Talking smack, cordially
Early Sunday morning, Brent Chapman and Ben Matsubu were lined up in order at the front of the dock, their boats almost touching. When Matsubu overheard an interview Chapman was giving to an ESPNOutdoors.com writer, he thought he'd chime in. Chapman was saying how a tournament win would be a great present for his father, who was turning 60 on Sunday.
"Well, my parents are celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary later this week, so MY win would be a better present," Matsubu said.
Chapman responded. "Well then, you'll need some really, really big fish, Ben."
"I'll have 12 pounds before you even get to the lock," Matsubu shouted.
As the anglers laughed it off, everyone could tell that the competition would be heated from the launch. They each wished each other good luck and sat down to start their engines.
It's for the kids
Brent Chapman promised his kids a vacation when they headed down to Lake Toho for the Sunshine Showdown, presented by Allstate Boat Insurance. But his children are just going to have to wait.
"I need to win this thing to make it up to my kids," Chapman said. "But I think they'll understand if Dad comes home with a check, and we still go to DisneyWorld a day or two later."
Too close for comfort
You could say James Niggemeyer was pretty excited to be fishing on Sunday. His first top 12 finish of the year, Niggemeyer was just behind Jon Bondy in lining up for the launch. As he cut his main motor and picked up his trolling motor, the boat was still moving quickly into the dock. A spectator watching Niggemeyer asked him how he was doing.
But dropping the trolling motor in the water put the brakes on the boat, jolting him forward—and almost over the side.
"I was doing really well until just now, " Niggemeyer said, smiling.