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!