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Bigwater Fishing with Ross Robertson
Bigwater Fishing with Ross Robertson

Episode 46 · 5 months ago

Brett King | Pro Walleye Angler

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Brett King is from Hager City, WI and has been fishing tournaments for over 25 years! Being a highly accomplished tournament fisherman, Brett has some pretty impressive wins under his belt including wins in the NWT, AIM Walleye Series, and FLW tour. In addition, Brett took the NWT Angler of the Year title in 2018. When Brett is not fishing walleye tournaments, he is spending time with his family and he is also an avid hunter and ice fisherman. Brett’s son is following in this dad’s footsteps of tournament angling where he presently fishes for bass at the collegiate level. Brett also attends many boat shows in the off season. Brett’s home body of water is the Mississippi River which he says is also his favorite body of water to fish. He says he mainly fishes Pool 3 and Pool 4. Brett says that his favorite technique to fish walleyes is using plastics, both casting and vertical fishing. Capt. Ross Robertson has made his complete living chasing walleye as a full time professional angler for more than 20 years. Through the years he has worn many hats including time as a fishing guide, boat salesman, TV host, outdoor writer, product designer, tournament fisherman, speaker, radio host and podcaster to name a few. Ross fishes ice-out to ice-up on the Great Lakes. He spends the majority of the year walleye fishing on Lake Erie’s Western and Central basins. Check out more from Bigwater Fishing https://www.facebook.com/BigwaterFishing/ https://www.instagram.com/bigwaterfishing/ http://bigwaterfishing.com/ Download Bigwater Fishing Podcast Episodes iTunes https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/bigwater-fishing-with-ross-robertson/id1508243662Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/bigwater-fishing-podcastSpotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0i8zS8tQumNGYGAXqKLX45Google Podcasts https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5zb3VuZGVyLmZtLzI1NzIvcnNzLnhtbA?sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiW4-OnvY7rAhXYCc0KHX7lBRQQ4aUDegQIARAC&hl=en

Producer Dude. We have a unique guest today. You probably don't know him. More unique than you. That is way too much uniqueness, but he he was. He's still a friend, but he we traveled together fishing on the tournament trail way back in the day and he was actually my boss as the founder of smooth move seats and I like those seats. You finally let me ride on one the other day instead of putting me in the back on the bean bag. You know, nobody puts baby in the corner, but we do. We do put producer dude back there. I couldn't even say that it was so it was so worthy. I was riding in that seat. I'm like, Oh, this is this is nice. If you guys that don't have them, that have that boat once you're committed to doing this, if you don't have those, you're just not very, very intelligent, I don't think. But yeah, they're amazing. Video. He has a really interesting story. When the hardest working guys I know seriously and obviously a huge resume than he, he's into Walleye fishing. He has one at all, done at all. Um. I don't think too many guys have as many titles as he does, and it's just funny, as I'm sure we're gonna bring it up. You know the different connections that we have and how you know some of the guests that we've had on the PODCAST and people we've shot with on how intermingled so many of these guys are, and you know through so many years, he was definitely kind of one of the original guys. So interested to hear his story a little bit and without further ado, we don't keep waiting too long. Let's bring on Mr Brett Kane. This has been a long time coming. It has a long time no see, though. I mean we happened to cross paths a few weeks ago. I appreciate you having me on the show. Look, and let's talk about that, because I hate social media for many reasons which we won't get into that whole uh, that rabbit hole. But I saw in there that you were enjoying a number seventy three on your personal page there that you know, maybe not everybody sees, and I said I know what a number seventy three is and I know that that happens to be two miles from my house and how dare you be fourteen hours away from your home and you not stop by. So I'll rip your mask for that later. But you were eating Mexican number seventy three, and it's it's funny because a couple of our mutual friends Um said that you are not a big food guy, but they have heard about this number seventy three also. And Yeah, that's probably one of my favorite little hole in the walls on earth and you know, I get out there probably a couple three times a year. So I was trying to make a point not to land there on Wednesday because I found out the hard way they're closed on Wednesday. So this time it just worked out for me. It depends on time of year, but yeah, that's the wackiness of getting people to work nowadays. That yes, they're different. But yeah, number seventy three. And the funny thing is is I didn't eat there forever and once I did, I'm like, oh my gosh, I eat there almost weekly. You gotta leave the mushrooms out, though. They gotta go. Yeah, I'm I'm of no Bell Pepper Guy Personally. So any rate, let's let's get into fishing stuff, because that's where everybody wants to hear and and I'm interested to learn a few things because me and you traveled fishing for a number of years and, Um, you know, you actually sponsored me back in the day. You were one of the we don't want to get too deep into this, but founder of his maybe that's sound technically right, but the smooth moves guy right, helped moved in. So take me back before that, even and even before I knew you, you know, getting into the fishing industry. It's always interesting how the guys get there. Some of guys are doing club events or this or that. I mean so prior to me knowing you, which has been almost twenty years. How did Brett King make the jump to where he's at with doing the tournament deal and all that good stuff? Well, I mean honestly, I started out a short stint. I thought I was going to be an HL, a drag racer, and uh, I did that for a while and it just wasn't working out and as logistically I didn't feel at the time was well, Um, trail a long way as etcetera, etcetera. Had Young kids at home, so I kind of tabled that and I've always had a passion, you know, for the fishing thing, the Walleye stuff. And you know, that was back in the heydays of the PWT when, you know, you had the guys like Mike Go Front and Mark Martin and Ron Seelhoff and you could go on and on making a legit living, you know, in the fishing industry. And I just decided, hey, I think that's something I want to chase. Um. So I certainly started club level stuff, Um more back in the Oh boy, w w a stuff, Um, you know, mt t stuff, that kind of those kind of circuits. And one year the PWT came up on the river, you know, which is not at the time, but that's where I live now and that's where I kind of cut a lot of my my teeth learning how to Walleye Fish, and I thought, God, I'd s like to try that, and so I applied.

