ORLANDO, Fla. – A few years back while traveling to Mexico, Bassmaster Elite Series rookie Chris Groh nudged his girlfriend and told her that rock star Dave Grohl was just ahead of them in the customs line.
She didn’t think so, but ate some crow when they got up to the agent.
“The customs lady said, ‘That’s weird. Same dude, same last name, just went through,’” said Groh, clarifying that he spells his name differently than the Nirvana drummer and founder of the Foo Fighters. “’No, he’s got an L.’ Then I look at my girl, ‘Told ya.’”
Catching up with the 40-year-old Elite rookie attending his first ICAST, Groh affirmed that the Daily Limit was spot on when calling him “our new Foo Fighter.” Groh was doing well on Lake Martin by sitting in 18th after Day 1, and the mentions on Facebook Live and Bassmaster LIVE were in tune – it was Groh who hasn’t been able to hit all the chords.
Groh reported he was doing awesome roaming the ICAST show floor, just working on getting a few more sponsors before his responsibilities to camp at the Gill booth. What bothered him about his inaugural season was not following up on some decent first days.
“I just got to start getting better on Day 2,” Groh said. “I blow up on Day 1, then all the sudden something happens. I get a curse in the boat. I think I’m fishing a lot in a two-day event, I keep swinging and swinging and swinging.”
In the season opener, Groh fell out of the cut to 55th. It happened again to the Spring Grove, Ill., angler on Grand Lake, when he started 10th after a 20-4 bag. On Day 2, he only caught two fish for 4-14 to fall 74 spots. Just 5 more pounds would have given him a cut.
“I think the mental alarm clock has to go off at 11 or noon, and turn a bomb into a 60th or 50th-something,” he said. “You don’t get paid, but in the end, when you do make a 12 cut, your points stack up and life is good.”
Groh reversed the trend on Kentucky Lake when he climbed from 61st on Day 1 into the cut at 49th then finished 50th for his first Elite check. A 106th start at Lake Travis ended in a 94th, then he was a steady 64th on the Sabine. At La Crosse, Groh was 30th with 15-0 then made the cut at 26th before losing points to finish 45th. Filling his limit would have moved him 20 places, as the what-ifs piled up.