By Chris Lane
The 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series season is over. I want to say congratulations to everyone. Boyd Duckett, the winner on Oneida, the 2013 Bassmaster Classic qualifiers and the 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series Rookie of the year, Brandon Card, all did one heck of a job this year. But, in truth, this week is all about Brent Chapman, the 2012 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year.
After a difficult 2011 season, this man had the kind of season we all dream about. He won an Open, an Elite, and the overall title. He did it all with his trademark good humor, gracious attitude and legendary consistency.
To understand what I mean when I say legendary consistency, let’s take a look at his record. He’s fished a total of 200 B.A.S.S.-sanctioned professional events. He’s cashed a check in 129 of them. That’s roughly two-thirds of the time. I don’t know where that stands compared to other anglers but it’s got to be up there.
Along the way he’s qualified for 11 Bassmaster Classics. That’s no small number, folks. It says that even when he doesn’t have his best year, he still has a good year.
Consistency may be the best measure of a professional bass angler. Let’s face it, anyone can have a good day, a good tournament or a good year. But putting everything together year after year in all the different types of places we fish — and against the greatest competitive bass anglers in the world — is no small accomplishment. I know.
Another thing about him is that he’s a fine family man. His wife, Bobbi, and the kids are always with him. It’s rare to see only a part of the family. It’s an “all” type of thing with them. And so I say a special congratulations to Brent. He’s a fine man with a fine family who’ll do a fine job representing our sport next year.
If you’re around Brent and Bobbi, however, you need to be warned about playing poker with them. Fine people or not, they’ll clean out your wallet and never stop smiling while they’re doing it. The Lane boys tried a little Texas Hold’em one night at the campground with them and believe me when I say we regretted it.
I’m can’t say for sure whether Brent or Bobbi got the most of our money but it was one of them. I’m not kidding, guys. They were thorough. We went to school that night, and we haven’t forgotten our lessons. Take this warning seriously. They’re both real good.
Anyway, it’s great to see someone who lives right have success. It makes you think that nice guys don’t have to finish last. That’s something everyone who fishes bass tournaments should be proud to say about the sport.
For me, however, the season is over unless I get voted into the Toyota Trucks All-Star Week by the fans. I’d like that. It’d be an honor. But it’s not something I think any angler should expect or demand. About all I can do is hope for the best.