Back then you had to actually apply and get accepted in and uh, Jim Kelcoten gave me the opportunity to get in and and fish that event Um, as a one timer and then see how it went and bring me in the next year, you know, in one of the two divisions. So unfortunately, uh, that event canceled due to flooding, which a lot of them do here. Um. So I was kind of crushed there. But then they elected to move it to Malax up here in central Minnesota, and if there was one place I was the second most comfortable with, it was there. Um. So moved it up to there and I did fish that event and I think I finished, if I remember right, boy, probably two spots out of the money. And I thought, well, that's not a bad showing for the first goal around. Maybe I can do this, and that just became my passion and I signed up for the next year started fishing what at that time was the West Division and uh boy did I go through some rough education. Talk about talk about an inland Lake Minnesota Guy Thinking he knew a lot about Walleye fishing, and then all of a sudden they're throwing me to chamberlain and all these different bodies of water, reservoirs and river systems, and I'm like, yeah, I probably should have fished on the amateur side for a few years and educated myself on somebody else's money. But Um, I struggled through it and uh, eventually, you know, learned my wife on my way and I mean honestly, I'm probably one of the few guys left that has basically fished them all. Um, not to, you know, give you a clue how how old I am, how long I've been doing this, but that's just the reality. I've seen them all come. Unfortunately, I've seen them all go as well. Do you do you think that you know Walleye fishing is? Maybe I don't want to if I say plateaued or stalled out a little bit. And do you think that that's because of anybody can Master Card and visa and guys jumping in or where? Do you think we're out of that? Well, yes, to a point. There is no true qualification system at this time anymore, Um, and I don't know that in this day and age there's enough willing guys to put the effort into a qualification system and just keep it going. Um. So we have to rely on you know, I don't know. I don't want to offend anybody. Jack potters or one timers or locals getting into events and etcetera to try to fill these fields up. Would we like to go back to a qualification system? Those of us that are entrenched and been doing it a long time? Absolutely so. When you were doing those early tournament deals where did you have a team or were you traveling with people, or was it is kind of just like, you know, jumping in full go at first. You know, I jumped in full go um. I had one friend from Mankato, Doug Gardner, that that got in at the same time I did and we kind of went at it ourselves. Um, and then he decided, you know, more or less it wasn't for him, and I just I'm a stubborn individual, so I just kept plucking away and and uh I of all people, I ended up with a mutual friend of ours for a few years and Doc Sampson, Um kind of running around and in traveling together and, you know, sharing some generals and things like that. And Doc was always, it still is, kind of a loner. You know, that's an understatement. Great Guy, but what a better man to learn from and watch and study and and different things like that. And so Um, that was that was a great opportunity for me, for me, and then from there, um, the pwt kind of went away and things just gravitated through and and just kept muddling along through the R C L, F L W UH and now the N W t. So Um, as time we're on, grew a strong affiliation with some more mutual friends, Joe Coott and Robert Blosser. So, Um, in world, man, it's a big, small world. Um, it's been great. Fishing has been fantastic, awesome. I would I wouldn't trade anything for the world. And you know what I've been through and done in the fishing world. So I've met some awesome people. Um, you always meet some people you don't care to see again, but I've made a lot of friends. Yeah, no, I'm not going to. Might Start with R R now. I'm kidding, uh, but it's it's become a family, it really has,...

...and I don't know what I would do without it. I agree. I mean almost everybody that I run around with is, you know, in the fishing business or associated some way, shape or form, because I think that you know, rather was when you had smooth moves and or now what you're doing, you know, still working in the industry with a boat manufacturer and you were in a rep group before. I don't want to get too far ahead, but it's always one of those things you just kind of maybe go a little bit course correct, you know, with a different opportunity but that's kind of the same thing for most of us, that passion, because we could definitely make more money and work less hours doing something else. But so some of those other ones, like I know you did stuff with aim and Um you were actually, let you somehow on the board or something with that for a long time. Oh, I still am. Honestly, it's been a long time. I don't even have exact years. I'm gonna just throw a twelve out there. Um, I've been chairman of the board. Um around me now I of Jason Securit, Chase Parsons, Joe Okada, Tom keemos Um. We kind of oversee that organization. A lot of people don't understand. Aim is a tournament UH company that is owned by Anglers. Back in the day, seventy seven anglers through a significant amount of money in the hat and we realistically tried to mock and model the the P B A, the professional bull riders association, because that's how they operate. Um, and we moddled along and got through and we did some pro series stuff for a while. Pro Am based stuff wasn't working out. You know, we we pioneered crr catch record release, which has become a widely accepted format now and and often copied duplicated. Um. kind of pioneered that through instead of live way in tournaments. Um kind of sit a little bit of the standard for today. Um. It's been a battle before this board was formed. I was on a call one day and it was basically decided that we were done. We were gonna pack up our toys and leave the sandbox and sell what we had left. And and I don't remember who was all on the board at that time, but I know it was myself and and Mark Martin. You know, I just they said, you know, give me some time, let me see if I can find a few guys. I want to dig in. This is too good a product to go away, Um. And that's what we did. We we got some guys to put their name in the hat for board of directors. We formed a new board and within the boy I think probably three months of a lot of work, a lot of hours, we created the game weekend while I series, which was a grass roots serious for the working man, and that has continued on now for boy eight, nine years, maybe ten, and been very successful and brought a lot of a lot of newcomers to the sport. So you know, that's one of the things I look back on and think, man, that was pretty cool to do a lot of hours of my life. Um, you know, we're not a paid board. We do it all on our own dime, but it's for the passion of the sport and just trying to keep it going. So what was the other one they just had? That kind of folded here recently. There was a bracket style one that was out of Wisconsin. I think, well, you just go right for the Juggler, don't you? I mean, how are you doing here? No, it's uh, you know, that was called head to head. Head to head that I dn't think of that for some reason. But I mean, I'm honestly not picking on any individual, but what, what is the reason that these things? I mean, do we have too many and too many different ideas? There's too many egos in personnel these there nobody really wanted to work. Or how do we how do we not have a really an established one and we keep cycling through all these things? Um, you know, obviously the nwt is whole not strong. They're they're one of the last longest lasting ones for quite some time in our era. Um, head to head. It was a completely new concept. I think it was a fantastic product, probably what the wally world needed, but the timing was awful. You know, it hit right in the pandemic. Things were awry. Manufacturers have been sold out of product. I mean you can't keep peg hooks full, you name it. It's all been there and nobody really needed to open up those marketing budgets to help it along. Um, you know, there's some other things that happened that I'm not going to go into for personal reasons, but it was the best ones to talk about, I know, but it...

