Apologizing several times it wasn’t a better story, Seth Feider sort of explained how the whole “llama” phenomena began while taping a Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show.
“It was just some really stupid stuff we said for a while that kind of took off,” he said. “It’s not really a great story behind it.
“Nobody knows what it means. It doesn’t matter, it gets people going. That’s pretty much llama.”
On the 2017 show, Mark Zona took Feider out to “Kong Island” in the Thousands Islands region of Lake Ontario, where the pair targeted giant smallmouth. Zona had explained that a young lady used llama similarly to “psych,” which the Urban Dictionary describes as the person had just done something to mess with the other.
They ran with it.
Llama was first used when Zona yanked in a lunker. Feider put out his hand to give a congratulatory high-five, but Zona went for a fist bump and they missed connections. Zona pulling away and, with thumb out and lifting his index and pinkie fingers, saying “Llama, llama.”
“It’s just stupid stuff we said to each other for a few days for a TV show,” Feider said. “Two years later, here we are.”
Yes, here we are with llama being Feider’s catch phrase, with T-shirts, a room filled with llama things and even a fan wearing a llama mask in his honor at the Classic. Feider said he’s asked about it all the time.
“I don’t tell them the story behind it because it’s not that good. I tell them it’s an inside joke — tell them it’s from a drunken night,” he said. “I sometimes say I can’t tell them what it actually means because it’s inappropriate. That just sounds way better than it actually is.
“It’s a terrible story. I wish I had a better one. I can’t make stuff up. I’m not (Gerald) Swindle. I wish there was more to it.”
But Feider has run with it for all it’s worth. First and foremast, he explains, llama is a good-sized bass, but the term can be used in almost any situation. He said it’s a noun, a verb, anything really.
“You can catch llamas. That’s a nice llama. You can go llamaing. Llama on. You can throw it anywhere in a sentence anywhere,” he said. “That’s the gist of it. There’s no wrong place to put it.”
Feider said his wife, Dayton, and daughter, Rose, have latched on. So, when they came across some of the pack animals at the Minneapolis Zoo, Dayton had to take a selfie.
“She’s more into llamas than I am,” Seth said. “She has a bunch of llama stuff for the kid.”
The image of the llama on T-shirts was definitely made with Feider in mind, but the animals related to camels do not in any way resemble the Elite angler from Minnesota — because llamas don’t sport such iconic mustaches.
Is Feider replacing the twins?
During Feider’s runaway win on Lake St. Clair at the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship, Zona received an odd call that worried him. Feider gave Z a ring after checking in early and Zona, who had seen his historic beatdown on Bassmaster LIVE, thought the worst.
“I was like ‘Oh my gosh, he’s broke down,’” Zona said. “He goes, ‘Bro, is there any way I can crash at your house tonight? Have a couple beers? Ya know, just hang out?’ I said, ‘Seth, I think you’re going to win enough money for a hotel.’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, I just want to crash at your house.’
“The dude came over, had a couple beers, a muffin in the morning and a coffee and went on his way.”
The scene left Zona’s two sons, Hunter and Jakob, who are attending Michigan State, asking if they’d been replaced.
“He is like a much older son than my sons,” Zona said. “That’s what he’s turned into.”
Kindred spirits, Zona and Feider have hit it off. At St. Clair, they hung out after Day 1 watching Zona’s Chicago Bear’s shut down Feider’s Minnesota Vikings 16-6.
“He was hurt by the game, but it’s amazing to me, he’s going to win this tournament and all he was concerned about was where he was going to crash,” said Zona, who added Feider was rather confident going into the event but did get fortunate on Day 1. “He told me on Saturday, ‘I’m on ‘em. I’m really on ‘em, and I’ve never been on them this good.’”
Yet Sunday’s winds didn’t allow Feider to go to his winning school on the southern end of St. Clair, so he stayed north and plied a community hole for the event’s big bag of 26 pounds, 12 ounces that included the Phoenix Boats Big Bass of 6-12.
“He got incredibly lucky,” Zona said. “Everybody has fished that buoy since 1801. To amass what he did, two weeks from now, that wouldn’t surprise me. We have cold fronts coming in and they amass.
“What he did goes on there daily in April. In our catch and release season, that crankbait bites goes on daily. Not a school of 50, a school of hundreds. I guarantee you there were more of those schools on that south shore in that depth range that nobody found. It’s just too vast.”