2002.06.26 The language of the bass pro

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

From my personal experience, I’d have to say that the large mouth bass has a rather limited vocabulary. It’s impressive for a bass, I suppose, but there’s not much to talk about.

Once you’ve heard “Take Me to the River” and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” more than once or twice, you wish bass had never learned to sing.

But bass fishermen…that’s a different story. They speak a different language. It’s the language of love—love for the hand-painted Strike King jerkbait, love for the chartreuse buzzbait, love for the two-day total exceeding 15 pounds.

There is often despair in their words (“The rain muddied it up real bad and my heart sank. I thought I was done.”). Sometimes they speak words of wisdom (“Sticking with one lure while fishing here has been my Achilles heel.”)

Sometimes they speak tiring words that reporters seeking quotes use anyway, because they think even a bad quote is better than no quote.

• “This is unbelievable.” – Greg Lineberry, Galax, Va.

• “This is just unbelievable.” – Andre Moore, Scottsdale, Ariz.

• “I feel pretty good.” – Dick Shaffer, Celina, Ohio.

• “I feel pretty good.” – Chad Grigsby, Colon, Mich.

• “It’s a great feeling.” – Jeremy Ives, Burgaw, N.C.

You can just hear the reporter asking, “How does it make you feel?”

It takes a real pro to speak like a real bass pro. Take Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., for example. This is his 24th year of competitive fishing and he’s earned $453,200.

Now don’t say that averages less than $19,000 a year, because big money fishing didn’t exist in his younger days. He made about $120,000 last year and $217,000 the year before.

After he took the lead at Lake Wheeler using a black and blue Strike King jig with a pork trailer, he explained his good fortune this way: “I started to fish the Elk River, but then I turned around. I didn’t want to go up there and die.”

Spoken like a true pro. Here’s what he said about his recent career:

“I got into a lull about four or five years ago. I just got complacent and didn’t really care, but now I want to win. Right now I’m loving it.”

David Dudley (one of six pros with that last name) is an up-and-coming bass pro who won $700,000 one day in March. You can tell by the way he talks that he’s on the way to stardom.

He traveled 85 miles from the boat launch area to visit what he later called “the promised land,” an isolated oxbow in a Texas delta.

“I felt my water was fished out. I just didn’t have any more confidence in the area. The moon really affected the tide Friday night. When I saw the water as high as it was at takeoff, I was bubbling with joy.”

His black, blue and purple jig had a blue sapphire chunk trailer. What bass could resist that?

In bass Internet chatrooms, there’s some debate about how to become a well-known bass fisherman. One chatter says it’s simple: win.

Another disagrees. You don’t have to be a winner, he says. You need the right attitude and you need to sell yourself to sponsors.

“Sponsors are using you as a sales tool,” says Chris. “They want a personality that can help them sell.”

Oh sure, answers Mark, if you’re content to stand in a sponsor’s booth all day at local tournaments in exchange for a few free products. If that’s your idea of a successful bass pro, then you’re all set. But if that doesn’t fit your image, then winning is everything.

“You aren’t going to be a full-time bass fisherman for long if you don’t win,” he says.

But you also have to talk the talk.

“I lost a big fish early and it haunted me all day,” J.T. Kenney said on the shores of the fabled Lake Okeechobee. “Kept thinking I was going to lose it by just a little bit. A very little bit.”

He came through and pocketed $110,000, but don’t ask “How does it feel?” This pro choked up like he had a green pumpkin bacon rind jig stuck in his throat.

He simply said there were no words to describe how he felt.

    – June 26, 2002 
  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016