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Jan 23rd, 2013
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most interesting partner I ever drew in a bass tournament.. #13520542 04/16/20 02:47 PM
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beartrap Online Content OP
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I drew a World War 11 Luftwaffe pilot named Hans Wohlbier in a club vs. club tournament back in late 70's....have always been interested in World War 11 and this was most interesting two days I've ever spent in a bass boat...it's been over 40 years ago but I'll try to recall as much as I can of those two days and share it with you.....


I lived in greenville,ms. and we were fishing against my brothers club out of houston,texas and we met for a two day tourny on toledo Bend....when my brother saw that i was drawn out with hans ...........he told me to get him talking about his experiences during the war.....hans at the time was an executive with a big steel company in houston....Hans was a real laid back guy,not a real serious fisherman but a very intelligent and educated person..He ended up in this country because he was a German war groom.....married an American war correspondent and emigrated to this country........He was a Stuka (dive bomber)pilot and served the entire war on the russian front.....he was shot down either 13 or 16 times (can't remember which)and captured twice by the Russians and escaped both times......that is amazing and he was a very.very lucky man in that most german pilots and soldiers who were captured by the russians were never heard from again....


It was not uncommon to be shot down a number of times during a long war especially flying a low level attack bomber and you did everything you could to make sure when you had to land or bail out,you did it within your own lines...Hans related that crossing back across your own lines was very dangerous because all soldiers have tendency to shoot at anything that moves in front of their lines and they are hidden so you don't always know exactly where the lines are.....obviously if you start yelling or hollering to be recognized too soon,the russians would shoot you,wait too late and your own men would shoot you......
the first time they got shot down behind russian lines,a squad of russians captured them and were just starting to escort them to a stockade when they were hit with a rocket attack,hans said the russians were just as terrified of those things as they were and they ran in one direction and hans and his gunner ran back toward german lines and managed to cross without getting shot.....


the second time they were shot down behind enemy lines,they were taken to a stockade and were being interrogated by a soldier who spoke fluent german.....Hans said when i gave him my name,rank and home town...he asked me if i knew so and so....Hans said yes,I went to school with him....the Russian commented "that's my cousin" and volunteered that he was German Jewish and his family had emigrated to russia to escape persecution in Germany....he confided to hans that the persecution was just as bad in russia as it was in germany and they regretted emigrating.....as they finished the interview,the russian whispered to hans...."I'm going to leave your cell unlocked tonite....if you get caught-I don't know you and there is nothing further i can do to help you.....Hans said late that night,he and his gunner slipped out of the stockade and were traveling through some woods when they came across a couple of horses.....hans said his gunner was an old farm boy and knew about horses so he picked out the fat one and gave hans the other which was skinny and had a backbone that stuck up a foot....hans said riding that horse with that skinny backbone hurt more than anything else he encountered in the war......he said they rode their horses up to small russian occupied village located right in front of the german lines....they waited until daylight was barely breaking and in his words...galloped their horses through the village just like a cowboy movie,taking the russians by surprize and managed to get back across the lines without getting shot by either side...


in the last few days of the war,his commander told them his orders were to surrender his command to the russians who were advancing and only a few miles away,,,,,,the pilots all knew they did not want to be captured by the russians but the closest american forces were a couple hundred miles away...the commander then made it clear that he was leaving the base for a couple of hours which was his way of indicating to them that this was their opportunity to get in their planes and get to the nearest american held airstrip...hans said he went to his plane and somebody had stolen the stick out of it as a souvenir....he went to another plane and the battery was dead....he ended up cutting a stick out of wood,sharpening the end of it enough to jam it down in the hole and managed to take off....the sky was full of american planes and he had fly at treetop level to keep from getting shot down....on the way,.he had to fly through some mountains and he said he came over this mountain and right on back side of the slope there were some power lines,he jerks the stick to hop over them and the stick breaks off in his hand.....he said to this day,he doesn't know how he cleared the lines but the mountain fell steeply away from him and he was somehow able to get the broken part out of the hole and the stick jammed back in the hole before crashing and made it to the american base without getting shot down...


during the time I fished with hans,there was some question being raised by the media whether the holocaust really happened...I asked Hans what he thought and his explanation was....it probaly did but the average German didn't know about it and didn't really concern themselves with what happened to the Jewish people....he went on to explain there was a lot of anti jewish sentiment in germany stemming from the depression years which were much worse in Germany than america.....the jewish people during the depression controlled much of germany...the banks,media,most of the retail including food stores...in short they had the money and were using it to foreclose on many peoples farms and homes many of which had been family homes for hundreds of years...there were even some instances of refusing food to people who were starving so that fueled the anti jewish sentiment...


