There are 56 anglers who will compete next February on Lake Hartwell in the 2015 GEICO Bassmaster Classic. All of them fought against hundreds of other competitors to put themselves there. And the winner gets not only a hefty check but a legacy in the world of bass fishing. So to ask these men if they are thankful for the opportunity is a bit redundant. What we did ask them, however, is what else they are thankful for. Here are some of their responses.
I am thankful to be free and living in a country that allows us to pursue dreams such as this, there are many people in other parts of the world that know no such freedom and struggle every day just to survive. I can only imagine what living another life in those shoes would be like. We are very fortunate and I cherish every moment!
- Holding the title of 2013 B.A.S.S Nation Champion and representing Nation anglers all over the world.
- Fishing my first ever Bassmaster Classic in 2014 and of course going to the 2015 Classic making this my second Classic in a row.
- Getting engaged to a wonderful woman, Linda Craun, then getting married this year and having an awesome honeymoon in Cancun, Mexico.
- Spending quality time with my sons, Travis, 19, and Tyler, 14.
- The camaraderie with my fishing peers and all of the encouragement and support from all of my friends.
- B.A.S.S. and the B.A.S.S Nation for all they do to give Nation anglers like me a shot at living a dream and going to the Bassmaster Classic.
I have so much to be thankful for. First, I am thankful for the platform the Bassmaster Classic win has provided me. Next, along with being thankful for my family and good health, I am also very thankful for the opportunity to bring awareness to such a wonderful organization like King’s Home, that helps so many kids and women with children. Being the Classic Champion has given me a greater influence and brought more awareness to need-based organizations.
First of all I want to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because without Him I would not be fishing in the Classic and the closer relationship I have with Him is why I believe I made it. I want to send out a special thanks to my wonderful stepdad, Joe Taylor, who has been a man I could also call Dad for me since I was 7 years old. Joe first taught me how to flip at a young age and alot about fishing. Without Joe's support financially helping me through school, boats, and other expenses I would never be where I am today, probably without a Masters degree and not fishing the 2015 Classic. I'm so thankful to have family and friends with so much love and support for me.
I am thankful for the town of Guntersville (great place to raise my family) and to our veterans and servicemen who fight for our freedom every day.
This fall I'm very thankful that I've had more time to spend with my family and friends during the offseason, and also more time to spend deer hunting! I'm also thankful for my brand new 2015 Toyota Tundra!
I'm thankful for my family. Ivy is the little one being a clown. Myah is the 7-year-old. Noah is the 15-year-old and my wife, Sonja. Our dog, Sandy, poked her head in there, too.
I have a lot of things in my life that I am very thankful for, supportive and loving family, great friends, my health. But this Thanksgiving I'm very thankful that Deb and I have finally been able to start our new home. Living like a gypsy in the RV for the last three years, saving and planning has made it all the more special to finally have a place to call home. Hopefully next year we will host Thanksgiving dinner for our family and friends.
The great camaraderie among fellow competitors both on and off the water.
What my wife and I are thankful for this year in addition to fishing in the Bassmaster Classic in 2015 is that I won the B.A.S.S. Northern Open at Lake Champlain to qualify for the Classic.
I am thankful for having the time to spend with my family! Memories that will last a lifetime! It is so great to have Syler and Gracie say...."there is no way I'm missing out on a fishing or hunting trip!" It is great to have us all enjoying the outdoors! I'm lucky to be able to have the time available to prepare and tend to all the things that are needed for time spent on the water and the woods! It is great to be able to "slow down and enjoy life and family!" Kelley and the kids always say...."gotta have our family fun time!"
I am thankful for feeling the way I do, both physically and mentally.
I am thankful to the good Lord up above who has always blessed me in whatever I have chosen to do in life. He has blessed me with two wonderful kids, a great wife, and a healthy family.
What other nation could I live in and pursue my passion for competitive fishing and make a living at it? None. And that couldn't happen without the courage of our founding fathers and the men and women who defend us.
Of course the most important things first, Jesus, my family and fishing. But also this time of year, the ability to grow facial hair! Even though I don't hunt, having some insulation on your face is a plus.