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Author Topic: All American experience  (Read 2700 times)

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Stoker

All American experience
« on: June 08, 2007, 11:35:12 PM »

Finally had some free time to tell of my experience as a co-angler at the BFL All American on the Ohio River at Louisville.

Arrived Tuesday afternoon in time to check in to my room, just before the registration meeting.  First step of registration is to get a check for your travel expenses there and back, and another $25 for one meal that was not provided by a sponsor.  Then you get a tote bag to go around the room getting hats, bump board, a really nice Ranger jacket with your name on it, a Sospenders life jacket and a few other goodies.  Plenty of congratulations for qualifying and handshakes going around also.  Shortly after, a pre-tournament meeting where the Corps of Engineers delivered the bad news that the upstream lock would be mostly shut down for maintenance – 3 to 6 hour wait times.  Fair amount of unhappy anglers.  Apparently that is where some of the best fishing would have been.  A quick boat operation orientation, then off to the first of many buffet style meals.  We were fed well every day.  You will not get hungry at the All American.  After eating, your practice day partner (also your first competition day partner) was announced and we were given time to put our gear in the boats.

Practice day:  Start with breakfast buffet.  Get shuttled to the boat yard at the convention center.  Get driven to the ramp.  Get in boat and wait while staff and volunteers check the drain plug, take off straps and back you in.  We tie up at the ramp in the order that we will blast off.  A prayer, national anthem, then sent out to fish.  Practice day was ran just like a tournament day.  My partner had prefished, so he had definite places to check out.  I asked him if he wanted me to cover my hooks so as to not waste a fish for the tournament.  He said to hook ‘em until we caught a keeper.  Well we ended up fishing hard all day and never caught a keeper or much of anything.  The Ohio river looks awesome, but the fishing is tough.  Back at the ramp the staff was waiting to hook up the boats.  Just get out of the boat and in to the truck.  Enjoy the ride back to the boat yard.  Almost forgot – Ranger built in cooler was full of sandwiches, soda, water, snacks.   All you have to do is rig tackle and fish.  Everything else is taken care of.

First day:  Just my luck we are boat #54 – last boat out.  Had a great partner, but we both skunked.  We fished hard, but only got a few shorts.  Luckily over half the co-anglers skunked, so I’m not out yet.

Day 2:  I drew a boater that I hope to never share a boat with again.  I knew it was going to be a long day the night before when we met.  At least it gave me time to prepare mentally to work through it.  I have to catch some fish!  I should probably start going back to church, because only God could have allowed me to catch not one but TWO fish today. (I could tell a lot of stories about this day, but I will stay on the positive stuff.)  I was one of the early to weigh in.  When I came to the scales I needed 2-8 to make the top ten cut for the final day.  I did not think I had it, but the scales settled on 2-12.  Charlie Evans says take a seat. (The stage is ten wrapped Rangers in a semi-circle, same set up used for the FLW events)  Now I’m on the bubble.  And I stayed there for over an hour while the rest of the field weighed in.  This was live on the internet.  Charlie messed with me quite a bit during that time.  It was nerve racking, but in the end I hung on to the tenth spot for another day of fishing.  Two anglers after me weighed 2-11.  For awhile Michigan boater Derek Cummings was in the tenth spot.  Would have been neat to have been paired with him, but he eventually got bumped to 12th.

Final Day:  I’m in the Fuji Film boat.  They have us dressed like the pros in sponsor shirts.  Cameras are all around.  We each get interviewed briefly prior to launch.  Also we are followed all day by a camera/observer boat.  I had a great boater again who was fishing the type of water I would go to.  You will not see much of us on TV if at all.  I skunked and my boater got one small keeper after the camera battery had gone dead.  Most of the co-anglers skunked again also.

After the final weigh-in and hoopla we quick get dressed up for the Victory Dinner put on by Ranger boats.  Another big meal with awards, speeches, pictures, etc..

I’ve rambled on plenty, but suffice it to say I had a great time and it was a great experience.  I will be at Burt/Mullet to start qualifying again.  I definitely want to go to another All American.

One other story.  I apologize for not remembering his name, but there was another co-angler from Michigan who made it there.  I ran into him when I first arrived.  His wife had just called and was going to have their first child – 3 weeks early!!  Poor guy just got there and had to turn around and drive home.  I hope all went well and congratulations to him!

See you all at Burt/Mullet.

Stoker
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1javelin

Re: All American experience
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2007, 07:13:29 PM »

Sorry you skunked twice, but sounds like you did okay to still make the top ten for the final day.  Must've been really hard fishing!
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SODY

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Re: All American experience
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2007, 01:50:54 PM »

Way to go, sounds like you will never forget it.... :D

bshaner

Re: All American experience
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2007, 02:10:00 PM »

Congrats!!!

That is some huge motivation right there!!!

See you at Burt/Mullet.  I'd love to hear about it in person!

B
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JCOOPER

Re: All American experience
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2007, 09:18:53 AM »

Very good report.  I had heard that they take care of you pretty well, while you are down there.  I had no idea it was that good. 
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SethV

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Re: All American experience
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2007, 10:19:25 AM »

Nice job!  I dream of going to the All American some day.  Excellent accomplishment.

Too bad about your day 2 partner.  Guess thats what happens when someone ranked 122nd in the regular season has a lucky tx during the wild card.  I mean, 3 lbs total for an entire season and he gets to fish the All American - thats life....   ::)

Seth
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joshimoto son

Re: All American experience
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2007, 02:27:09 PM »

I'm jealeuos!

I'm going to print that story off and show it to my mother.

Even she didn't treat me that good when I was growing up. ;)


joshimoto son ;D
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djkimmel

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Re: All American experience
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2007, 01:05:38 AM »

Great job Stoker. Now, if only Troy could write that good... (okay, I'll stop picking on him... BTW, a guy who claims he pretty much runs things at Jay's said to tell Troy to get some writeups in to him ASAP - not to put more pressure on the young man ;D)

As you saw, it really is one of the most awesome tournaments you can qualify for. I've been bummed to have fished fairly poor lately and not get a chance to go back. Not my long term goal (Goal #8 - never qualify for the Wal-Mart BFL All-American again... NOT)

Even with the typical weird stuff that happens to me so often - the All-American being no exception, I had a fabulous time in Hot Springs waaaayyy back in 2001. Never quite finished the web page on it, which is a shame, but despite the fact they do so much for you, your head kinds of spins with all the things going on AND the POTENTIAL of it!!! I should have finished that page. Seems way too late now, but the whole goal before was to show anglers what a cool experience the event is.

Do you know a TBF member hit it HUGE on the co-angler side this year, qualifying through the TBF divisional and national championship to go on to win the co-angler championship at the All-American and pocket $70,000!!!! WOW!!! That's some serious fishing money!

Stoker - congratulations on a great finish!! Having fished that exact same pool in a regional before, I know how brutal it can be! 10th place is great accomplishment.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2007, 01:12:44 AM by djkimmel »
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of Michigan BASS Nation or TBF of Michigan.
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