...on my phone to light up after listening. Gets out nobody it's not a big deal. You can't help but walk away from that. There was thirty two of us that invested between twenty five and thirty thousand dollars to get that product off the ground and fish it for a year and we felt like we had good momentum, good stuff going, but apparently that wasn't the case on the back side. That's probably about as nice as I can put it and be professional about it. So Um, you know, they gravitated this year towards regional events. Looked at those. The money wasn't right in my mind to be able to travel and do it because of the time frame of the events. And if you make it through, you're there for five days without practice. So, you know, I just went back and went the other way, back to the N W T and, uh, they have probably now canceled more events than they've been able to host. Um, you know, they just had one scheduled for Lake Malax and boy, if you can't get sixteen teams to pony up on Lake Malax, you need to make some adjustments. That's about as good as I can say. So well, I'll tell you what. I have a little short story for you that it's gonna make you yeah, so I always like hearing about travel stories, and I think the people here that have listened to this for sure that's the one thing we hear is they want to hear about stories. And I thought of one in lieu of our the late big head Henton, a mutual friend of ours that I believe I'm the one that introduced you to. You are Miss Bob, and yeah, I just I mean he was a freaking freak show, wasn't he? I mean he's one of those guys that would definitely help you out, but he'd knocked you into next week with those giants, those those broad worst fingers, and I can remember, like big head had some stories, but he wasn't a storyteller, but he had a lot more Chrisma than you would think for just this big, giant Mongoli that had, you know, a head that, you know, couldn't fit a hat, which is why I started called him big head. But we were fishing a tournament and I can't remember what it was. It might have been a I don't know, I don't know what. It was a big money one, though, and we're going into the cut day and I look over and you were fishing that tournament as well, because it was when you own smooth move seats and I had a guy that was over four hundred pounds. Do you remember that? You looked at me and you go, I'm putting one in the mail, and that I mean the dude. He just told me I can't get out of my seat. He sat in his seat looking forward the entire day and it was just like yeah, Bob. Also, we were we were in the top ten, and Bob had this woman, and I'm not trying to be sexist, but anyone in tournament trail stuff. That is either really good or a really bad thing because actually, you know, a lot of women guide clients pay a lot better attention in the boat than the guys do their husbands or something like. I don't even really like putting that on on audio. That was permanent, but anyway, so bob gets this woman and she, you know, I'm just seeing from a distance because we're through boat check, you know, we're all kind of waiting for the taking off. We're getting in line and here I look over and this woman is getting out of the boat and she's like jump running down this dock. This was on Lake Erie Um when we were going out of that West Harbor, if you remember this. And any rate, long story short, this woman's out of the boat and Bob kind of comes, you know, idling back over by me and I'm like, I'm like, did she give up on you already? He's like, I don't know. She's like she had to get out. So at the end of the day I'm like, you know, bob telling the stories the way that you know he did, because that woman came over and she sat down the seat, didn't say words, she just started laughing and he says what happened? He's like, she said, see that dumpster over there. Somebody's gonna get a nice surprise, and I don't have any one. I'll let you all put two and two together on that one. But so the CO Angler. I guess my point is I'm on the t you up because the guy that has fished as many programs as you have and so many people that knew you because you were the owner's smooth moves or just your tournament success, you had to have had some interesting stories, because I fished way less tournaments programs than you have and I have some. Well, I'M gonna back you up on the woman thing and I'm gonna honestly say some of the Best Co Anglers I've had have been females, because you are a hundred spot on. They pay attention better. They're not there to dictate what happens in the boat. They just want to learn and and you know, not say do what they're told, but they listen far better. The challenging part of that always becomes the bathroom scenario, but that was always one of the first things I addressed when they did get in the boat. Is, Hey, what makes you comfortable. What do we gotta DO? I don't want you uncomfortable holding it all day, but I've always said that a bunch of us should get together and write a book on Co Angler Stories. Obviously leave names out of out of it, Um, because there is some...

