membership matters
Fall 2013

Nine-Pound Bass Earns Angler A Way To Win, Weigh-to-Win

Photo of BoatUS ANGLER Pro Staff member David Gnewikow

BoatUS ANGLER Pro Staff member David Gnewikow and a hefty bass made a big splash at a Bassmaster Weekend Series event recently. His big fish and the resulting first-place check of $2,890 and a Weigh-To-Win contingency check of $150. Here’s more of the story in his own words:

I was fishing a Weekend Series tournament out of Paris Landing, Tenn. At the end of practice, I knew that I could catch a bunch on Saturday. But I also knew that I was going to have to gamble on some big-fish tactics to have a shot at winning.

Early Saturday morning, I boated five or six keepers in 20 minutes, but nothing over three pounds. I knew that I could catch 18-19 pounds fishing schools, but I needed a big bite or two.

About 9 a.m. I decided to hit a river ledge where I have caught some big fish in the past. It’s not really a place where they school. In fact, I told my co-angler that we might not get a bite, but if we do it could be a big one.

I got on my waypoint and made a long cast with a worm. The line tightened as the bait hit the bottom. I set the hook and immediately knew that this was a giant. “Net! Big one. Big one. Big one!”

The fish jumped and I thought it was a 6- or 7-pounder. She pulled like freight train and stripped the drag. I stayed on my knees with the rod tip buried deep in the water trying to keep her from jumping.

When the fish finally neared the boat, I pulled her up and my co-angler snatched the bass up with the net. The hook fell out in the net and I stared at this bass with my eyes and mouth wide open. It didn’t even look real. I looked at my co-angler.

“Is that a 10-pounder?”

He said he thought it was probably bigger. It was huge. I slid the behemoth in the livewell and culled a 3-pounder. I left there with four fish that weighed about 13 pounds and one giant.

When I finally got to the stage there were quite a few interested spectators who had heard the rumor of this bass. My limit weighed 26.04 and the big girl weighed 9.42. After lots of pictures, we released her alive and well.

I ended up winning the tournament and got a healthy check for big fish, along with contingency bonuses from the BoatUS ANGLER Weigh-to-Win program, Triton, and Motorguide.

To be quite honest, I was a little embarrassed. I’ve come in second so many times because somebody caught one giant bass. I told the guys in second and third place that I was sorry I had “cheated” by catching that 9-pounder. I did feel a little bad about it, but then I realized that in 15 years of tournament fishing I’ve never weighed in a fish over 7 pounds. It was my turn and I took it in a big way.

Read more of David’s blog at

Speedy Service Greatly Appreciated

BoatUS ANGLER Insurance logo

I want to send praise to BoatUS ANGLER for the unheard of speedy response to my recent boat claim. During the course of a bass tournament, I told as many anglers as I possibly could about how BoatUS had approved the repair within one hour of the initial call. Because of my ANGLER policy from BoatUS, I was able to continue the tournament without further hesitation.

I have not had to file an insurance claim in the last 20 years, but I have heard firsthand from boat owners of the nightmares they have had with their insurance companies. I have told my story to many boat owners and even got three of my friends to drop their insurance company and switch to BoatUS.

I not only professionally fish but also manufacture a marine product. Boat owners are very loyal to those responsible for keeping them in the great outdoors; from boat manufactures, to motor manufacturers, to electronic companies, and yes, even insurance companies.

I am placing a BoatUS ANGLER insurance decal on my sponsor wrapped boat and will continue to promote BoatUS. Each person I spoke with, from first to last, went above and beyond what I would have expected to remedy my situation and get me back on the water so I can pursue my bass fishing career. Thanks to all at BoatUS.

Aaron Beshears,
BoatUS ANGLER Member