Aug. 28, 2010
Hello from Oregon
Still have a few weeks to go before our business deal with ESPN is finalized, but I can report that things are going well and I think that my partners would agree that it's been a great experience. I still shouldn't talk about it much, but it won't be much longer. However, I'm still asking you to get on the bus with me, even if you don't know where we're going.
Trust me, bass fishermen, it's going to be great ride.
Maybe now's the right time to tell you a story that pertains to those two big bass I hold over on the right side of these words ... Yeah right there.
One weighed 13 1/2 pounds, and they we're among a group of fish that I saw 10 weigh better than 10 pounds.
I would guess they were the best string of bass ever to hit television that weren't caught on private water. They came from Lake Eufaula in Alabama in about 1972, but they aren't the real story here. The fisherman that was with me is what I remember before the fish.
You see, I use to hang out a lot with legendary Alabama angler Tom Mann. Tom was quite the lure innovator, one of the early B.A.S.S. members and one heck of an angler.
Among many other fish baits, he developed the "Little George" (named after Gov. George Wallace), and if he were here today, he'd still be waxing everyone with that darn bottom bumping tailspinner.
Now one day Tom and I were traveling through an Alabama town called Slocomb; and when I found the name funny, he started calling me Slocomb eventually shortening it and referring to me as "Sloke" from then on.
Another thing that was ongoing was him referring to a big fish as "Ol' Ned." It was never, "Boy, I hope we can catch a big bass today."
It was, "Boy, I hope we catch Ol' Ned today."
It was never: "Hey Jerry, your bass have any size?"
No, it was: "Jerry, catch Ol' Ned today?"
And, you know, I guess I never heard of him or anyone else ever catching Ned. At least he never said so.
Okay, let's go back to Eufaula now on that 1972 day. We started fishing the Eufaula creeks; and with it being spring, cottonmouths were all over the mud banks. They were so bad that I couldn't stand it, and I suggested we go down to the damn and fish the riprap. We both had caught fish there before, but never like we were about to experience on this day. Matter of fact, I guess this would be the best 4 or 5 hours bass fishing for me ever. Maybe Tom as well, and all because of my fear of snakes.
Back and forth across the dike we went both of us using a Watermelon Jelly Worm. That would be a green worm to most folks, but not Tom Mann. To him, it was a Watermelon Jelly Worm.
Many of the catches were almost unbelievable but mid-way through the afternoon one of those big fellows ran off with my Jelly Worm and it seemed a little out of the norm. When it became obvious that this was a really big fish, Tom eased up right behind me to get a good look.
Now that's been 40 years ago, but I have not forgotten the site of that fish surfacing and clearing the water. Nor will I ever forget Tom saying quite seriously, "Sloke... You've caught Ol' Ned."
You know what, I actually hope I never catch a bass bigger than that so I can always say Tom Mann was there for that special moment. "Sloke... You've caught Ol' Ned."
Tom was always such a big supporter of Ray Scott and B.A.S.S., and if he's looking down on all of what I'm involved in right now, I hope he's saying, "Slocomb... way to go."
Oh, and one last thing. I promise to respond to your remarks on this blog before the week's out. They have been an absolute source of encouragement.
Aug. 28, 2010
Hello from Oregon
Have you ever watched Stihl Timbersports on ESPN? You know ... the lumberjack competition?
Well, my gang has produced that show for 25 years now and I have traveled this weekend to Portland, Ore., to celebrate this milestone anniversary.
One of the things I've always been proud of is the longevity of the TV shows we have produced. Other than SportsCenter, my retired show the Fishin' Hole was the longest running show on ESPN. Timbersports is #3. And Spanish Fly with Jose Wejebe is close behind.
Can Bassmaster top any of those? Well, that's the goal. Quality, honesty and integrity can get us a long way.
I'm overwhelmed at the responses to my first blog post. I want to respond Monday when I get home. My gosh, I didn't know people would actually read this.
Folks, we have a lot of work to do, and I need you.
Aug. 25, 2010
A Bass Journey
A couple of years ago, at the end of my very last television show, The Fishin' Hole, I left everyone with three pieces of advice. Three things that would surely make a difference in their lives.
One was to surround themselves with competent, creative people.
The second was to remember that everything happens exactly as it is supposed to.
And third ... During stressful times, sing to your dog.
Although they didn't, those first two sound like they came out of a book. But not that last one.
And if I could expand on No. 3, I would say Never sing when anyone else is around. And always make the song up right on the spot.
Well my last months have been an adventure with plenty of stress to go around. Archie, my dachshund, probably hates to see me coming.
"Oh no ... he's going to sing again," is what Arch is probably thinking.
As many in the bass fishing fishing world know at this point, I, along with Don Logan and Jim Copeland, am right in the middle of purchasing B.A.S.S. from ESPN. I have to say that during the last five months that we have all worked so hard on this; there has been hardly a hiccup in the negotiations. However, something like this just takes a long time and that's all there is to it. That "takes a long time statement" is where the stress for me comes into play because I have very little patience. So you guessed ... I sing to my dog.
Hey, I sure passed over the names Don Logan and Jim Copeland awful quick back there. But if you stayed tuned over the coming days and weeks I'll get back to them and rave appropriately about them. For now, let's just leave it at this. They are bass fishing nuts who are extremely wise and enthusiastic about this journey we are about to take.
At this point, I can't say much more about Don, Jim or anything for that matter. You see this deal is not completed yet. If everything goes well and the deal is completed, it will still be another month before everything is done.
So why am I even bothering you right now? Well, first of all, this is the first blog I have ever written. I wasn't even sure how you spell blog. Does it have two "g's" or one? Whatever.
This blog is meant to let you know what's going on with me during a very exciting time.
B.A.S.S. is a very large piece of the puzzle when it comes to the outdoors world, and if Don, Jim and I can make the right decisions, then it can be an exciting time for millions of others.
Be aware that if you are reading this then you are automatically a part of the journey. And we need to get to know each other.
By the way, do you realize you are partnering up with a man that thinks singing to your dog is important?
Read more in the "Jerry's B.A.S.S. Blog" Archives.