...really good ones out there. I'll highlight a few. With that said, a lot of them have become very good friends over the years too. Um, it's really cool when you have a successful tournament day, all of a sudden you've got text messages just piling in. It's like, who is that? Who is that? And it's all your old co anglers you know from years past that have your phone number and they're still watching. Um, that's really cool to see and that pretty much tells you you probably treated them right, because I always, you know, tried to. They have to be your ally for the day, but Um, you know, beating them into the bottom of the boat and treating them that never helped the situation. Now, with that said, probably got a couple of three stories. I'll share with you. One along the lines of what you just described. Cast Lake one year. Um, I was actually sitting very well. This was on day two or three of the sort have been flw stuff and I was. We're on Castle Lake and I was going to the NOWAG zone, getting the kitchen lake and I was the first boat in there. There was two boats behind me that fished by me the next day and I was desperately trying to get the corner of this bar and we're going to the no wig zone. In My cohening there was like I gotta go to the bathroom. I'm like, dude, no, not now. We gotta get the corner of this bar. You can do whatever you want when you get there, but not now. And he had brought his own bucket, his own bag, the whole gauntlet, and I wasn't. So I just get through the no wig zone and I'm watching these boats come behind me and all of a sudden he just go to take off and he starts smacking me on the chest. Just about knocked me out of the chair and he's like stop, stop, stop, I gotta go, but I gotta go, and I literally had to shut the boat down and just let him go do a thing. The bucket and the two guys behind me were laughing so hard at the whole shenanigans because they saw it all they're like, dude, you can have the spot, we're not gonna let you listen over that. Uh, that could be a shitty situation. It was a shitty situation. Uh. And then Escanaba one time, one other one we we ran. The bite was horrible up there and never caught one in four days. Last Day of practice went down by O'Connor and caught some fish. So I decided to make the big what I thought at that time was the big grouno about eighty five miles and went down their. Day One did okay. The rest of the guys down there did better. Day Two, Um, I had one of the we'll call them the veterans of the Co Angler side with me and it was rough. We got down there pensaki shoal and they've got lumpy and we still had about fifteen miles to go and when I pulled in and sat down, all of a sudden I hear this you're an idiot, and I kind of turned to him and I go excuse me, and he goes, you're on f an idiot, and he said it full language and I go really, I said, why don't you look around? I go second places right there, third places over there, sixth is over there. You passed a million fish to get here and I finally just said, you know what, you probably need to just shut your mouth and get your rods going. We need to fish. So fast forward to the same cast lake event where I had the poop bucket the day before. My next day partner was this same individual. Back Up. How did that day finish? UP ON ESCANABA? We caught some fish, uh, pretty much, and then we came back and I had some boat troubles coming out of the man nominee harbor at the time, so I ended up sending him with another angler. I'm gonna leave nameless because he's kind of a profile guy, and my fish with him and when the day shook out, said Angler that I sent him with said he'll never fish another tournament again. He said every time he moaned and grown sitting on that live well and he goes. I went faster. So I fast forward back to that castle. I draw him again for day three. Oh, and he didn't have a car. He's like you need to pick me up at the dock and I'm like I don't, it's not my responsibility to get you from point a to point B. that's just not the way it works. But I...

...thought about it. I'm like, okay, this will be a good opportunity. So I went and picked him up at the dock in the morning, grabbed him, I pulled about fifteen feet away from the dock and I shut the boat off. He looks at me, he's like what are you doing? I go we're gonna talk. Like okay, and I said, you know, the last time we fished together, I said you called me on an idiot and he goes no, I didn't. I go yes, you did. I said we have an important day to day. I said I'm very close to the cut. We got a fish hard. We gotta be a team, so I just want to know that's all behind us. And here come the tears and I was like, oh boy. Then I felt bad and we were all good after that. But you know, those are a few of them. The coolest one I have legitimately, and this is probably one of the coolest moments in my life, a k a fishing history, career, whatever you want to call it, Lake Winnebago, which is my least favorite place to fish in the world. Who isn't? I mean they just remove wal eyes and turned into a trash dump. I think you were even there for that event that time. But, Um, I drew Benny was Skalski and I hope I didn't butcher that. Um, and we went out and then he was military guy. To my knowledge, Benny still is a military guy, and he was pretty quiet at first and we went out fishing. We were pulling spinners suspended over the mud. I mean, as the day wore on, we were catching some fish, having a decent day and, you know, Benny just kept opening up and, you know, started telling me about all his tours and different things through his military career and he was a career guy, not just an in and out he was a career guy and I was just really awesome to sit and listen to what he had to say and think about man, what is this dude sacrifice for the rest of us, you know, to do what we do? So we check in that day and we go up to the stage and we had a decent day. Um, I think I had like twelve pounds, which is good for Winnebago, and I think it was chip lear at the time. Starts talking to me about my day and I just I just shut chipped down and I said, you know, this isn't today is not about me. I said today is about this guy right here, Benny, and and I just went into, you know, his story and how his career military guy, and I said, you know, this is awesome. These are the guys that sacrifice everything to allow the rest of us to chase our dreams like this and we can't forget that stuff. And Uh, I just asked the way and crowd to give him, you know, give him a round of applause, and they did, obviously at Taner. Well, I mean it just struck me. And so fast forward from that about six weeks later and we you know, I had his number, he had mine. We messaged back and forth after that day and I was up at M Alexandria fishing another event and I didn't have a pre fishing partner for the aim tournament on Saturday to pre fish with me. The tournament was Sunday. So I just I knew Benny was up. He up at Camp Ripley, which isn't that far away, and I'm like Hey, man, you want to join me for the day pre fishing? And he was so excited and he showed up and we went and fished, had a great time, put a program together and the next day I went out fished with my buddy dustry. We had a great day. Ended up getting sucond in that one and all of a sudden I go to way in and here's Benny at the wind and I was kind of taken back by that and he was full out military like. He was to the hilt professional and I'm like, what in the world is going on? Well, as I am up, you know, talking give him my spiel for second place, Denny Fox stops the show and he says Benny, come up here, and Benny came up and gave me a Patriot award, which is the coolest thing I'll ever be given. Um, and it all went back to, you know, Winnebago, and what I did on stage is basically he flew a flag over Camp Ripley for twenty four hours in my honor for being a Patriot and recognizing what those soldiers do. And it was all wrapped up in a glass case and I got this Nice certificate. Um. It was really it blew me away. It really did very nice. Has a soft spot. I do. Oh yeah, I mean I...

