When asked what they are most thankful for this Thanksgiving, Bassmaster Elite anglers overwhelmingly answered with “family and friends,” as it should be.
It was Brock Mosley who trumped them all, becoming a first-time father after answering he was most thankful for “My baby girl being born.” His wife, Leslie, gave birth to their first child, Millie James Mosley, on Monday, right after he responded.
“I was actually in the waiting room yesterday doing that survey. I felt by the time somebody read it, she would be born,” said Mosley, who was right.
All 6 pounds, 15 ounces, came into this world around 4 p.m., and mother and baby are A-OK, he reported after getting a nice “little hour nap.” And he was rather thankful for that after being up 40 hours straight the day before.
Leslie went into labor around 8 p.m. Sunday, but with contractions 20 minutes part, the couple didn’t head to the hospital until morning, even though it was a painful night for her.
“It’s always a little scary … I’m not the baby person,” said Mosley, who admitted he did learn a lot the past 9 months. “My main concern was the baby be healthy and Leslie be OK. Everything is great.”
The Mosleys also felt fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of friends and family. Her mother even spent Monday night in the hospital helping, giving Brock the opportunity to get several hours of sleep. (Leslile caught a few catnaps in the hospital bed throughout the ordeal).
“Leslie and I are both blessed to have big supportive families,” Brock said. “The baby’s just had all kind of people here wanting to see her.”
The baby is named after Leslie’s grandmother, Millie, and grandfather, James. James is also her mother’s middle name. Mosley said he was glad things might now finally start to settle down for him.
“It’s been kind a crazy year to begin with, with all the shakeups and all, and having a baby on the way,” he said. “This time of year we’re doing sponsor deals. It’s been kind of a blur. We’re getting there, and come January we’ll be ready to start up fishing.”
Survey says, friends and family
Of course, family and friends was by far the No. 1 response, and many of the Elites will be among the 54.3 million Americans who are projected by the AAA to travel 50 miles or more this year, the highest volume since 2005. They’ll partake in the 245 million turkeys the USDA said have been raised this year for dinner, and maybe even some of the 9.05 million barrels of cranberries.
That doesn’t include our friends to the north, which new Elite Jeff Gustafson reports already celebrated their Thanksgiving on Oct. 8.
“We actually have our Canadian Thanksgiving in October, but it’s the same holiday,” he said. “I’m always thankful that it is a holiday where our family can find the time to get together. It’s always a fun weekend!”
New Elites Cory Johnston and brother Chris responded that Canadians are definitely more grateful for family than poutine (french fries and cheese curds covered in gravy), not a holiday fare. Chris said he’s thankful for his 1-year-old son and Cory detailed his gratitude a bit more.
“This thanksgiving will be our first with the new addition to our family,” Cory wrote. “Jack is now 4 months old. Very thankful he’s healthy and will no doubt have a fishing rod in his hands soon.”
Seems there’s a theme with fresh young’uns. Micah Frazier, heading into his fourth Elite season, cited family and added that “we have a baby boy due in January.”
Here’s a sampling of others who had different takes or expounded on their thanks.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to chase my dream to be a successful professional bass fisherman and to have a family that supports me every step of the way.” – Chris Zaldain
“Just happy to be alive and have healthy children!” – Jason Williamson
“I am thankful for my very supportive wife and kids, family and friends! I have a big support system, couldn’t do this without them.” – Tyler Carriere
“Having such a supportive family and friends and being able to do all things I want to do living the life of a fisherman and cattle rancher.” – Brett Preuett
“My family, B.A.S.S., and all my sponsors.” – Robbie Latuso
“The support from my fiancé, family, and friends on the upcoming fishing season.” – Luke Palmer
“My wife, my son and being able to fish for a living.” – Kyle Monti
“Family, Friends and everyone who has supported me this year!” – Jake Whitaker
“Family, Friends and being able to spend time with them.” – Drew Cook
“To be able to spend it with family.” – Kelley Jaye
“Seeing my family in Australia.” – Carl Jocumsen
“Family, health, being able to do what I love to do which is fish for a living and most important, my salvation through Jesus Christ.” – Paul Mueller
“My family, they are the best.” – Chris Groh
“I am thankful to have family and friends in my life that genuinely care about each other and enjoy spending time with each other. I’m also fortunate and thankful to have good health for myself and those around me as well. We never know when will have our last day so happy to enjoy every day we get.” – Chad Pipkens
“For having a supportive family, and for making my lifelong dream come true.” – Tyler Rivet
“A healthy family and my Traeger Grill to cook the turkey, so maybe we won’t catch anything on fire.” – Skylar Hamilton
“My wife who stands by my side no matter the situation.” – Dale Hightower
“My family and my freedom.” – Frank Talley
“Jesus, my family, and my friends.” – Jay Yelas
“Being able to live my dream with my family by my side enjoying the freedoms God has blessed me with and people have fought for.” – Stetson Blaylock
“That I am able to pursue my dream of fishing at the highest levels.” – Gary Clouse
“I am thankful all of the pieces of my life coming back together. Thankful for all of the B.A.S.S. anglers that have supported me and my family while we were upward bound! Thankful for everyone at B.A.S.S. for giving me a platform to enjoy my profession while sharing fishing with others.” – Mark Menendez
Let’s close with the true spirit of Thanksgiving, from Chad Morgenthaler:
“Family, friends and the one day of the year I eat anything I want and don’t feel guilty about it one bit.”