One Cast at a Time
A convenient store after school, the magazine rack, the outdoors section.
A 13 year old boy stands, Bassmaster magazine in hand, pages open, surrounding world fading away fast.
Larry Nixon, Rick Clunn, Doug Hannon just some of the names that leapt from the pages, to life in this young boy’s imagination. Beautiful large fish, well defined lateral lines, being hoisted from their watery lair by the newest tackle at the hands of an angler afloat a sparkling fine tuned bass fishing boating machine.
The boys dreams were ignited. He loved fishing before, but the words that he mouthed as he read the first article in that convenient store, gave promise to this young boy. Promise of him too hoisting up hefty fish whom he enticed from their gnarly, branch entwined, weed filled abode.
And every month, the boy returned to that convenient store magazine rack. Every month, he would peddle back home at break neck speeds, his Huffy leaping curbs and dodging shrubs, faster, faster, so eager to show his friends.
There they would sit, their fishing magazines strewn about the floor. Plano tackle boxes flipped open as they readied their reels and their minds.
Soon it was all that mattered. To school he would go, doodling poppers, spooks, rods and reels all over his book covers. Off the bus, to the reservoir he’d race to feel another tight line, to lip another beautiful bass. To see how tattered this thumb could get before the sun fell and his homework was before him.
That boy’s passion never died. His dreams never gave way, his path never strayed.
And here I sit today, 30 years plus that young boy. Yet in my heart, my dream lives.
These days not only do I read about these legendary anglers but I am fortunate enough to call them friends and sit and have a conversation with them. The names that once lept from the pages as I read in the convenient store are now the same names that I have put to paper in my address book.
My dream has never faltered. Sure there were many a night when I didn’t have two nickels to rub together. Yes, there were moments when I questioned my sanity for my insistence to continue chasing this dream even when all else pointed to abandoning it and finding a 9 to 5.
I never did.
I kept dreaming.
I just couldn’t turn around. I was a Basshole.
And I let the world know.
“Proud to be a Basshole!”, I stated!
Many followed suite and became Bassholes with me.
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, California, Louisiana, Connecticut and beyond. Bassholes came from all over. South Africa, Ireland, Italy and Australia.
I was proud. We were all proud.
When I was younger, I played heavy metal guitar, drove a 69 GTO and had hair half way down my back. When I was younger.
We all change.
I had changed again. I felt the need to move on. I felt the need to pull anchor and let the river carry me downstream.
Anchor pulled and current pulling me, remembering I have a choice. Back-paddle on right, forward paddle on left, dig, dig, dig, choosing my direction.
A new direction.
A new beginning.
A new shore to set up camp on.
Fishinpedia is born.
And I look at life through a new perspective though my goals remain the same.
To work with my heroes. To live for the sport. To share this great passion with all that I can. To don the badge “Media” with my Canon in my hand.
Yet the boy inside me still lives, still yearning for the fight, the tug on my line. Still proud of my every catch and my sore tattered thumb.
So this man will keep writing.
And this boy will keep casting.
And we both will fuel this passion and keep this dream alive, living each day, one cast at a time.