The 2021 Bassmaster Elite Series is almost here, and I’m as excited about it as I’ve ever been. My brother, Marc, will be joining us this year. I can honestly say that his arrival has breathed new life in my fishing. It’s almost like I’m a rookie again, going out for the first time.
Here’s the thing: He’s my younger brother, and we’ve always been close. I was the angler. He was the baseball player. But, over time, he became more and more interested in bass fishing. We fished a lot together as his interest grew. He wasn’t just messing around, either. He actually spent the time to learn the ins and outs of our sport — how to find them, what lure to use, when to move or change things up, when to stick with your plan.
He’s a smart guy. He pays attention. He gets it. The evidence of that is obvious to anyone. Marc qualified for the Elites after his second year of fishing the Opens. That may not be a record, but it’s pretty darn good.
We’ll be competitors, of course. But we were brothers before we joined the Elite Series, and we’ll be brothers throughout our careers and our lives. I have no intention of holding back any information from him when we’re on the water fishing, even if we’re competing. If I can help him within the rules, I fully intend to do that. I know he feels exactly the same way. It’ll be wide-open fishing communication all the way, all the time.
All in all it’s going to be a great experience for both of us and for our parents too. Actually, they might be even more excited than we are about the way things are working out. I expect we’ll see them at more than one tournament. It’s great.
It’s going to be good for our families just as much. My wife, Anna, and Marc’s wife, Maddie, are sister-in-laws on the surface. Underneath, though, they’re much more than that. They’re friends, true friends. And, we both have young sons. That’ll make fishing and traveling easier on everyone.
You know, having a husband who fishes professionally isn’t exactly like living on a bed of roses for a wife. It’s not all that easy, or pleasant, to get a 2-year-old out of bed at 4 in the morning to go to the ramp and launch a boat. After that it’s the usual mother things all day. Help from someone you genuinely like and trust makes that a lot better. The back and forth thing between them will be good for everyone.
I’m thinking the kids will like this as well, although they’re too young to understand it all. They’ll have another kid they know to play with and go with to places that are new and interesting to them. They won’t spend all day with their mom. There will be other people around.
I gotta tell you, this is about as good as it gets!