...don't know how I follow up that. But do you remember the guy in the I mean I'm just gonna go like I do in hijenks mode. Do you remember the guy in the P W t days? And he might have started doing flw that had the co Angler hit a jacket and he had embroidered on it, professional co Angler. Do you remember that? I don't remember it specifically, but this is back like Gary Roach like. This is like late nineties, early two thousand's. But yeah, and that's always been the problem through the years. A lot of times is is they make it their own tournament. And I'm not knocking on them. Like I said, I've made so many friends out of CO anglers it's incredible, but a lot of them, there was a time there for a while, we're a good portion of them, were that retirement age. Like they think they're going on a guided fishing trip for a couple three days and then they get competitive and want to turn it into their own tournament. And I mean I've had them bring their own tackle and all of a sudden they're tying their own stuff on and I spinner bait go cook clank out into the weeds and I'm like what was that? And well, I thought it would go through the weeds better and I'm like no, get that off there, that's no, you can't bring that stuff in here. So, like I said, I think there's a good book to be to be had. Um, if people could see the true side of fishing and everything that happens throughout pre fish and guys hanging out and all that, it would it would be a pretty good reality show. I'm with you. I still have guys to this day that are, you know, friends and you talk with and then whatever, and I've got guys that I remember. I'll never forget this guy. He looked at me and goes, so, what are you gonna do on your side? And so people at home area, we were open water trolling. It's kind of my deal. I'm on my home water and he says, I said, so, have you fished Erea before? Oh No, I've always wanted to be just fished a twenty days in a row then. But yeah, I mean, like you said, they make it to their own tournament time. But but it is a great thing, like you said, you know, for guys even now, if you're thinking about doing this, or even if you just want to learn. It's a it's a cheap guide trip relative to be a CO Angler. Yes, if, and I say this with a hundred percent sincerity, if I had to do it all over again and start over, I would fish at least two, if not three years on the Co Angler side and educate myself on everybody else's money. Well, I mean look at recently, John Hoyer did that. Yep, John Hoyer. Um, you know, there's a couple other younger guys that are I think Billy Atkinson. He might have just jumped right into the pro side. Um, uh, there's a gentleman traveling with Gary Parsons. His name slipping me right now, but he's a he's a young and up and comer and you know, he was gonna go to the pro side this year and he elected to stay back one more year and, uh, and keep learning from Gary in. My hats off for that. I mean there's that's priceless education period. So let's back up a little bit so people get a little feel for you. When you were, you're kind of a serial entrepreneur. Right, yeah, I guess you could call it that. Didn't you have I mean, I'll let you you run us through, but didn't you have like a Napa store or something? Back in the day? When I first started fishing professionally, I had an apple auto parts store with a couple of partners, Um, and I grew to hate it. Everybody's mad when their cars broke. They're not nice to deal with, et CETERA. And I couldn't go fishing when I wanted to because it's retail, you know, and it's weekends and and all that to do it right. So I went to one of my partners and I said I want out, and he's like, well, what are you gonna do? I said, I don't know, I might give this. This would have been an about Oh six probably, and I said I might get that recent yeah, okay, and I said I might give this, you know efficient thing, a full out goo. Um, it was before the recession. It might have been all three. Anyways, I said I just don't know, and he goes, well, he goes, why don't you go take over for me on my school bus business? You can work all the hours you need all through the school year, you can bank them whatever, and you can have your summers off and go chanse your dream. I'm like, well, I never thought about being in the school bus side of things, but I'll give it a go. And he said in a year or two I'm probably going to sell that and I'll give you first...

