I just got back from an epic trip to Lake Erie near South Bass Island with my dad and my little brother. We caught 80 smallmouth a day between 3 and 4 pounds.
Most of our big smallies ate the same exact Yamamoto Shad Shape Drop Shot worm I used to win the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Bracket Championship in Minnesota last fall, which allowed me to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina earlier this year.
Yep, it seems like there have been two things in common with my most memorable fishing days in recent months – Shad Shape Drop Shot worms and Dad. In fact, he was the very first person I called from the Bracket Championship in Minnesota as soon as I knew I had qualified for the Classic.
With Father’s Day fast approaching – it definitely makes me feel really grateful for all that my dad has meant to my life, as well as my fishing.
We actually have some old school video he shot on a camcorder of me in his boat fishing during our first tournament together when I was about 5 years old. I’m wearing a life jacket and holding a push-button Spider-Man rod and reel.
I probably wouldn’t have near the love of bass fishing had dad not married my mom, because her whole family loves to fish. In fact, my dad actually first met my mom because she was the daughter of one of his very first bass club tournament partners.
These days I get to fish a whole lot more than dad. He works full-time in Chattanooga, and I’m the lucky one that gets to fish a ton while going to nearby Bryan College on Lake Chickamauga, and competing all over the United States in both the Carhartt College Bassmaster Series and the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens.
But when it was time to back the boat down the ramp at the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell’s Green Pond Landing this past March – you can probably guess who was driving my tow vehicle. Yep, you’re right, my dad. We will remember sharing that first morning at the Bassmaster Classic together for the rest of our lives.
Dad’s always been there to bounce ideas off of, to keep me mentally focused in tournaments and give me great guidance in life. He’s sort of like a Shad Shape drop shot worm, but even better. He’s been there during my biggest fishing moments, and during the tough times too.
Thanks, dad – I love ya. Happy Father’s Day