When animals attack — Bassmaster Classic champ Skeet Reese vs. largemouth bass.
I’m in the Lucky Craft Big Rig headed to Oneida. Heck, by the time you read this I’ll be on the water practicing.
Mark Zona is a spaz — in a good way … I think.
After the last event in Iowa, I drove the Lucky Craft Express to Michigan, dropped my Champion off at Randy VanDam’s shop, D&R Sports Center in Kalamazoo, and my truck at Zona’s house to await my return from California.
I flew in Thursday, where “Z,” as we call him on tour, was all set to pick me up from the airport — in my truck. He greeted me, and all he could talk about is how cool it was to have people honking at him and girls waving at him while he was driving. It’s gotta be the truck!
We headed over to D&R where Kevin’s big brother and his staff were working on the Champion, making sure everything was in tiptop condition for the rest of the season. While I was at home they told me I had destroyed my lower unit in Iowa, and it had to be replaced.
Cool. One less thing to worry about.
We then headed, with Kevin, to a wing house where Zona saw on the menu that he could get his picture on the wall by eating 16 of the hottest wings available. When he found out he had to do it without drinking or eating anything to cool off his mouth, he chickened out. Wimp.
Then we headed to his house, where I thought I’d spend a couple of hours inspecting (translation: raiding) “The Smallmouth King’s” (as he calls himself) prized tube collection. I figured he’d have hundreds of tubes, but he doesn’t. He muttered something about only buying them in small batches for perfect color and flake consistency. Whatever, weirdo.
Then we had a home run derby in his back yard with his twin sons, Hunter and Jacob, his wife Karen, her parents, and “Z” and me. He and I were handicapped and had to hit left-handed, but were tied going into the final round, then he won by five dingers. He might be the “Home Run King of Michigan,” but “The Fishing King” is still KVD.
I think I may have been sabotaged in “The Michigan Triangle” though, because I’ve noticed that after Zona had my truck for a couple of months, it doesn’t run quite the same. It seems to be sluggish on acceleration, and I’m not so sure that leaving my boat at KVD’s brother’s shop unattended was a bright idea, either. Who knows how that will work.
I’m kidding, of course, but if I open my lockers, and my gear is gone, I’m headed straight to Zona’s house. I’m sure he’ll have a new Lucky Craft wall in his garage.
Back to the business side of life, I’m excited about a couple of things. Pure Fishing is sending a new prototype bait to Oneida — one that we’ve been working on together for awhile. It’s pretty cool, and will fill a void in the product line. I’ll also be seeing the new Abu Garcia SKT Revo, with a few changes, the biggest being a 24-pound drag system — should be awesome.