Hans told me that the war took a terrible toll of young men in Germany...Out of 87 boys in his school class...two came back...him and one other guy and the other guy was a paraplegic.....


When i asked about Hitler,he told me Hitler was a dynamic speaker,able to captivate people with his speeches...Hans mentioned his father was a great believer in him even though his father was headmaster of the school and a highly educated man.....he reiterated how bad it was in germany during the depression and said hitler led them out of that into a period of great prosperity and made germany a world power...he just did some incredibly stupid and wrong things......


there was more but my memory is fading after all those years....Speaking of memory,,,when you do good,you always remember....that tournament we fished against the houston club,I was fishing out of my 14 ft aluminum bassboat and didn't do much the first day,second day it was rainy and windy so I decided to just to fish in the back of the arm of the lake we launched in (somewhere on western side of T-bend)...I don't think i even cranked my big(35 hp)engine except to idle in but there was some grasslines back there that were loaded with bass that wanted a black spinnerbait and I ended up winning the tourny with my second day catch back there.....

Moritz Chevrolet - 9101 Camp Bowie W Blvd, Fort Worth, TX - Monte Coon (817) 696-2003
Re: most interesting partner I ever drew in a bass tournament.. [Re: beartrap] #13520599 04/16/20 03:10 PM
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Cool story, thanks for sharing.

Re: most interesting partner I ever drew in a bass tournament.. [Re: beartrap] #13520652 04/16/20 03:28 PM
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Donald Harper Offline
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Excellent read. Good memories and thanks for sharing the experience.


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Re: most interesting partner I ever drew in a bass tournament.. [Re: beartrap] #13520658 04/16/20 03:29 PM
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I needed that this morning, More of this stuff would be great.

Re: most interesting partner I ever drew in a bass tournament.. [Re: beartrap] #13520698 04/16/20 03:45 PM
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I love talking to the WW2 vets. Ive had quite a few come through my office over the years. A few have been Germans but I can't recall having a pilot. Most that I have talked to share the same views as your fishing partner. Good people just caught up in a bad situation.

Re: most interesting partner I ever drew in a bass tournament.. [Re: beartrap] #13520771 04/16/20 04:26 PM
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Man, what a great experience to have. Thanks for sharing...and good job on the win.

Re: most interesting partner I ever drew in a bass tournament.. [Re: beartrap] #13520842 04/16/20 05:08 PM
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I drew Kevin Short at a Open on the Red River once before he retired.
Here is my write up that I did after my day with Kevin Short:

