The occasional free breakfast is up there on Billy Myers’ favorite things about working for B.A.S.S., but when deciding his absolute tops, it’s open and shut.
“It’s a tie between opening the door on the trailer to start getting ready, and closing the door when we’re done and leaving,” Myers said. “When you get there, you’re excited to be in a new place and to see folks you haven’t seen in a while. By the time that week or 10 days is over and you shut the doors on that trailer for the last time, you’re whooped and ready to come home.
“I’d say those two things are a tie.”
Since retiring in 2013 at Fire Chief of Gwinnett County near Atlanta, Myers, 56, has ridden the byways and highways to work at Bassmaster tournaments. He’s a crew leader of the CTA – “contract tournament associate, I think … what it really means is roadie without a band.”
Growing up on a dairy farm West Virginia, where he hunted and fished, Myers left after high school to serve in the U.S. Navy. After his stint, he settled northeast of Atlanta, where he put in 30 years as a paramedic and firefighter, which has come in handy with anglers.
“I have been called upon to help with a few injuries and illnesses. Everybody knows what I did for a living, If somebody needs help, they seek my help,” said Myers, who said otherwise it can be somewhat of a repeating fire drill. “We travel to the site with the equipment, set up the venue and handle the registration and the tournament. And then we tear it all down.”
Rinse and repeat.
And it could be any of the Elite Series, Opens, Nation, College and High School competitions, or even the Classic. Myers heads out Tuesday for this week’s B.A.S.S. season opening events, the Carhartt College Central Tour presented by Bass Pros Shops, Jan. 25-27, and the Mossy Oak Bassmaster High School Central Open presented by DICK’S Sporting Good, Jan. 28. Both are being held on Toledo Bend Reservoir out of Many, La.
And yes, Myers most likely will help put up signage. But he doesn’t work every one of the 32 B.A.S.S. events that span from January to late October.
“There’s probably 10 or so of us, and we couldn’t do them all,” Myers said. “It would be physically impossible. Several weeks there’s more than one tournament. You might be in California one week and need to be in South Carolina the next. You can’t do them all.”