Make That Call To A Bass Fishing Buddy

Make That Call To A Bass Fishing Buddy Pick up the phone and invite a friend you haven’t seen in a while to go fishing. It could be the experience of a lifetime!


Fishing with friends

Mark Zona hates cell phones!

I hate phones. There, I said it. And that’s exactly why I’m the first guy that needs to listen closely to the wisdom I’m attempting to scatter across your screen in this blog.

   Here’s the deal, when my lunatic lifestyle comes to an end at the conclusion of the Bassmaster Elite Series season, I’m ready for some football. But instead, I go straight into another season of insanity associated with filming several episodes of Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show.

   My soul-consumed love of fishing is the core reason why I do what I do – but with my job comes countless business responsibilities – and that requires talking on the phone.  So I avoid it. And sadly, my shunning of the cell phone leads to me failing miserably at making the one or two non-business related calls at this time of year that all of us need to make – that phone call to a friend for a chance to simply go fishing for fun.

   Thank goodness for the always responsible and more-mature-than-me, Kevin VanDam, who insisted that he and I call B.A.S.S. owners Don Logan and Jerry McKinnis and convince them to leave the warm confines of Alabama and Arkansas for a chance to come to Michigan – actually, Northern Michigan– to wreck some bronze slounches (mega-toad Smallmouth for those of you that don’t know me).

   We called. And fortunately, Jerry answered, and agreed that he and Don would come join us. See, here’s the thing, dudes – I work for Jerry McKinnis –he’s my boss – but Jerry is a guy I’ve looked up to since I was about 4-years-old – and he’s a friend. Jerry McKinnis is like Joe Torre or Bill Belichick – the kind of dude you’ll play hard for simply because you like and respect him so much.


Fishing with friends

Zona and McKinnis with some trophy smallmouths!

When Jerry and Don Logan got here, as is often the case, Jerry was wondering what in the heck I had gotten him into.  The temperatures had plummeted, and the wind was blowing a sustained 15-20 miles per hour out of the north.  It was gusting to 25 mph, and air temps were in the 40s.

   Oh yea – and there’s more  -- the waves were good 3-footers, and at one point it was even sleeting. That may not sound like a smart time to go fishing, but we knew they were chewing, and there’s always a little more peace-of-mind in freak show conditions like that when you’re a member of BoatU.S. Angler, and thank goodness, Kevin and I both are.

   It was a freak show, all right. McKinnis and I busted several 20-pound limits. I’m serious. No exaggeration on that statement right there, kids. In fact, Jerry and I really only needed one lure – a brown, ¼ ounce, Strike King jig.  We had our first 20-pound limit of smallmouth on that lure by 9:00 a.m. We made memories amid a brutal northern cold front and blowing sleet – and it only happened because I got past my hatred of the phone – and made that call.

   Until next time, promise me you’ll do the same. Pick up the phone before the snow starts to fall, and invite a friend you haven’t seen in a while to go fishing.

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