I have never been in the boat with a elite guy so was really looking forward to it when I found out on Thursday I was going with him. Been in the boat with a lot of really good fishermen but somehow I knew this would be a little different. I know you can go out with some of the elites because they do some guiding but this would be in a competition environment at the Red River Open with money and a Classic invite on the line. As for me I was way behind as I only weighed in a 1.8 pounder the day before and needed about 9 pounds I figured to get a check and about 12 to get into the top 12 and fish Saturday. I knew we would be around fish though so I was pumped. Kevin was staying at the marina so it was really easy to launch, his wife backed us down and we were ready. He gave me a compartment to put my stuff in which my partner the day before didn't, so I thought that was really nice. His 2014 Basscat Cougar is wrapped in predominantly pink which is his trademark. He was very cordial to me right off but I could tell a bit stand offish I guess these guys never know what they are getting with co anglers so they are cautious. I told him that I fish a lot of tourneys and was used to it so whatever he needed to do I was ready. That seemed to put him at ease immediately. We were going to pool 3 which is about 61 miles and 2 locks to get there. About 1.5 hours of boat driving time one way.
When describing my day the only 2 words I can come up with are smart and efficient. Time is never wasted with him. Everything he does is to maximize the amount of casting time in prime water. It was simply amazing to watch. We would fish outside of every lock for as long as possible to maximize fishing time. When we came out of the first lock there were 70 boats in there. We were boat #12 leaving the lock, I counted. We passed 5 the first mile and the rest within 2 miles. Pink Basscat Cougars freakin fly! There was no staying in the middle of the river he would go from point to point because it is less distance again smart and efficient. No one ever caught us or even came close! We stopped in a little cove next to the second lock, to make a few casts before time to lock down again. It was a full 6 minutes before the next boat went by, again smart and efficient. We got to our spot in pool 3 and he started catching them pretty quickly, but they were small. He caught 3 and I caught one keepers. He would rifle threw several baits picking apart everything. Texas rig, buzzbait, crankbait, jig. He hit them about every way you can in rapidfire succession. He was making 2 casts to my one. Flips with his left hand so he doesn't have to change hands, smart, efficient.
We move to another area we both catch another one flipping into heavy brush. He is every bit as happy when I catch one as when he does. I thought that was awesome! He says we gotta go it aint happening down here like he thought it would. Hes adjusting to the conditions on the fly. We lock up to 4. In the lock we have about 20 minutes to sit and eat sandwiches and just talk. Something that almost never happens on a tournament day. I will cover some of our conversation later and the questions I asked and he answered. I ask how far we are running when we get out of the lock and he tells me exactly 2.8 miles and it will take us 4 minutes to get there exactly. Smart and efficient. He knows exactly how far and how long it takes to get virtually everywhere we go all day. Amazing! In pool 4 he is firing a crankbait, and moving faster than I have ever seen anyone do it. He catches a 3.5 pounder. Talks to a couple of guys he knows in there who have been in there all day and only have 5 small ones, they are all drowning worms. He aint picking up a worm. Continues to fire and is counting down the minutes to when we have to leave. Every second counts. With 3 minutes to go he catches a 4.5 pounder, he is happy but no time to celebrate gotta make a few more casts. Time to go, he cranks up and we are running 70 mph between massive stumps, makes a hard U turn and back up the river. We are the last boat in the lock before it closes. Smart and efficient.
We finish the day in pool 5, he is still cranking and moving. Our check in time is at 3, we check in at 2:59:50. That's called maximizing your fishing time!
OBSERVATIONS:
-We are good fishermen, he is better. We may be really good at a few things, flipping, worming, cranking whatever. He is great at everything. Its how he makes his living.
-He never stops til the tournament is over. We have all been in the boat with a guy having a bad day or are having one ourselves and just quits or gets mad and stops fishing. He accepts sometimes things aren't always gonna go the way you planned, but adjusts and keeps going anyway, always thinking I am one cast from a big one.
-He is 52 years old and is in really good condition. He has quite a bounce to his step for someone his age. I never saw him drink anything but water all day. No gatorade or sodas, I guess he understands this is a marathon not a sprint.
-We do not use our electronics anywhere near its capability. He can make his do just about anything it was designed to do. I was truly amazed at how he had everything in his graph working. I know guys that spend $5000 on graphs and all they do is turn it on and change screens every once in awhile.
QUESTIONS I ASKED: Some questions I asked and he declined to answer. I wont tell you all we discussed some of it I will keep to myself, but these are the basics:
-What do weekend anglers do wrong that you see?
Kevin: Lose focus too easily, don't change baits enough, and don't change locations enough.
-Whats the hardest part of your job?
Kevin: Making a living at it.
-Do sponsors approach you or do you have to seek them out?
Kevin: In all the years I have been doing this I have had exactly 2 call me up.
-How much time do you spend on the water a year?
Kevin: About 150 days.
-Whats your worst co angler story?
Kevin: I aint going there! (Laughs)
MY GENERAL VIEWS OF THE DAY:
It was better than I ever could have dreamed it could be. He is a genuinely polite and intelligent guy but wants to win and will do everything he can to do it. He truly loves what he does even after doing it for so long. His wife is his support group and gives him a hug and kiss when he leaves and the same when he gets back. They are truly a team. They were going in to have ice cream with Don Barone when I left. Don was nice enough to take a pic with us standing by his boat, but its upside down cause Don is electronically challenged he told me.LOL Kevin gave me 2 expensive crankbaits still in the box before I left. The same ones he was throwing. One for dirty water and one for clear. Don't make colors complicated he said, it aint rocket science! They will never see water, I have them on my desk to remind me of the day. Oh, I will order some just like them believe me, but I aint telling you guys what they are, they are my new secret weapon!


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Re: most interesting partner I ever drew in a bass tournament.. [Re: beartrap] #13520901 04/16/20 05:42 PM
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Great stories. Keep them coming.

