A KEEPSAKE photo with Bill Dance could be a treasure...

UPDATED: I missed the late news, Bill Dance is down with back problems (probably for carrying the sport of bass fishing for so many decades) and will not make it. But you know, the show will go on! All the best, Bill.

Targeting this Saturday (Nov. 19), the first day of the 2011 Bass-A-Thon, I’m looking forward to an historic visit. After all, this is the 25th edition of Rick Grover’s Anglers Marine bass gathering, and the headliners and guests, plus so many tackle items to tease you, make this the perfect weekend destination.

Of course, that means there are lots of reasons to attend the free event (well, no cover charge, but I can never get out of there for free), but three things have really caught my attention; these are opportunities you just can’t miss:

BILL DANCE: Here is truly a legendary bass angler and way more than the guy in the bloopers video. He came to California in the 1970’s when the bass thing was just getting started out West, and his desire to teach fundamentals with such a good natured approach make him a national icon. He’ll be acting as MC both days of the Bass-A-Thon, but frankly, anyone who doesn’t take the opportunity to get a photo with Bill could be missing a moment for the ages.

CAN YOU BELIEVE this is Rick Grover's 25th Bass-A-Thon?

LOWRANCE TRAINING: Sure, it’s early in the morning, but the fact of the matter is, the new technology in sonar and side-scan imaging enlarges our waters and increases your opportunities for success. The days of lining up with the yellow pick-up and that telephone pole on the hillside are gone. Getting instruction for using this new equipment will triple its value over what you paid.

CAREER BUILDING: Sure, rubbing shoulders with a range of skilled fishermen and innovative lure producers, getting both entertained and informed from the biggest names in the sport, plus the almost private seminars from the best anglers locally and nationwide might be enough.

But for those who are looking to further their fishing careers from a promotional standpoint, the presence of energetic media specialists Tami Curtis and Jody Only who will be interviewing and collecting video can increase one’s value and image in the sport.

And what the heck, there may even be some folks there who want to discuss this year’s California Top 40 List. Who knows?



12 Responses to “3 things you can’t miss at the Bass-A-Thon”

I ran across Bill Dance on lake Irvine back in the early 70’s. Dance was out west promoting B.A.S.S. and doing seminars back then. Bill was in a rental boat fishing a point up by the dam using blue Diamond Back worms and he managed to catch a few as I recall. What I remember most is Dance was so unpretentious, just another bass angler enjoying a days outing. Bill Dance is the perfect spokesman for the sport of bass fishing.
Hope to get down to BAT on Sunday.

Bill Dance had to cancel, hurt his back and is in the hospital.

Thanks for the heads-up, Guy. Look to see you and everybody there, tomorrow.


Well, there won’t be any shortage of big names there to take over as MC for Bill. Was looking forward to seeing Bill again though. Hope he gets better soon!

Missed you again this year, George! It was so crowded! I had a great time, met up with a few people I hadn’t seen in years, and learned a few things from the Lowrance training, and the seminars by Mark Rose, and Brett Ehler. Finally got to meet and talk to Rick Clunn, spent money I didn’t have, and drooled over the new Ranger boats that I can’t afford! LOL

Darlene, you slipped by the Jackall booth and I couldn’t break the conversation to run you down. It was a fine gathering, a nice move by Rick Grover to get Jimmy Houston to replace Bill Dance, and the seminars were loaded with smart information. Plus, I shook hands with Skeet Reese! (And he wasn’t even on the List.) 🙂

I finally made contact with Kurt Arakawa, now with Jackall! Geesh, I’ve been chasing him down for a year and a half now! Also got to talk to Brett Ehler, and Mark Rose, which was great! Got some very good information and tips from them. Talked to Dick Watson, Kevin Johnson, Jimmy Houston, Don Iovino, and Larry Hopper, which is always nice. Too bad I only see these guys once a year. Anyway, missed you, George! Maybe next year? LOL

Jimmy Houston told me he didn’t even know he was coming to Bass-A-Thon this year. He said he only found out at 3am (Central time zone) on Saturday morning. Glad he made it though as he’s always fun to have around! Brett was giving his seminar and was showing us how to tie our flourocarbon to braid. He was using some nylon rope so the audience could see it. Jimmy walked up and said, “Ya’ll use 4 and 6 lb. line out here, but Brett uses 1200 lb test! Very fun.

Had a good time.Went to the Winter Bass-a-Thon and got to chat with 2 world champions and a couple of hall of famers. Saw some long time friends and won small bag of lures as door prizes.

I wasn’t present yesterday, but it sounded like the interest was still running at the BAT–and the sales were brisk on the several versions of the A-rig. Also got an update from Tami at TCSports Report and Sunday proved to be a busy day with anglers getting their on-camera interviews…to the point of a waiting list for a time. It’s exactly the right medium for promotionally-minded fishermen in the modern age.

I enjoyed the show, and particularly getting to speak with so many old friends and new friends. Thanks to all who stopped by and took the time to learn why QuickDrops are not just another dropshot weight. Being stuck in the booth limited my time to see everyone; I think I met most waiting in line for the rest room.


I bought some of those QuickDrops! Should have gotten the 1/4oz while I was at it, but at the time I thought 1/4oz was too heavy! Now I’m sorry I didn’t get them. 🙁