‘Good ole boys’ of bass fishing come through in the clutch

My father-in-law is always telling me that I’m a “good ole boy,” but “there’s just not much demand for good ole boys.” Well, I have a group of anglers that I travel with on the tournament trail we follow who would all fall into the “good ole boy” category. As far as anglers, they are all very good, but as people, they are even better! Today I’ll give some insight into what makes good travel partners for bass fishing.

First and foremost, you must trust those who are in your inner circle. You see, bass fishermen are a fickle bunch and not many can be trusted, especially in terms of fishing information. You can’t have anyone with any sort of criminal record. You need good guys who have Christian values, guys that if you get in a bind, will come to your aid the minute you call.

These are the kind of guys I run with, and I appreciate each and every one of them. Now don’t get the wrong impression here! Each of us wants to stomp a mud hole in the others in our group when it comes to fishing and winning a tournament. We are all very competitive, but at the end of the day, we all pull for each other as well.  

Here’s a good example of what makes great travel partners. I was on my way back from a tournament at Lake Palestine and headed east on I-20 just outside of Longview when I noticed smoke coming off one of my boat trailer tires. I pulled over to check it out.

Sure enough, it was an angler’s worst fear — not a flat tire, but worse, a wheel bearing had gone out. Seconds later, to my surprise, one of my travel partners, Cole Garrett, called to see how I did in my tournament and was on his way back from a Lake Fork event. I told him my situation and he wanted to know my location because he wasn’t too far behind me and he thought he had an extra wheel assembly I could use to fix my wheel. 

Shocked that he would even have such a part, I sent him my location and 20 minutes later he pulled up behind me ready to assist. Long story short, after careful inspection of the situation, we realized we didn’t have the right tools to fix the problem, so we just removed the wheel. I came back to Shreveport on three wheels and dropped it off at my boat dealer (The Boat Shop). This is why I love tandem axle boat trailers. You can always come in on three wheels if you must, but you might have to take it a little slower. 

Now even though Cole couldn’t solve my problem, just the fact that he thought enough of me to try and help any way meant the world to me. Even though he was tired after three or four days of hard fishing, he still took the time to try and help a friend. That’s what makes someone a good travel partner — someone who will drop whatever they’re doing to try and help someone else. 

As anglers, we follow tournament trails all over the region and no matter how new or old your boat is, there will be times when you need assistance. Having good travel partners is essential to making life less stressful and it puts your mind at ease.

Even though we all have top-of-the-line bass boats, it’s kind of like owning a motor home. It’s not a matter of if, but when something will break. The group of guys I travel with — Brett Hortman, Adrian James and Cole Garrett — are all great anglers in their own right. But as people, they will do whatever they can to help any way possible, no matter what situation or problem may arise. 

So, if you’re looking to hit the road and follow a tournament trail, make sure you have some “good ole boys” you can trust who will always have your back no matter what comes up.

Until next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget your sunscreen. 

Contact Steve at sgraf26@yahoo.com