HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Davick Hansen’s early success in bass tournaments has him dreaming about a new career when he retires from the U.S. Air Force.
“A dream of mine would be to become a professional bass fisherman, but I’ve got a lot to learn,” said Senior Master Sgt. Hansen, the superintendent of the 309th Aircraft Maintenance Group Depot Maintenance Squadron.
Hansen, 40, has spent 21 years in the Air Force and could retire now. However, he said he wants to “wait about two more years” before retiring, which will give him more time to hone his angling skills.
Qualifying for this year’s Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Championship (BNC) has Hansen on the fast track toward realizing his dream of becoming a pro angler. He made the BNC by finishing as the top angler on the Utah state team at the Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Western Divisional, where he also finished fifth overall.
That’s a pretty good start for a guy who has fished only eight bass tournaments in his life — six club tournaments (with one victory), the Utah B.A.S.S. Nation State Team Qualifier last year at Flaming Gorge and this year’s Western Divisional at Clear Lake.
Hansen started fishing in the streams of Wisconsin as a kid, but he didn’t start bass fishing until he was assigned to Hill Air Force Base 10 years ago. When he met Rick Culver, Utah B.A.S.S. Nation president, last year, Hansen was recruited into the Top of Utah B.A.S.S. Anglers (TUBA) club.
“I joined because I wanted to become a better bass fisherman,” he said. “I have always loved bass fishing, but in order to get better, I feel like I need to compete. Being around bass fishermen is obviously the key to get there.”
The sergeant got to be around some of the best anglers in the world when he served as a Bassmaster Marshal for the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship last year at Escanaba.
“I drew Chris Lane and that was a game-changing experience that I will never forget,” Hansen said. “Watching him fish inspired me to chase a dream of maybe one day competing against him.”
If he can finish as the top angler of the Western Division in the BNC, Hansen will qualify for the GEICO Bassmaster Classic and have that chance to compete against Lane.
“I feel a little intimidated about that, but that would be the ultimate goal,” said Hansen.
Competing in the BNC on the Ouachita River in Louisiana will be a new experience for the airman. Hansen admitted he has never fished for bass on a river, so he will have to take some of his Air Force leave to pre-fish for the championship and gain more valuable experience for his post-service career.