Shaw Grigsby Raw - Part 9

Keri May, owner of spent a day on the water with Shaw Grigsby posing questions that members from our forums submitted for Shaw to answer.  Here is part 9 of a nine-part audio series where Shaw answers every single one of them!

In this episode, listen as Shaw talks about his show and the Bassmaster Classic!
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Keri: So your show One More Cast.

Shaw Grigsby: Fifteen years.

Keri: That's a long time. How do you choose your programming?

Shaw: I wing it.

Keri: Do you?

Shaw: This year was budget cuts, budget cut, budget cut. We filmed a lot local in Florida and stuff like that. We did travel a little, but we tried not to. I went to Venice, down here to redfish, had a blast. It doesn't get better than throwing a buzzbait having a big old redfish come up and crush it. I do eight freshwater and five saltwater and I just kind of wing it. Like that guy today said man, you need to go try this lake in April. Somebody like that tells me about it and a lot of times I end up showing up on him.

I ran into a guy at Dick's Sporting Goods. He came in to look for some hunting stuff and runs into me and he says, man I've seen you on TV and we start shooting the breeze. He's a big trout fisherman and when I say big trout fisherman I mean he wins all the trout deals with big fish. He's a big fish trout fisherman and loves it. That's his passion. He does stuff really special and unique.

I said yeah that would make a cool show. Who knows? I gave him my card and we may hook up and do a show here catching sea trout, speckled trout out there in New Orleans.
You never know. We may not. I never know if I'm going to be in business the next year as bad as the economic times are and the sponsorship.

Keri: Do you produce this show by yourself then?

Shaw: There's a guy, Woody Blackburn, Ironwood Productions and that's the production company and he handles generally the business side and I handle the fishing side. We pretty much figure things out. I'm generally in charge of all the fishing and he's in charge of the business. Not really, I'm in charge of a lot of business too. I got do the business, he just handles the business.

Keri: Most of your shows then are shot like you said on the off season, September, October?

Shaw: I used to start in May. We always have a few weeks in May and I used to start in May. It seems harder and harder to get commitments from sponsors and you hate to turn around and film a show and then the sponsors say no we're not sponsoring you, which we've had happen. All of a sudden you've got six shows done, half your season, and they're not sponsoring you and they're not paying you a dime for it. You really need to get your commitments wrapped up and they just seem to be later and later every year before they'll commit and that makes it later and later before you can really be assured. I'd like to have two-year, three-year agreements and those have kind of gone by the wayside, so you're up to one-year deals and just hoping everything goes well.

Keri: Are you seeing the economy turn around?

Shaw: Not yet.

Keri: Not yet.

Shaw: It is slightly and we know that, but there's always going to be a huge lag and I may be wrong, it may be 5 or 10 before it comes back to what it was and we may not see it come back to what it was for years. There was a lot of extravagant spending and deals going on when times were really good. I think people are gun shy now.

Keri: So the Classic used to be in August I believe?

Shaw: July.

Keri: July.

Shaw: July, the end of July, first of August, so it was always summer time.

Keri: Did you prefer that?

Shaw: I did for one reason. I liked the aspect that the kids could get out of school or be out of school and the family could take a summer vacation and come and we had a lot of families come to it. You still have people. You're going to have a lot of people here. Shreveport was incredible. Here it was February and it was arm-to-arm, shoulder-to-shoulder walking the aisles. There were thousands of people, I don't know how many.

Shreveport was a really good Classic, last year in Alabama was an okay Classic numbers-wise. It didn't compete with Shreveport. Shreveport was incredible. That was kind of what all of them were when we had them in summertime. When they had them in Florida it was huge. It really limits where you can go when you this time of year.

It scares the heck out of me because I'm not a good fall fisherman and there are people that absolutely love the fall.

I tolerate it and I do okay. I've had some good finishes in the fall. I've never won in the fall that I know of. I won the Red Man All American in the fall, but that was in Florida. I won the Florida tournament. I've won some seconds and thirds so I can compete.

I really was happy to see that go away where I didn't have to compete in the fall, that I could just do it in the spring and summer and I really thought that we would end up having a number of Classics like in Florida.

We had one and I didn't qualify that year and it broke my heart and just crushed me. I was right there and just didn't get it done. So I didn't get to fish it in my home state, in my home body of water where I catch them better than anything, where I've won just gazillions of dollars and I didn't get to do it. Oh well.

Keri: Well they'll have more there I'm sure.

Shaw: I don't know. They've got one more year, which is this year at Red River. That's your last one and I'll guarantee it will not be in the winter again.

Keri: Do you think they're going to change it back or push it out maybe a month or two?

Shaw: You don't know. It could end up being a fall tournament.

Keri: Oh really?

Shaw: But I would think if you're looking at being fan friendly you'd go back to summertime. Kids are out of school and people generally take summertime vacations and you'll probably get more people showing up for it.

They were concerned about different sports and all that. Heck, in the summertime what's going on? You don't have any football. Basketball is over. You got some baseball, but baseball goes on all year, but who cares until October when it comes to playoffs, so it's like you're not competing with anything. There's the Tour de France in whenever it is, August or July or something like that and that's it. So what are you competing with? Nothing.

I don't see a negative; I see all positive.

The other thing is it does open up to the guys that are real good deep water structure and it opens it up to the guys that are flippers and pitchers so those guys are going to love it again. Then all of a sudden it opens up the whole country. Now you can go to Michigan and have a Classic. Now you can go to New York and have a Classic. Now we can go anywhere in the country that wants us in the summertime.

You can't do that in February. I don't care what you do. It's just not good.

Even if ESPN had kept it I would be thinking that that had to be short-lived, the decision to have it in February. My deal was that I just couldn't believe that we had it in February all these years now, four years or five or whatever and one in Florida.

Keri: That amazes me too.

Shaw: One in a southern area where you could catch giant fish.

Keri: Spawning.

Shaw: Yeah. It doesn't even need to be spawning. It could've been in San Antonio and fish Choke, an hour south and driven back and forth and caught giant fish and still been nice and warm. Even if it gets cold it's not that bad you know. But no, we're fishing in the frozen tundra of Shreveport and northern Alabama. It will be 6 six years of cold frigid, potential cold and frigid, this is not cold and frigid, this is absolutely wonderful.

Keri: So if they put the Classic back in the summer what would that do to your TV scheduling or would they move the other tournaments around?

Shaw: I wouldn't know what they'd do. We're done right now. What you like is that we're done in June right? Being done in June means you can just have the Classic a month or two later. That's fine. Have July off and have the Classics. We can start fishing in January or something like that. Freeze our butts off somewhere else, Florida or Texas or wherever you want to go.

See More of the Shaw Grigsby Interview!