BASS Reporter’s Notebook 9/21, Nate Wellman, One for the Money
Category: press release
Sep 24th, 2010 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Sep 24th, 2010 at 12:00 AM
One for the money, two for the show: To borrow from the song Blue Suede Shoes, Nate Wellman is the “one for the money.” Ryan Said and Tracy Adams are the “two for the show.”
Wellman was the Newaygo, Mich., pro who last Saturday walked off with the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open title and thus the largest chunk of tournament payout money. Said and Adams came through the three-event season as the two for the show, as qualifiers for the 2011 Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 18-20 on the Louisiana Delta out of New Orleans.
Said and Adams hit the top in their first seasons as Bassmaster pros. True, Adams has competed for years in other circuits’ events near to and far from his home in Wilkesboro, N.C. But Said, a mechanical engineer from Wixom, Mich., had entered only small regional events. His entire Bassmaster experience before 2010 consisted of being a co-angler twice in 2004.
“It’s still sinking in. You go out, you work hard, you give it your best and you never know what will happen. But to actually have it happen to you is unbelievable,” he said.
It’s a good thing Said did not have to be present to win. After he failed to make the Friday cut at the season finale on the Chesapeake Bay, he decided to head home so he would be somewhat rested for work on Monday at Chrysler Corp. When the announcement was made at the Maryland tournament site, he was hours away. His brother, at home in Michigan, relayed the tournament results via cell phone.
“Initially, I told my brother, ‘Don’t even call me until it is all over and you know what happened.’ I put on my favorite CDs, and tried not to think about it,” he said.
But Said got a call as the weigh-in was beginning, and neither brother could resist following Bassmaster.com’s online leaderboard.
“He stayed on the line and told me what was happening, angler by angler, as everyone weighed in. Tracy Adams and Travis Manson were the two who could have caught me, so we watched for them. It was nerve-racking until the end, that’s for sure,” he said.
Said came close to failing in his Classic bid. He led by 73 points going into the Chesapeake event, but all could have been lost if he hadn’t made a correct Day Two decision on how to handle a squeaker.
His first onboard measure of a small bass was a hair’s breath over the required 12-inch length. The bass went into his livewell as his fifth keeper, a limit. But just to be sure, Said later measured the fish several more times. It appeared to be under 12 inches. He decided to release the bass to eliminate the possibility of a short-fish penalty, which could have led to losing the Classic seat.
The decision proved to be the right one. He ended the tournament in 41st place, earning enough points to give him 3 up on Adams. (Click here for full-field points finals.)
In turn, Adams clinched the second of two Northern-awarded Classic berths by pulling up from sixth place to finish in second, 12 points in front of event winner Wellman.
“I’m pretty excited about the Classic,” Adams said Monday from work at his father’s grocery-and-tackle store just over the Yadkin River bridge from his home in Wilkesboro, N.C. “I decided to fish the Bassmaster Opens this year to see if it went anywhere, and it did.”
Adams, 36, has been competing in pro-level bass tournaments since 1996 (the store job is his in-town gig). He has qualified six times for another circuit’s annual championship. So although the 2011 Classic won’t be the only championship he’s been in, he said he regards the Classic as the most prestigious event so far in his career.
Both of the new qualifiers said that the Classic could be pivotal, not just in living the dream, but also in fiscal matters.
“The first thing I did when I got home was flip open my Bassmaster – the issue about Kevin VanDam’s latest Classic win – and look up what last place paid. It said $10,000, and I said, “Thank you very much.”
Any amounts earned at the Classic could be springboards into Bassmaster Elite Series fishing careers for Said and Adams. Both now own invitations to move up.
“I’m going to do everything in my power to find the backing to do it,” Said stated. “I think there’s a good chance that in qualifying for the Classic, I’ll be able to find it. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was 16 and opened my first Bassmaster Magazine.”
Jeff Connella’s 3,000 kids: Bassmaster Elite Series pro Jeff Connella plans to spend Saturday, Sept. 25, with about 3,000 kids.
Connella honestly loves kids – he has two of his own, plus two stepsons – but he’ll need, and will have, plenty of help with the thousands of kids who turn out for the Woodworth, La., observation of National Hunting and Fishing Day.
From Bentley, La., Connella has volunteered for the event for the past three years. This year he’ll also serve as the official master of ceremonies. The event is free, and kids and their parents are invited to turn out for a day of outdoor activities, from pond fishing for catfish to the skinning of a gator, he said.
“We’ve seen it grow from about 300 participants three years ago to around 3,000 last year. We’re expecting a big turnout,” he said.
Created in 1972, National Hunting and Fishing Day is celebrated the fourth Saturday of September in various ways by hundreds of organizations across America. The annual event recently found a permanent “home” with Wonders of Wildlife, a museum and educational organization based in Springfield, Mo. Details are at www.nhfday.org.
Rookie of the Year Roy has new sponsor: Bradley Roy has a new sponsor, Angling Technologies of Kansas City, Mo.
The Lancaster, Ky., pro will promote the company’s interactive, Web-based mapping service. Roy also will contribute to the content by noting his top-10 fishing spots within the library U.S. lakes, rivers, ponds and coastal waters.
Visitors can find the site by going to www.FindYourWater.com or by navigating from “Lake Maps” under the Tips and Tools section on the front page of www.Bassmaster.com.
Roy, born Nov. 2, 1990, is the youngest pro ever to qualify for the Bassmaster Elite Series. He joined for the 2010 season and went on to win the Rookie of the Year title. He finished at 40th place in points, just three spots out of 2011 Bassmaster Classic qualification. If enough Elite anglers double-qualify through other levels of competition, Roy could end up with a 2011 Classic entry.
Federation Nation event this week in Connecticut: Candlewood Lake near Danbury, Conn., this week is hosting the final divisional of the season for the BASS Federation Nation.
Anglers hit Candlewood on Monday for their first practice day. The competition will begin Wednesday and run through Friday out of Danbury Town Park. Takeoff is set for 6 a.m., and weigh-ins will begin at 2:30 p.m. The public is invited to watch; it’s free.
On the final day, Junior Bassmaster competitors will join the adults who qualify. The young anglers will compete among themselves for the right to advance to the Bassmaster Junior World Championship.
The adults are vying for entries in the Oct. 27-29 Bass Federation Nation Championship presented by Yamaha and Skeeter Boats on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La. The ultimate stop is the 2011 Bassmaster Classic, for which six Federation anglers will qualify.
Open doors to the 2011 Elite Series: Last Saturday, seven anglers received invitations to the 2011 Bassmaster Elite Series.
They were the top points earners over the three events of the 2010 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open tournament circuit, which wrapped up Sept. 18.
In order from No. 1 to No. 7, they were: Ryan Said of Wixom, Mich. (see above); Tracy Adams of Wilkesboro, N.C. (also see above); Nate Wellman of Newaygo, Mich.; Travis Manson of Green Bay, Wis.; David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn.; Elite pro Randy Howell of Springville, Ala., now a double-qualifier; and Chip Harrison of Bremen, Ind.
More Opens qualifiers will emerge from the Southern and Central divisions. Those announcements will come in October, when the divisions will wrap up their seasons.
For more than 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and its expansive tournament structure while championing efforts to connect directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.
The Bassmaster brand and its considerable multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer; comprehensive Web properties in Bassmaster.com, BASSInsider.com, and ESPN3.com, and ESPN2 television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.
BASS oversees the prestigious Bassmaster Tournament Trail, which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, BASS Federation Nation and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.
BASS offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.