Aug 24th, 2012 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Aug 24th, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Terry Butcher was poised to qualify for the 2013 Bassmaster Classic. The one goal every Elite Series pro has in common. All he needed to do was qualify for the third day of the last event of the Elite Series season on Lake Oneida. Well, one mistake took him out.
The mistake was arriving 11 minutes late to check in. What did it cost Butcher? Essentially an entire season.
“I am just crying in my beer right now,” said Butcher. “Maybe it ought to be a bottle of Jack! I just made the biggest mistake of my life. I came in 11 minutes late. I came in late once before about 15 years ago, I think at an Everstart event, but I didn’t lose anything there.
“I lost my shot at qualifying for the Classic. I live to qualify for that event, and it’s gonna be on my home waters where I cut my teeth, Grand Lake.”
Butcher knew he had to check in at 3:45 p.m. Eastern time. At the start of Day 2, he was thinking 4:00 p.m., but corrected himself when he was leaving in the morning. He knew he had to be back at 3:45. Then he simply forgot and thought he needed to be back at 4:00.
“So I’m pulling into the area we check in and everything seems normal,” said Butcher. “Then I see the officials waving me over. I start idling over wondering why he is waving me over. Then it dawns on me, 3:45! I just want to wake up from this dream.”
Terry’s mental error cost him more than the Classic berth.
“It’s devastating, unreal what a difference 11 minutes made,” said Butcher. “Not only the Classic opportunity gone, but a $10,000 check for making the cut. I checked and I would’ve been in 22nd.
“Just an average day on the third day and I’d be in the Classic. By qualifying, I would’ve gotten a check for another 10 thousand. Then my Angler of the Year standings would’ve earned me another 8 or 9 thousand. None of that includes my incentives from my sponsors for qualifying for the Classic.
“We don’t do this for the money, but a shot at fishing the Classic and a chance to win $500,000, all gone. I’ll be fine. It’s not the end of the world.”
*Editor’s Note – Butcher is a member of the Bass Cat Boats Pro Team, and Bass Cat Boats owner Rick Pierce has launched a campaign to help Terry make the Postseason in next month’s Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Elite Series All-Star week. Piece has put the word out on numerous forums including Bass Cat Owner’s Board.