...chance to buy it, and I said okay. And so people that don't understand, like where I live in Ohio, we don't have the situation. You have an independent contractor that goes in for the school system and it's for these routes, basically. Right. Yes, independent contractors are a thing in Minnesota, Wisconsin. I don't know how far not all schools on their own school buses, but it's one of them deals. And I got in there. I worked, you know, ten twelve hour days. I loved it, I loved what I was doing. I didn't even mind the drive and getting with the kids all that. And two years later, a year and a half later too, to his word, he says I want to you want to buy it? I'm like, well, it seems to fit what I want to do on the fishing side. So yeah, I think I do. I could just see you driving a school bus with a bunch of kids screaming in the back. I'm still not past that mental picture completely, but I don't want to slow the train. Yeah, so, Lo and behold, I ended up owning a school bus company and I just simply loved it. It allowed me to do what I wanted to do. I could shut the doors in the summer and come back in August and fire them back up and clean them up and go again and uh at that is at the time when I started the smooth move seat mounts company, because I was trying to fund my fishing and I'm like, well, you can either, you know, go work for said sponsors ABC and work for them, or you can try to do your own thing and create your own sponsorship. So that's what I did. I created, you know, and come up with the suspension seat to go onto these boats and and I had great help from guys like the Parsons Calias crew and getting that launched and getting Ross Yourself, yeah, getting all that going and and it took off pretty good and I literally created my own sponsor to fish off of. Well, as the bus company grew and I bid another contract, it was time too, and this all comes full circle here pretty quick. Uh, it was time to make a decision. A I either put a full time guy on smooth moves. B I sell it Um and I just decided I didn't want to take the risk. It looked like I was going to double the size of my bus company. So I sold smooth moves to a guy named Kevin Christiansen. Now Kevin is actually who I was partners with in the NAPA store. No, it was the third guy. Yep, Kevin was also the guy that I bought the school bus company from. I just you know, I didn't know that, but I didn't know he was in the Napa thing because he's obviously my my current boss, because I'm still we're both still with smooth moves, however long. So it was a it's a full circle story. Um, I told Kevin one day I said, you know, I said I think I'm gonna sell smooth moves because I'm probably gonna get the the Hayfield school bus account and I said I have to focus on the bussing. School bussing is nothing you can do half focused. Right, like you're hauling pretty precious cargo and you got to focus on that. So he's like maybe I should buy it and I'm like, well, you can sure try it and see. You know, Kevin and I were so much alike and dipping our hands in different things it was ridiculous. I'm never afraid to try anything and UH, good guy. He's still a great guy. He still owned the buildings that I was operating out of at the time. So we basically worked out a nice deal where, you know, I got real estate, he got smooth moves, Um kind of deal, and we exchanged whatever we did. And Uh, that's kind of how he got going. And Man that family. He's now taking his sister Dammy as a partner. Several years back. They've they've taken that thing so far to the next level. Um, I have to admit I'm jealous to see what it could have been today. Um, but you know, fast forward two years from that, I ended up more or less getting squeezed out of the bus business by big corporate and we moved on and you know, that's kind of where my fishing career was my long term college degree and has led me to my last two career moves. How long you have smooth moves, though? Probably Eight, eight years, and that...

...was a man. There's a lot going on in short amounds, because I can remember working with you. I mean I had to like repair kits and we were trying new things and they were because it was so new, like there, that whole thing was and there was just a lot of changes that happened in a really a short amount of time from that original suspension and changing the springs over to what the that model was to now the air rides with the actually adorandum are like ridiculous. I mean that's that new ultra system is miles ahead of where we were, without a doubt, and it is simply the best one on the market hands down. Um, it's it's very bulletproof, easy to install, you name it. That's that's a really good system and Kudos. So those guys were taking it to the level they have. Um, like I said, I'm jealous to sit back and watch it at times, but yet I'm super proud to, you know, have been the founder, been part of that whole story. So I knew that the most of that, but I didn't even know that he was with it at at Napa. Yep, Yep, it was him, myself and Jim O'Connor. So small, small world, you know. Let's let's hear some more of these, because people love these stories and, Um, you know, even some guide stories or something, but I want to I'm recently, because even some people you don't even know how I know some of these things, but you decided not that long ago, with a quite severe injury, to go from one great lake to another in a bass boat. UH, because, I mean, if somebody was asking for me to describe you in a few words, I would say hardheaded Um, hard working um and possibly just at times almost too hard headed. And this this might be one of those I've actually done it that I think the furthest I've gone on the water is a hundred and twenty five miles one way. Anybody that's listening to this, if they didn't understand, like on the Great Lakes or even the Missouri River system or something, that is like driving in your car like a thousand miles without stopping, with no top on. You know, I said earlier when I went from Escanagodo O'CONNELL, that time it was like eighty five miles and I thought I will never do that again. I was so, so bruised and bumped up and wore out after that. I'm like, Oh, that will never happen again. Well, next thing you know, you know fast forward to I think sixteen. We're going a hundred and twenty miles down the reservoir at Lake Owahi, from Mowbridge down by pier and then we go to Sakakawea and we go a hundred miles as there um in eighteen when I was fortunate enough to secure win at Sagonall Bay, you know I went a hundred at one point in time. On Day two, I think I looked down I was a hundred and twelve miles from home out of my trip meter, and that's across lake here with what you're referring to, priss in the bass boat was we came out of sue St Marie, ran fifty ish miles down the St Mary's river, which is usually no small feet and rough with all that current, and then, Yep, across the lake here on I went. Um, you're tough and dumb. Tough and dumb exactly. But you know what, I've had two shoulder surgeries because of all this. Um. You were the one that was it the one that you wanted? You came down from the St Mary's. Was that the one? No, the one I was lucky enough to just add the OT o'conna was out of Sagon all bay. We came forty five minutes out of the river. I got like, I think I got third or fourth at the St Mary's river that day. One of those you were all busted up. I remember you read something. You and something broken or uh, St Mary's river. Um, that's when I needed my left shoulder fixed and I ran across the first day. And anybody that's ever spent any time in a bass boat, Um, you know they run on pad and when you hit some water, you knock them off pad, when you when you hit some waves and some ripple. So it kept jamming my my left shoulder and on a basketball and it's not like you can take your hand off the throttle. You gotta keep it on the trim because that's how you control the boat in that scenario. So, yeah, by the end of the first day when I got back, I could hardly lift my arm up, I mean and I'm like and I was sitting good, I was in fourth or fifth place at the time and I'm like, I can't go again. I just simply I'll never make I can't do that...

