Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quest for the BASS Slam - 2012

Last year I was browsing through the RiverBassin website when I first heard mention of something called the BASS Slam.  I had no clue what it was, so I did the obvious...I Googled it.  The first link brought me to this page.  I intently read the info like an adult version of Ralphie eyeing his new Red Rider.  But, as much as I wanted to do it, I never thought I could pull it off.  The logistics were tough - I mean, the Texas Hill country is a long way from North Carolina.  Yet somehow, this year, it is happening.  I am going to attempt the BASS Slam - catching all 9 species of black bass found in the United States in one year and meeting minimum length requirements for each species.  Plus we are going to one-up it a little bit.



First and foremost, I owe this chance, in large part, to two people.  My amazing girlfriend, Mary May, has been a rock for me over the past year.  Not only does she support my fishing endeavors, but she loves to participate too.  I couldn't have had this opportunity without her.  And, I am excited to say, that we will be headed to Texas in October to fish for Guadalupe Bass together - a trip which I hope will complete my slam.  The other person is Bill Kohls.  I knew I couldn't go through this craziness alone and when I told Bill about my idea, he was eager to jump on board.  Thanks man!  I owe a lot more "thank you's" than that, and I will run through those at the end of this blog.

So, I said we were going to one up that original Slam and this is how.  The RiverBassin site also has a River Bassers Slam, which we are going to incorporate as well.  For a few species, the necessary length for a fish to count toward the Slam is longer on RiverBassin than with BASS, so we are going to use the longer requirement for each.  Second, we are going to include the Bartrams Bass.  The Bartrams is currently considered a Redeye bass, but is reportedly close to gaining recognition as a unique species.  This brings our total "species" count to 10.  The third one-up is that we are going to catch them all on rivers and streams....no lakes, ponds, or reservoirs allowed.  And the final one is the kicker - we are going to get it all on video, so you can follow along with our adventures!

I guess the next logical question is what species will we be chasing.  Well, the Slam includes (with minimum length in parentheses) the:  Redeye (BASS: 8", RB: 10"), Smallmouth (BASS: 12", RB: 14"), Largemouth (BASS: 14", RB: 17"), Florida Strain Largemouth (BASS: 16", RB: N/A), Spotted (BASS: 12", RB: 13"), Alabama Spotted (BASS: 12", RB: 15"), Shoal (BASS: 12", RB: 16"), Guadalupe (BASS: 10", RB: 12"), Suwanee (BASS: 10", RB: 11")...plus the Bartrams bass.  That list is exciting, yet daunting.  If I had to make a bold prediction, that Redeye bass is going to be one of the toughest.  However, none of them will be easy.

Actually, the largemouth bass will be pretty easy.

The next question would probably be, "when are you going to attempt this."  Well, you have one year to do it.  We are beginning our quest on May 25th and road tripping through the southeast trying to knock out the majority of the species.  I guess that means I have until May 25, 2013, but ideally it won't take that long...emphasis on "ideally".  We will be traveling through North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama along the way.  While we travel, we will be updating our Quest for the BASS Slam Facebook page, the Malibu Kayaks Facebook page, and the Team Malibu page.  We will be putting slightly different content on each page.  You will probably see some stuff pop-up on this blog, our YouTube channels, and on Twitter as well.  And we are going to throw out something extra special for those who follow along with us.  We are going to give away a bunch of prizes and here is the breakdown:
- "Like" the Malibu Kayaks Facebook page, our Quest for the BASS Slam post on the Malibu page, & the Quest for the BASS Slam Facebook page and be in the running for a Malibu Kayaks hat.  We are giving away 2 - 1 trucker hat and 1 khaki hat.
- "Like" the three pages/posts above plus "Like" at least four of the pages of some of the gear we believe in and will be using on the trip:  Carolina Custom Rods, Columbia Sportswear, GoPro, Crack of Dawn Paddlesports, R&S Baits, RiverBassin, YakAttack, Kayalu, HOOK1, Kayak Bass Fishing, Outdoor Blogger Network, RiversEdge, or Southern River Fishing.  Do this and be eligible for a sweet fishing prize pack full of goodies.  Also, as a side note, I know that some of you may already "Like" these pages.  That will not exclude you from being entered into the drawings.
- Knock out the requirements above and sign up to join the Team Malibu page (it is free and easy) and put yourself in the running for one of the grand prizes - a 1/2 day guide trip with Froggy Waters Outdoors or a 1/2 day guide trip with Reel Fishing NC.  We might throw in a few extras too.

