I’ve been fortunate to fish with some of the best anglers who currently compete or who have competed on the Bassmaster Elite Series.
We’ve fished together just for fun or to film segments of Zona LIVE or Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show.
All have been darn good fishermen and a blast to have in the boat.
But I also like to step outside our world and mix in some shows with other athletes and celebrities who share a similar passion for bass fishing.
In most cases, those guys love fishing as much as we do but don’t get to do it a lot, and honestly, it shows when we get on the water.
You all know what I mean. You’ve had people get into your boat and you can tell immediately whether that person is an experienced bass angler or someone still trying to figure the whole thing out.
That doesn’t apply to NASCAR driver Martin Truex, with whom I did a show recently.
Truex is a bona fide bass addict. I truly believe he only races cars to support his fishing addiction.
I cannot lie; I was a bit apprehensive when we met in Arkansas to do a Zona LIVE internet stream and a show for television, prior to when the COVID-19 outbreak was starting to crank up.
Any concerns about his ability and awareness were put to rest 10 minutes after we got on the water. That’s all it took for Martin to dial in the exact technique and retrieve.
His passion for throwing a bladed jig for big largemouth was quite apparent. So was his ability to make wise casts and manipulate a lure to maximize its effectiveness.
I could tell immediately that this guy spends a lot of his precious free time on the water.
It is so awesome to see successful athletes have the same passion and drive as every one of our Bassmaster readers.
That dude, in a nutshell, is one of us.
He doesn’t just talk the walk. He walks it.
I have to admit that I’m not a big NASCAR fan, but I am a Ryan Newman and Martin Truex fan. I’ve been around both and can tell they are serious anglers, and they love casting for bass.
Now, do I think I could climb in a NASCAR and run 200 mph with other cars on the track? Absolutely. But could I be good at it?
But this guy can walk off the racetrack, climb in a bass boat and be setting the hook in a matter of minutes.
Here’s another sign he’s one of us. Bass nuts like you and me are texting buddies with our fishing pictures weekly.
The day after he went home from our filming, he was texting me pictures of fish he caught while fishing saltwater for groupers.
That, friends, is a fishing addict.
Here’s what’s cool about all of this — we have another celebrity advocate and voice outside our immediate circle of bass fishing friends. We need people like Martin Truex talking positive about who we are and what we do with our bass fishing passion.
He can do just that because he’s lived it.
He’s one of us.