...again. So, Um, we actually did a little boat swap. You know, got all our ducks in a row, made the calls we needed to make, did it all legit. I did a little boat swap and and ran a Deep v Hole the next day and got over there and back and uh ended up, you know, like I said, third or fourth for the event. So it's that whole mentality do what you gotta do to get it done. There's not too many career fishermen that have been at it for, you know, just say fifteen, twenty years that do not have physical problems because of it, because waters relentless. So you know exactly what I'm talking about. Um, you can surround yourself with the best equipment in the world, at the end of the day, it's not like driving a three quarter ton truck across the field that has suspension on it, right you're going across a field, a plowed field, with no suspension. And you know, products like smooth moves has me still in the game today. I'm very certain that if I didn't have that kind of stuff around me, I probably would have walked away by now. I mean and and so people, I have to understand this that maybe don't fish on the Great Lakes or you know, something like that. In those early years. We had to have a different I say we working with you guys and smooth moves in those earlies. We had to have a different Um seat base, remember, because we are sharing those things right off. That's how much wear and terror were on those and you know, neither one of us are exactly heavy boys, even though you're a lot heavier than it used to be. Thanks, no problem, there's no, no, it's been a while, too many seventy three's, but you know, I mean it's an immense amount of pressure to share those things off and part of the people sitting in them. Like you know, like I said, I've never, I've never ever broken mind ever in almost twenty years running smooth moves. Whatever it is, seventeen years or something like that. But it's my passengers, because they think that are lazy boys or whatever. But still it is crazy. What what they do to help us out. And it's the people that don't understand how to ride the suspension. I think they can just bury their feet under the council and push back against the back of the seat, because that's how people ride that don't have a suspension seat. You know, we're you know, in reality you need to put your feet under it and ride it like you're riding a motorcycle, almost. You know, you gotta you gotta stabilize yourself and assist yourself. But back in the early, early onset of that, the pedestals were absolutely the weakest link in that whole system. Yeah, I I know. I shared a few are had my co pilot, if you will, shoot right. Well, and that's when you're guiding like that, you have no idea what you're getting the next day, you know, unless you've had them before, saying with the CO Angler. Well, and that, and that's the biggest thing. If somebody's out there and they're looking at making a purchase, I don't even know if you can get the can can you even still get the original, the spring model smooth moves? I haven't checked it was available. I guess I haven't looked at it recently, like a year. Yeah, like a year ago. I know you could, but, like I tell people, doesn't even matter because it's it's a no brainer which one you're going to get. But and and the reason is just what you said. The adjustability on the ultra is like that, where the time it takes you just I don't want to say you're getting too lazy, but I mean you get too lazy because it just takes too much time to move that up and down. Or even in my case, you know, I may have a husband sitting in the seed on one way out and then in the rear, you know, and the wife they swap and you know, in the old system that would have been a fifteen minute deal and then trying to test and nobody's going to go through that where now it's just hit the button. Done. I mean it's crazy fast and accurate, correct and and Kudos to Kevin again because you know, the original concept I had and originally sold him was a very weight rear word, not forward. It's all the weight was in the back and it put all the pressure, you know, on that pedestal which caused those issues. And you know he was able to go back to the drawing board and take it to the next level and get everything centered up, and I did. I don't hear of any of those issues anymore. So back to you know, a lot of people. Maybe you don't know, but you've probably not as much now that you're, you know, in the boating sales game, if you will, but you've done quite a bit of guiding in your time, especially. You're a river rat, like, I'll give you kudos right now. I'll put this on permanent blasts, like you're a you're a river your river genius, right, that's kind of your deal. Pitching jigs, vertical jagging. UH, yeah, that's what I love to do. So guide stories. I mean I can't even imagine. I sometimes just can't get people to real efficient. That's, you know, gut hooked. So how, how crazy is that to try to fish current...

