Kyle Monti found at least one blessing in the pandemic forcing a break in the Bassmaster Elite Series season. The third-year pro was elated when client “Randy” he was to guide on Lake Okeechobee turned out to be NFL Hall of Famer Randy Moss.
With the Lake Chickamauga event postponed, Monti agreed to help out another guide with a party of four in Lakeport, but he had no idea who it was. Only told Randy was usually a bit late, Monti was stunned when the record-setting wide receiver pulled up five minutes early in his Cadillac Escalade with a friend and their daughters.
“I immediately recognized him,” Monti said. “He rolled the window down and I said, ‘Holy crap. That’s Randy Moss!’ He stepped out of the driver’s side, right where I was parked. I was up in the boat. ‘So you fish with the Bassmasters. Yeah, that’s awesome.’”
After a morning of using shiners with the other father-daughter, Monti took out both men in the afternoon and tried to accommodate Moss on his quest to learn how to flip for bass on Lake Okeechobee.
“He said, ‘I want you to teach me everything you know. I’m all ears. You’re my coach today.’ I got to coach Randy Moss, essentially,” Monti said. “After the initial being starstruck, I realized he was actually listening to what I said and what I’m good at.”
Moss and his friend landed a lot of fish, Monti said, a mess of 3- to 4-pounders but nothing big. His buddy lost one about 6 pounds at the side of the boat, but they didn’t go 15 minutes without a bite, so Monti deemed it a successful trip.
There was some NFL talk, but Monti said he was rather coy and picked his spots during their afternoon session, which went from around 12:30 until dark.
“It was hard for me not to kind of fan out,” Monti said. “I’m a huge fan of Randy Moss anyway. I’ve always liked him. I could take a lot of guys who played in the NFL, it’d be cool but not as cool as that. He grew up in a small town like me, so I like everything about him.
“It was hard for me to try to maintain my cool. I tried to act like his friend instead of a fan, because I’m sure he gets that all the time. It was pretty interesting.”