Re: most interesting partner I ever drew in a bass tournament.. [Re: beartrap] #13521071 04/16/20 07:31 PM
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The boat I fish in now I purchased from James Watson in 2012. It is the Stratos Champion and I thought it was a great buy rather than buying a new boat. I gave James a deposit and when the FLW season was over I would pay the rest and take ownership of the boat. Well through conversations in making the arrangements to pick the boat up I got to know him a bit and he invited me up to Table Rock to his house there to fish for a day or two before I took the boat home. Didn't want to turn that opportunity down so I accepted and when the time came I drove up to Missouri and stayed at his very nice Lake House. Man I tell you this guy was such a tremendous host and we went out to eat and had a few (or more) beverages and for the first time realized how funny he was and a natural cut up as most of you know by now. We got up before light and launched my new boat and I told him to drive because I really wanted to see how he approach this highland clear water lake. We went as fast as the boat has ever traveled to this day to an area and handed me a rod with a wake bait in August and I told him I had my own equipment and he said suit yourself. I couldn't believe this guy was a pro throwing a frog in Gin clear water after the sun got up. I couldn't imaging how he had won Costas and BFLs and probably 20 tournaments on this lake doing something that made no sense to me. Well after he caught 4-5 fish in the first 30 minutes or so I picked up the wake shad and caught one right away and looked up at him and he had that Worldwide blank eating grin on his face. We threw topwaters and the wakeshad all day in bright sunshine.He fished so fast that i wanted to stop every hour or so just to take a break. The trolling motor was always on 6 or 7. We probably caught 20 or so and had 18lbs with biggest 5. I learned more from fishing with him in that day and half than 2 years fishing experience on my own. He is a good dude that isn't always the James MF Worldwide you always see he also sent me with a bunch of crankbaits and that SK King Wake Shad that I still have. Really fun trip that I won't forget and still have and love that boat.

Re: most interesting partner I ever drew in a bass tournament.. [Re: SC 210] #13521155 04/16/20 08:34 PM
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From James

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Last edited by dillydilly24; 04/16/20 08:35 PM.

Life�s a garden, dig it
Re: most interesting partner I ever drew in a bass tournament.. [Re: beartrap] #13521598 04/17/20 02:55 AM
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Heard this the other day LOL, skip to 1:21:00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61euDTaP-lY

Re: most interesting partner I ever drew in a bass tournament.. [Re: beartrap] #13521821 04/17/20 12:27 PM
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I drew a guy named Raul Morneau once in an Anglers Choice Pro Am on Lake Livingston. He lived in Mexico City and fished quite a few tournaments here in the U.S. That day fishing was one of the most fun times I had because when you think of "The Most Interesting Man in the World" this gentleman fit that to a tee. He was such a great guy with so many great stories he told all day long as we ran from spot to spot fishing. I had a really good day that day catching fish and it was all because he was as interested in me doing good even before himself. When he found out I was single he talked to me all day about how he could set me up with a great Mexican girl to be my wife and I would never regret it. It was so great to see him at each tournament and how he would seek me out just to say Hi and tell me a story about his most recent conquest. Even though I only knew him briefly back then I remember how it hit me when I found out he had passed away even though I hadn't seen him in many years.


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Re: most interesting partner I ever drew in a bass tournament.. [Re: beartrap] #13521885 04/17/20 01:11 PM
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Years ago I fished with a vietnam era navigation guy that got show down in vietnam. He started telling his story, and i did not want to move for fear of missing something.

Reminded me of being a kid and visiting my Grandfather on base. Just listening to all the pilot stories was super cool.

Re: most interesting partner I ever drew in a bass tournament.. [Re: beartrap] #13523709 04/18/20 03:35 PM
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Lots of cool stories, fun to read, thanks guys!

Re: most interesting partner I ever drew in a bass tournament.. [Re: beartrap] #13523815 04/18/20 04:54 PM
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The day before I went out with a Short I drew some guy that showed up drunk and had to go to the bathroom and puke. We didn't catch squat after awhile he started feeling bad and didn't want to move to any new spots. He finally beached us on a sand bar and fell asleep in the chair for like 30 minutes. Then I had to push us off the sand bar. It was absolutely ridiculous in a Open.


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�It�s all in your head. It doesn�t matter if your 6 or 60. You can participate in this sport."-Rick Clunn
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