Trip Weldon officially retired from Bassmaster Feb. 1 this year after serving as the organization’s tournament director for 19 years. He worked in the B.A.S.S. tournament department for 30 years. Weldon was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in October 2020 and has battled the cancer into remission. Last weekend Weldon served as the 51st Bassmaster Classic’s honorary weighmaster. We caught up with him backstage before the Championship Sunday weigh-in.
Give us an update on your health.
“I’m feeling good. The doctors say my scans are clean and I’m in remission. I've got most of my stamina back. I had six chemo treatments and lost weight. I’ve gained it all back. Going forward I’ll get a treatment every six months for the next two years."
What’s it been like not getting up at 3 a.m. for tournaments?
“It’s been great. When I was tournament director, I used to look at the weather just as soon as I woke up. I’ve gotten out of that habit. On Saturday we got up early to travel up to the launch. Didn’t look at the weather and didn’t even know there was a storm. I could have slept in.” (There was a two-hour storm delay.)
Have you been watching Bassmaster tournament coverage online?
“Yes, I’m a tournament junkie. I’ve watched as much of it as I can. The coverage on FS1 has been great. And I'm enjoying the new BassTrakk on Bassmaster.com.”
What’s your favorite part of retirement?
“Not worrying about returning phone calls and emails. We live on the lake, so having coffee on the porch. And watching sunsets. Every day is Saturday, except for one — Sunday.”
Have you done much fishing since retirement?
“Yes, I’ve fished some, after getting my stamina back. And I’ve fished some tournaments.”
Did you miss managing the storm delay on Saturday?
“No. I did feel for them (the tournament staff). The worst thing a tournament director can see is high wind, lightning and rain coming.”
What has it meant to you to be the honorary weighmaster this week?
“It’s quite an honor, and it’s been fun. I had planned on working through this Classic. But then with my health and COVID it just made sense to retire in February.”
What do you consider your biggest accomplishment at B.A.S.S.?
“The tournament staff and the longevity of the staff. We all got along great — like one big family. I’m proud of them.”
Are your arms still strong enough to lift all those fish?
“Oh yeah. It’s been really fun.”
How many grandkids do you and Mary have now?
“Four. Two are 5-years-old. And two are 3.”
What’s the best part of being a granddad?
“The hugs. Especially after COVID where we didn’t get any for a long time.”