...with somebody that maybe probably is their only fishing day of the year. Or did you even have that? I mean it is very challenging, especially at times. You really try to try to dumb it down. I don't do a whole ton of it, obviously I basically worked two full time professions besides that, but the trips I do do I try to dumb it down. Um, we pull a lot of you know, a crank Bait, Jake Grigg here, that I can basically put a pole in their hand and say here, it's Hitt and bottom, hang onto this and whack you all the fish is hooked. It's like a three way rig with a dropper line. That's a gas or something, then I can back. Yeah, do a lot of that. Um, pull out of live bait on three way rigs, where I can just put the rods in the holder and control the whole situation, Um, and you're talking now right here. And or drag jigs, where I can just basically grab the Rod, throw the Jig back as far as I can get it and have a nightcurl or Leech or will, okay, at when you can afford to do them, and just say, you know, well, that thing feels like it's got five more pounds on it. Start reeling. Um. Pitching jigs is something in the current I'll do with very limited clients because it takes a long time to learn and I don't I don't like taking clients for a ride and letting them watch to catch fish all day. Um. You know, there's certain ones you know you can get by with and certainly you can't, Um, and you just kind of play to that strength. It's really something I'm kind of saving. I have my coast guard license and all that. It's kind of something I'm saving for a couple of three days a week Gig um when I retire, you know, but I do. You are not. So you know you're not retiring. You are wired. You are not wired for retirement. F Y, I. It sounds good, but yeah, I'll probably never happen. No, I mean honestly, you know me and you've been buddies for a long time, but just the mcgiver effect is enough for me to, you know, be friends or force myself to be friends with you, because we're a fixing like. I mean I was talking with one of our mutual friends about that and they're like, d you know, he's fixed my ship like twenty times. Do you think that? I mean, you obviously like it if you had an apple store and you you worked on a bus deal, but don't you think that nowadays? Because this this conversation came up totally unrelated to to today, and it was basically along lines of me telling some younger guys that want to get into this like hey, what do I need to learn how to do? I said you gotta learn how to fix some ship because it's going to break. And now it seems like so many of the younger guys they're like, Oh, I'll just take a too and like well, when they tell you there they don't have any availability for four weeks and you've got four hours. Let me know how that works out. So you've definitely you've done a few Agui things for me even, but do you think that that's something that's lacking and been a huge asset for you? Yeah, I mean, I couldn't imagine being on the road without some of that ability in all the things, you know that I've gone through over the years for certain to have to rely on somebody else to fix things and get things going for the next day. I mean you're not even starting to work on that stuff to five, six o'clock at night. There's, you know, nothing left open to go get it worked on. So you got to get pretty resourceful. In, you know, those years of having that bus company, I did all my own maintenance on those buses. That was within my ability. There was a few things I hired out, but I did all my own breakwork, oil services, you know, Greece and change and you joints, tires, you name it. Um I pretty much did all that on my own. And and you know throughout that you had to do a lot of the guy ran because I had an older fleet and things were rusty and you just had to figure out how to deal with it. Um anybody coming into this with without that skill, uh, you know, to be able to handle that stuff. It is a challenge because you are going to break some stuff. There's just no way around it. Well, Your Your Tournament Success and your entrepreneur or spirit as you've rolled through the fishing industry definitely makes you a big deal cleaner. That's where you're like clinger the kinger. But in all seriousness, leave us with one tip, because I always I and it's when I ask guys look this, they either produce your doodle. Back me on this. They either like freeze up or they give us something. You're like, why didn't I think of that? As far as a tip for somebody looking to come into this industry, just one thing that you think that because again, when when we're doing this, like we don't have an agenda. We're not against, you know, product and sponsorship and stuff like that. So people just like one thing that you go hey, because most of these other podcasts or shows or things, you've been interviewed a million times and they all have this like textbook thing they're doing and you've been asked all those questions, all the stupid stuff, and everybody does something that it's different,...

...outside the box, that you're like you know, you know. This is something I think I would really if I had the opportunity, uh, get an education, number one. Number two, always be yourself, be genuine, be as humble as you can be. Don't ever take for granted the success you may have or may not have had. And I think above all, this is a sport, particularly the tournament game. If you're not a good loser to stay home period, because you're gonna lose way more than you win. And if you can't, if you can't pick yourself back up and knock the dust off and just keep swinging that bat waiting to hit the next home run, Um, it's gonna eat you a live period. Um. And I see that around me, the people that just can't handle it or they're trying to be somebody else, and that's just never who I wanted to be. Um. Like I said, I've I've been very fortunate, you know, through my years. Has Been Good to me. I want to see it to continue on and be good to others long after. You know, I'm out of here, and the last thing I guess I would say is don't, don't ever take your buddies for granted, because man, we've lost some great ones, too many in the recent couple of years. You Know Bob, obviously, fortunately I got to see him last fall when we were out at New York for the head to head championship, which, you know, you wrong. Yeah, yeah, yeah, and you can't say anything because I knocked you out. No, Um, you know, there's others, David Anderson, I mean we've just Pete Harsh uh, Mike Hanson. There's a couple of local guys around here, Al Stanley. Um, Stephen Peach was was a big one left behind on a more local level around here. You know, he was pretty well known across the board and this is a within the last couple of years and you know, it just says, Hey, we're all not getting any younger, but don't take today and tomorrow for granted. You know, you gotta live it, love it and enjoy what you got. Words to live by by the king right there. Well, I want hey, I want to thank you for giving us your time here. It's been a while and even though we just had a seventy three, we're gonna have to make an effort to do that a little more frequently because ever since, uh, the tournament organizations and things went one way and busy life other and jobs and stuff. It uh, like I said, you just don't see some of the guys you you've used to do a lot more with and traveling around with and all that good stuff. So well, now that I know you're living right there, it helps. I got you know, I got a dealer right there too. So are you? Are you? Are you retarded? Are you? I mean, I'm lay it on me. Go ahead, I didn't know you lived there, he said. On that note, I want to still thank you for joining us on the big water poled overfore. Well, I still I mean, I still am. I'm a transient. I'm okay. Well, I could call you something else, but it's not politically correct for the show, so I'll leave it alone. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks again, Brett, the care you're you're the man. We appreciate your time. Thanks for tuning into the big water podcast. I am Ross Robertson make sure you check us out at big water fishing dot com, on Youtube, facebook, instagram and producer. Dude, can you help me out, because I always forget these weren't Amazon. Now on Amazon, yes, not Amazon podcasts, stitcher, ditcher, apple podcast, Google podcasts, pod bean and I think if you want to see our podcast for free, you just have to click on a digital platform. We are there. Big Water fishing, big water, one word, or just check us out. We've got all the links at big water fishing dot com and you can watch king, even though he's not very beautiful because he doesn't sell cosmetics. You can check him out on Youtube at the big water fishing page, because we will have this beautiful video of him out there in his nice smooth moved Hoodie. Yea, thanks for having me, causamper back in a compliment. It's great to see if Brad, we appreciate your time and other than that we are out.

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