the woods with me.
Of course, there’s really not much of an “off-season” this year. Coming off my GEICO Bassmaster Classic win in March, I’ve got a pretty full schedule — shooting commercials for Bass Pro Shops, General Tire and Pelican and making appearances at functions for sponsors and supporters while doing as much charity work as I can.
I love staying busy, and the off-the-water aspect of my fishing career is actually a lot of fun. I get to meet different people, experience different kinds of work and do some of the things I could only dream about when I was getting started. Making commercials for sponsors sometimes involves a lot of standing around and waiting, but it’s also fascinating to watch the process come together through the efforts of dozens of very talented people who turn it into something we can all be proud of. It’s a teamwork thing that I always loved in sports, but that you don’t get a lot of in tournament fishing, which can be a very solitary thing.
At home, my wife, daughter and son keep me busy. We’ve always got something going on. Kylee is now a freshman at Oklahoma University where she’s studying speech pathology. Tuesday and I are really proud of the young woman she’s become. It’s tough to watch her go out on her own and move into a dorm, but she’s very responsible and it’s an exciting time in her life, so I try not to worry too much.
I’ve said it here before, but one of the things I love about driving the tractor on the farm or sitting in a deer stand is the chance to detach from the day-to-day details of my work in fishing and really think about things. The quiet of the woods or the steady noise of the tractor is relaxing and focusing.
The farm is also great because it’s a chance for me to learn something more or something new about agriculture and pecans. That stuff is fascinating to me, and I have to keep learning if Edwin Evers Pecans is going to succeed. Working on the farm is a great diversion, but it’s also a business we take very seriously.
This year, we’re expanding our offerings. We’ve had mostly good weather, got some much-needed rain in July and August, and our irrigation system has filled in when we needed it. Harvesting begins right away and will continue into December.
We’ve got a wide variety of natural and flavored pecans, and this year we’re adding lots of gift options and some custom labelling. If you’re looking to personalize your holiday gifts, we can do that for you now. And the pecans are the best you and the folks on your gift list have ever eaten. I hope you’ll give them a try.
That’s it for now, but I’ll be back soon with a how-to piece on spinnerbaits and jerkbaits for fall fishing. It’s amazing how fishermen will get away from baits that really catch fish because they’re using some trendy lure or method. Just remember that the bass don’t change. Spinnerbaits and jerkbaits are great in the fall, and I’ll share my favorite patterns with you. Stay tuned.