BASS Reporter’s Notebook: A dream birthday for a rookie pro; The Times on Eaker; Hit it: OOOOOK-lahoma, OK!; Thicker than water

Category: press release

 Jun 1st, 2010 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jun 1st, 2010 at 12:00 AM

A dream birthday for a rookie pro: Austin Terry celebrated his 19th birthday away from home, battling the Red River in northwestern Louisiana to prep for this week’s Bassmaster Central Open.

“It’s muddy, the current’s strong, and there’s major, major big trees floating down the river, so you have to be very careful when you’re running,” he said.

He wasn’t negotiating the current alone. His father, Ronnie Terry, was with him to help navigate the Red and celebrate the day.

Austin could not think of a better way to spend his May 29 birthday. From San Angelo, Texas, father and son were practicing for the June 3-5 Central Open out of Red River South Marina in Bossier City, host city along with Shreveport for the second event of the Central Open season.

The Terrys decided to cap off Austin’s birthday with a fancy restaurant dinner. On the way, they stopped to say hello to friends camping up the street. They were barbecuing deer meat.

“They asked us to try some,” Austin said. “It was the best I’ve ever had. My dad kept saying, ‘I’ll just have one more piece, then we’ll go.’ We were having such a good time, we ended up staying there.”

Contrary to what an observer might assume, it is Austin who is the pro angler. His father is entered in the event as a co-angler.

Ronnie is not only the budding pro’s father, but travel buddy and manager. He is helping his son achieve his career goal. Austin would like to be a pro angler, but he’d also like to work on the business side, say, for a tackle manufacturer. He’s a student at Angelo State University in his home town, working for a four-year degree in marketing or business.

His short-term goal is to develop as a pro angler. Austin is among the growing crop of young anglers coming up through the three Bassmaster Opens circuits. He has competed close to home for years. He was his state’s Junior Bassmaster Champion in 2007.

Before joining the Bassmaster Opens this season, his only exposure to pro-level BASS events was as a co-angler at a Bassmaster Elite Series event in 2007 on Texas’ Lake Amistad. He finished 26th and won $500. Best of all, he spent a day each with Elite pros Gerald Swindle and Kevin VanDam.

“I had the two best draws: my favorite angler (Swindle) and the best angler in the world (VanDam),” he said.

“VanDam didn’t talk as much as Swindle, but when he (VanDam) did, it was good. He told me how to fish a stickbait better. He looked at me, said I wasn’t working it the right way, and showed me how to do it better.” Austin said.

Austin had this in common with VanDam: Both are avid and accomplished bowhunters. Austin is so good, he appeared as a teen in two video productions on whitetail hunts made by Muzzy, now a sponsor. Then he and his father shot two hunting videos on their own. They’re seeking retail distribution for the DVDs now.

His career choice, though, is fishing, not hunting.

“Everyone always asks me if I like hunting or fishing better. I’ve always told them, ‘It’s whatever season it is.’ But lately, I want to be fishing. It’s an awesome feeling, it’s what I want to do.”

He’s passionate about his fishing, but a fishing career was a practical choice.

“It pays better. It’s a lot tougher to make it in the hunting industry,” he said.

Austin has his work cut out for him this week on the Red River. He is 66th in the Central Open standings on the eve of the second of three 2010 events. He knows he must do well on the Red to make up enough ground to be nearer to the top going into the season closer in October on Lake Texoma.  He is still hoping for an Elite Series invitation.

“Maybe I can still make the Elites,” he said “I’d have to be real, real good in the next two tournaments. You never know.”

The Times on Eaker: Heard the story about Guy Eaker, the 70-year-old from Cherryville, N.C., who is still competing at the top level of pro bass fishing?

70-year old Guy Eaker will call it quits after the 2010 season(Photo BASS)

Lots of people have now as The New York Times featured Eaker in its May 20 edition.  The newspaper’s weekday circulation is just under a million, not to mention its phenomenal web traffic.

Famous for telling interesting stories, Eaker shared many of his tales of his 35 years as a bass pro with the author of the Times piece, Ray Glier.  Eaker has fished with presidents, raced with Dale Earnhardt Sr. and inspired countless anglers with his never-quit attitude.

In addition to the Eaker feature, Glier has written other pro bass fishing stories for The Times, including one about a Buddhist priest competing in the 2007 Bassmaster Classic.  He has also featured Skeet Reese, Takahiro Omori, Kevin Wirth and other Bassmaster Elite Series pros.

To read the Times article about Eaker, go to http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/sports/20angler.html

Sing it: OOOOOK-lahoma, OK!
: The final event of the 2010 regular season of the Bassmaster Elite Series will bring something new to the sport: an Arkansas River venue hosted by the city of Muskogee, Okla.

Weigh-ins for the June 17-20 finale, the Sooner Run, will be at Three Forks Harbor in Fort Gibson, just across the river from Muskogee. (Fort Gibson, by the way, is famous for being Oklahoma’s oldest town.)

Three Forks Harbor is a big marina located at river mile 393.6 of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. The name Three Forks comes from the fact that the harbor is near the confluence of the Arkansas, Verdigris and Grand rivers. It’s one of the most-inland harbors of the United States.

At the Oklahoma event, the race to be a member of the Toyota 12 will hit the finish line. Those top 12 anglers will compete in Toyota Trucks Championship Week, July 24-31 in Alabama, for the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title and the accompanying $200,000 top prize.

Information on the newest Elite site in Oklahoma is available at http://www.muskogeechamber.org and http://www.threeforksharbor.org

Thicker than water
: Chris and Bobby Lane now have another milestone memory to share as brothers competing alongside – and against – each other on the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament trail.

Brothers Bobby and Chris Lane compete on the Elite Series. (Photo BASS)

Both Lanes made the top-12 cut for the final day of the Pride of Georgia on Clarks Hill Lake.  It was the first time the brothers ran toward the wire together for a $100,000 first-place Elite Series prize.

Going into the May 23rd finale, Chris was 7th and Bobby was 10th. They stuck together till the end:  Chris finished 11th and Bobby was 12th.

Last January, Bassmaster.com dubbed the Elite duo “The Chris and Bobby Show” when they finished No. 1 (Chris) and No. 2 (Bobby) at the Bassmaster Southern Open on Lake Okeechobee in their native Florida.

By all accounts – including theirs – Lane blood is thicker than water. When they can, they help each other out during competition, but remain competitive.


About BASS

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.


As the flagship offering of ESPN Outdoors, 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, ESPNOutdoors.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.



More like this