To see how easy/hard this was, I just attempted to complete the above 3 requirements.  In under 2 minutes, I was successfully entered in all of the drawings!

The drawing for the hats will be held on May 24th, the drawing for the fishing prize pack will take place on May 29th, and the drawing for the trips will take place on June 4th.  All winners will be announced by 7 PM EST on the Quest for the BASS Slam Facebook page.  We will check and double check that all of those who signed up are included in the drawing, however, if you want to make it even easier on us, head over to our Facebook page and comment on the prize thread.

I can't begin to express how excited I am about this trip.  Keep an eye out for a teaser video coming soon.

Last, but not least, the many people who have helped make this thing happen in one way or another.  A huge thanks to Mary May, Bill, Uncle Gorden & family, Drew & Ange Waligora, Todd "The General" Unzicker, Sean "Bruiser" Brodie, Tim Perkins, Evan Howard, Pat Kellner, Tony Hart, and Lance Coley.  I actually saved Lance until last for a reason.  Although I have only ever met him in passing, he is the one who inspired me to do this...and he is a heckuva river basser.  Check out this awesome article for everything you ever wanted to known about bass identification.

So, keep an eye out on all the happenings as the trip unfolds...then come back and check out our 10 part web series detailing all of our adventures, triumphs, defeats, and (of course) bloopers.  Tight lines!

11 comments:

  1. Good Luck...I am on that journey also but my timetable will be longer....Leaving Friday am for some Shoalies..Hopefully...and if I am lucky a coosa on the way back....My bartrams will hopefully come later this year as I have 2 really good spots scouted for them....it will problay be several years before I can make it out to Texas but hopefuuly one day I can make it out there cause it is on my "bucket list" to catch all the species.....Keep us posted and again, good luck ....Mack

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    1. Good luck with the shoalies Mack. Looks like we will be about two weeks behind you. Which river you headed to? I am nervous about the Bartrams, but at least it doesn't take too long to get down there if I need to make a return trip.

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  2. Awesome! You are truly inspiring. I can not wait to take you out in pursuit of some elusive yet aggressive Guads! I hope to chase my dream of a similar bass slam. You have given me some great ideas. I hope you don't mind me sharing your story and progress thought your journey as well on my blog.

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  3. Pat, I am super glad to have you on board for the last leg (I hope) of this journey. You are more than welcome to share. The more I plan this trip, the more I realize what a challenge it is - especially doing it solely on rivers. The logistics are tough and trying to figure it all out in essentially 8 days is even tougher. Thankfully, the river fishing community is (in my biased opinion) the best one out there and input from guys like you has helped me a ton.

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    1. Well I will be sharing your story and posts. I have decided to go ahead and attempt my slam sometime soon. Hopefully next year...if I can find the funds for traveling.

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    2. Thanks again. I am excited to hear that you are going do it as well. We actually wanted to go for the super-ridiculous slam at one point and throw in peacocks, hybrids, white bass, and striped bass, but time off and travel budget didn't allow it. Although, I will probably catch all of those this year other than a peacock. If you are headed toward NC at all, then definitely give me a shout!

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  4. Drew, you're going to have a great time! I'm currently writing a book on and attempting the Bowfishing Slam consisting of 10 species that will take me throughout the country as well. Funny though, our starting points are roughly the same place, (my first leg was Belews Lake above Greensboro).

    Good luck and I look forward to following your exploits!

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    1. Bill, that is awesome! I am very familiar with Belews Lake. In fact, there are quite a few posts on this blog that took place there. Best of luck with your slam!

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  5. Good luck Drew! I'll be following along intently as this is something I would like to accomplish as well. If you ever pass through Louisiana (Baton Rouge) and need a place to crash, just let me know. All we have are northern strain LMB and kentucky spots down here - you'll likely pick those up back home. The redfish are where it's at down here anyway.

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    1. Thanks Ben! If I make a trip down that way, you better believe I want go after some reds. We are actually taking a day to fish Mosquito Lagoon (FL) on this trip for reds, trout, and whatever happens to bite.

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  6. You have given such an important information about this trip.Worked hard for it.It would be useful for all of us.

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