In August of 2015, my young family and I moved from Minnesota to Birmingham to work with B.A.S.S. A dream job for me, but a decision and opportunity that I greatly deliberated over. I am grateful we took the leap of faith and moved from my beloved midwestern lifestyle — the change has been full of promise and blessing.
But sometimes it’s the inner workings along the road of life that occur without you even knowing it. It’s usually those events that touch you deeply — or certainly cause you to stop and think about something in your past that led you to this point. All I know is that the Good Lord has put people in my life that have greatly impacted me as a man.
For that I’m thankful.
For starters, if it weren’t for my dear friend Alan “Guck” McGuckin, I’d not be telling you this story, but that’s a tearjerker for another time. Steve Bowman, James Overstreet and Steve Wright, all being the core members and leaders of the over-the-road Bassmaster coverage team, are men that I hold in very high regard — because they get it. But, I can’t list those guys without mentioning the Bassmaster leadership of Bruce Akin, Jim Sexton, James Hall and Dave Precht, all of which saw something in me, and took a chance.
The list is of inspiring people is much longer than that, including close friendships I’ve built along the way, and most especially my wife Kathryn and my two wonderful children who have way more patience for this lifestyle than any normal person should. But, they’re always waiting for me when I get home, and create the type of comfort and home life that I long for when I’m on the road following the Bassmaster Elite Series for weeks at a time.
This life I’ve been blessed with is amazing in so many ways, and I often wonder what I’ve done to deserve all of it — I really don’t think that I do. But, I’m reminded why I chose this path when I watch the sun come up over a 100-plus-boat field of professional bass fishermen, and I breath in the cool morning air that is mixed with the scent of outboard exhaust.
I’m also reminded each time a championship trophy is hoisted above the head of Elite Series pros like Randall Tharp and Britt Myers who could barely keep their composure while fighting back tears to explain their feelings to thousands of fanatical Bassmaster fans and spectators. That’s why we do this, that’s why I chose to cover the sport — because I love their passion; the same passion I share for Creation and the great outdoors.