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The Bassmaster Elite Series anglers have a six-week break between events, and they spread to the winds for a myriad of activities. By missing the cut at Lake Dardanelle, West Coast pros Jared Lintner and Brett Hite started their time off earlier than they had hoped, but they met up at CJ Butcher Boy Burgers in Russellville, “the best burger joint in town,” before heading home.
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Justin Lucas headed home to California and experienced a white June as he hit the mountains and here chases trout. A week earlier he held a Onesie with “Little Fishing Dude” written across the chest to announce wife BreeAnna is due to deliver their first child in November. He posted it with “Watch out Elite Series!” and #pumpeditisaboy.
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Putting his hike on, John Crews got up and away. “What a beautiful sunrise at McAfee Knob, Appalachian Trail. I made the 8.3-mile round trip trail in 1 hour, 36 minutes. The kicker is the 1,700+ foot elevation change. All worth it. Breathtaking view. The rest of the week can't be any more strenuous than that but if it is, I'll be ready.”
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That’s the Washington Monument in the background, and it’s Skeet Reese taking the photo of his daughter’s 8th grade graduation trip -- wow, DC is a long way from home in Auburn, Calif. “Pretty awesome to see so much history. Here for three days then into New York City for a couple days! Oh and Southwest lost my luggage ... might be wearing my Huk Gear for a few days.”
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Scott Rook didn’t have far to go from Dardanelle to get home to Little Rock, where he took the local airwaves. “I’m on the Ray Tucker's Arkansas Outdoor Show tonight … on 103.7 The Buzz.”
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Some anglers were selfless, like Brock Mosley, who added a message on his boat. “Put this on my boat last night for the hometown bass club President George Little as he starts his fight against cancer! As the second half of the season kicks off he’s in our thoughts and prayers!”
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Chris Lane is another who gives through his Reeling in the Future Pros Kids Camp and Foodland Bass Team Tournament, held on Memorial Day weekend on Lake Guntersville. Lane provides some personalized coaching here in the 10th year of the event.
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Edwin Evers is another Elite who holds a youth event. “Had another great Oologah fishing derby today with over 200 kids signed up,” he posted. “Thank you to everyone in the community that makes this such a special day for the kids. I sure enjoy seeing the kids catching fish and getting out in the outdoors!”
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Evers’ son, Kade, makes a special friend in the expo.
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Kevin VanDam was out promoting the sport of bass fishing, appearing on Fox & Friends morning show in New York for Bass Pro Shops “Gone Fishing” event. “I’ll also be busy filming commercials, TV shows and will soon head to Daytona for the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR race on behalf of Bass Pro Shops and Toyota and to do some work with Driver Martin Truex.” Always busy.
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Cliff Crochet didn’t have far to go to take in an LSU baseball game and brag on his Tigers, who beat Mississippi State in their NCAA Super Regional to advance to the College World Series.
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Jacob Wheeler went into the break with a season-opening victory and a third-place finish at Texas Fest. “Thankful for some down time. Finally able to enjoy our new home in Tennessee! Gonna soak in as much of this as possible before getting back to the grind and the Northern swing of the Elite Series. I love and miss Indiana, but excited to start our new journey down here in God's Country.”
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Gerald Swindle certainly has the gift of gab, and his wife, LeAnn, posted about him taking the stage for a different type of tournament gig. “Look out guys -- G has the microphone. He's emceeing the Alabama Bass Trail weigh-in today at Guntersville State Park.” Bet that was interesting.
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Ott DeFoe took the time off to work in his boat garage. “Looking forward to parking the @nitro_boats and @tracker_boats in here soon!”
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Jamie Hartman posted that he had a great time filming and hanging out with the Bass University crew of Mike Iaconelli and Pete Gluszek.
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Of course, some went home and fished, like Seth Feider. “I could do this all day, every day! #idid”
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Brandon Card got some hands-on help. “At least my lil nephew, Micah, thought this was a big one! 2 pounder for a 2 year old!” Cute!!
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“We had us a little tournament, me against Ali,” Jason Christie posted with this photo him and his daughter. “I'll say she probably had the winning fish on at the boat several times.” Looks too close to call.
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Bill Lowen’s friend Shan Willis said it was rather cool to have him bring the kids to fish his pond. “What’s even better is him hooking a fish and that fish getting deep into the grass. So what's he do? He goes in after it. That's dedication. … gotta say we are super proud to call you and Jen and the kids our friends! Good times. Never a dull moment with Turtle around!”
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This bass produced an exciting memory for Britt Myers and his son, Britt. “Check out the Giant my son caught! It took me 25 years to catch one this size. I just wish I had his luck. #heluckier…” Myers said they didn't have a scale but he thought it to be in the 10-pound range. "That's all he's talked about for the last 2 weeks."
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Marty Robinson and his crew clean fish by lamplight. “Awesome first weekend at our little St John's River retreat! Lots of remodeling and a little fishing of course!!”
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A little fishing. How about a big fish. Robinson’s son, Mitchell, hauled in the kicker -- “This 7-2 made his evening!”
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Chris Zaldain goes with the extreme close-up to show his swim jig war wounds. “What is it about a swim jig that is so effective? It's subtle but large presence? Growing up in Cali, we didn't throw them much but now I throw them everywhere I go!” It appears he was rather successful.
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Davy Hite said he’s enjoyed his fishing excursions more since retiring from Elite competition to work as Bassmaster TV analyst. When you catch ones like that, there’s plenty to enjoy.
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Keith Combs and Mark Zona are flashing pearly whites for this 8-9 landed while shooting an episode of “Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show.”
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“What do you do when you have a few weeks between tournaments?” David Walker posted. “Go fishing of course! Catching some bigguns with David Mullins today.” Mullins’ striper looks a bit fatter. “That’s my smile/pain face,” Mullins said. “Skeeewl hunting with @davidwalkerfishing and ran into the wrong species.”
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Saying he was giving the green fish a bit of a break, Andy Montgomery landed these flounder on a fun day of fishing south of Murrells Inlet in South Carolina.
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Aaron Martens’ daughter, Jordan, was the star of their saltwater trip, catching the biggest white seabass of more than 60 pounds. “I’m used to getting beat by the females in my family,” Aaron wrote.
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On Father’s Day, Kevin VanDam said it is “always nice to enjoy some down time with my dad. Happy Father's Day to all the hardworking dad's out there. Cheers.”
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Chantel Bertrand posted this super cute shot of Josh celebrating his first Father’s Day. “You’re the best! We all love you very much.” Can we get an “Awww!!”
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Morning on the lake with dad then an evening with Metallica and the boys. The concert at Soldier Field was KVD’s Father's Day present from Jackson and Nicholas. “Pretty awesome being this close, I've got chills. The boys really outdid themselves with this.” Rock on, KVD.
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A look at what some of the Elites did to begin their long break between events