The Australia B.A.S.S. Nation will certainly be feeling stuffed after this weekend. (“Stuffed” is Aussie for “tired.”)
A mob halfway around the world is following Carl Jocumsen in the Diet Mtn Dew Bassmaster Elite on Lake Guntersville via the Internet. Jocumsen, who stands in third place heading into Saturday, is stroking all the blokes’ imaginations Down Under.
“Looks like it'll be a sleepless night with plenty of coffee for all us Aussies watching,” Dayne Taylor of Coffs Harbour in New South Wales said via Facebook messenger. “The last 2 days I've been up at 6 a.m. in our time to watch the live (weigh-in) on the Bassmaster website. It’s awesome to watch Carl show the world what he has!
“Tonight about 10 p.m. our time I’ll be back online at the Bassmaster website to watch some live on board with Carl! Super pumped for him as is the whole Bass Fishing Nation here in Australia!”
The east coast of Australia is 15 hours ahead of Central U.S. time, meaning following Jocumsen’s entire day requires pulling an all-nighter. Jocumsen, whose phone has blown up with well-wishes from home, said he estimated more than 20,000 Aussies were keeping track of him in this event, which includes refreshing BASSTrakk for news of his every catch.
“Because of the Internet, they say no one’s sleeping … My sponsors and my friends say they haven’t slept the last two nights,” Jocumsen said Friday.
They’ll receive a real treat Saturday. As one of the Top 5, he’ll have a cameraman on his boat for Bassmaster Live, which will stream on the water action starting at 8 a.m. CT, 11 p.m. in Sydney.
“Going to be a sleep-deprived weekend,” Steven Morrison wrote on Richard Davie’s Facebook. Both live in the west coast city of Perth, 2,600 miles and two times zones away from Jocumsen's hometown of Toowoomba, Queensland.
“I've been following it on BASSTrakk as well,” posted Davie, originally from New Zealand. “Mean effort on Day 2 puts him hot on the heels of the mad man (leader Mike Iaconelli).”
Jocumsen’s followers know he’s a dinkum (genuine) angler, and his Day 2 showing was a bloody ripper (great). Jocumsen had Friday’s biggest bag at 26 pounds, 10 ounces for a beaut (fantastic) total of 46-8.
Paul Carter of Melbourne, who held a “Carl Fest” at Prestige Fishing Tackle, posted Jocumsen's portion of the Day 2 weigh-in video with this comment showing his respect:
“Well, there has been tears, beers, spilt coffee and I reckon a few people let out a little bit of wee with excitement for our mate Carl Jocumsen … and please, Carl Jocumsen does not get enough exposure in this country, so please share it with your mates and let’s get him all the support we can - more fishing over the next couple of days for us all to tune into.”
Taylor has fished against Jocumsen in Australian bass tournaments. Australian bass (Macquaria novemaculeata) are certainly different than the bass species in America. They are small to medium sized, maxing out at around 5 pounds and 21 inches. They are estuarine spawning but can be found in in coastal rivers and streams. They attack baits ferociously, requiring barbless hooks for easier catch and release that is practiced throughout the country.
Taylor is glad Jocumsen is finally showing the Seppos (Americans) he can be a tall poppy (successful person).
“I think most of us bass anglers were always fans of the Bassmaster ... let’s face it, everyone would love the opportunity to be over there competing,” Taylor wrote. “But now we have a representative, and the most deserving one, over there mixing it up with the best in the world.
“I don't think there would be an Aussie fisherman who hasn't tuned in to check up on Carl’s progress over the past 4 years. I truly believe Carl has shown everyone back at home that dreams are possible to chase down.” (See First Australian to qualify for Elites)
Taylor works at Fishing Tackle Australia, which he said is the largest tackle store in the world, with 1,400 reels and a million lures on display. He competes on Team Urunga Fishing and, like most bass anglers there, is happy Jocumsen is overseas.
“I've competed alongside Carl here in Australia,” he said. “Without Carl here competing, it has allowed all us other competitors to finish one place higher! Hahaha.”
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