Lemme tell ya 'bout Bowman. He's the older brother you don't have. That's right: don't. But he THINKS he's your older bro so he's full to burstin' with all kinda advice given with all kinda semi-angriness. And that's even WITH a good night's sleep and coffee...😆
I say that outta love cuz me and Bowman are kinda like brothers. We argue. Even fought a couple times. Back in the day sometimes Jerry McKinnis was in the fights too...and then Bowman would be a little more in the middle (a little). For a while I tried to get Bowman to do a "The Blue and the Grey" type podcast of us arguing over everything in bassin' – which would be great – but I guess he's too afraid of losin'...😁
Anyhow, Bowman is good people – a saved man with a heart for others, which I believe is where all that advicin' really comes from. Gotta say it's a little weird interviewing my bro Bowman like he's "somebody." I mean, after this he'll prolly have even more unsolicited advice and criticism...🤣 But I guess it's not that weird because we're all just peeps who bass-feesh. Here's 5 with a dude I'm proud of:
1. Is it true you're the first guy elected to the Hall of Fame for being grouchy?
> "I don't know man, I think Denny Brauer got that. I follow an illustrious line of grouchiness."
[Lol Denny he gotcha there man!]
2. Be honest: How many times at this year's HOF deal did you give people advice, criticism or just tell them what to do?
> "Well, I guess it was pretty consistent, pretty constant. I think even my speech was hopefully advice to the industry on where I think they can improve.
> "My deal is, I grew up a poor kid on the wrong side of town. Little Rock, single mom – no one took me huntin', no one took me fishin'...[he did all that] in the city limits of Little Rock. I was blessed to have woods around me, and a pond....
> "My first fishing rod was a car antenna. In 5th grade I mowed grass...that's how we paid the rent and bought the groceries. I saved up enough quarters to get $8 to pay for a Zebco 33, taped it to the antenna, soldered pull tabs for eyes, and that was my fishing rod.
> "...the reality of it is – everybody talks about growing the sport, trying to get more people involved and everything else. That looks good on paper, but if you want to change the world in fishing, you figure out how to bring fishing to 3rd and Main...people who don't have dad or grandad to take them to the lake and put them in a boat.
> "It's not about weights, different jighead designs [etc.]. It's about wind and water first. You fall in love with grubs and bugs and crickets and things like that, and that's really the foundation of the sport. We've forgotten that, I believe."
3. Did you ever think you'd be sorta at the same level as Bob Cobb, Dave Precht and Jerry McKinnis? (Legendary fishing media guys.)
> "Never in a million years and I still don't think that I'm there. I'm humbled by it in so many ways, but it was a complete and total surprise for me. To be even compared to any of those guys is not what I was after, but it is very humbling.
> "...I strive to be that. I'm still working at it."
4. Are you the best or worst bass fisherman outta all those guys?
> "Man that's a crappy question to ask but hell yeah! I believe I can beat them every day! But some of the other Hall of Famers, not a chance. But can hold my own in that group and have. But that doesn't matter."
[Hahaha! "Crappy question" but he answers it and says he's the best even though it "doesn't matter" – he's a bass-head! 🤣]
5. What does it mean to you to be inducted?
> "The people that work around me recognize that I'm not working every day for a paycheck. I'm working every day to make some sort of difference in the end-game.
> "It may be little things at the end of the day...things that the average person can't stop and say, 'Oh wow.' But when we sit in a room with those guys...'this is our issue, how do we make a difference here, how do we change this.' Typically at JM [aka, the AR branch of B.A.S.S.] that's like, 'Okay Bowman, what do you got.' I've been able to answer that call.
> "It's not as noticeable to the average person and I get that. I'm not the guy jumping up and waving my arms saying, 'Hey look at what I did.' I never will be, but...Jerry used to be describe me as a winner. He knew if he gave me a difficult task, I would win at the end of it. We would argue about it...sometimes got in fights and whatever...but at the end of the day we would get the end result.
> "I don't mind adversity. I don't mind people thinking I'm grouchy...at the end of the day we're gonna get there. That's kinda the way I view my role in this world: I'm not here to make friends, I'm not here to...win a popularity contest, but I am here to win the day or win the moment or win at whatever the task is."
Bonus Q: Do you think any other members of the AR Bassin' Mafia will be inducted at some point?
> "I think most of 'em are already there. I do believe that there's guys...that aren't as well-known that could. But if you look at...George Cochran, Larry Nixon, Bobby Murray – they're already there.
> "I do believe that a Randy Hopper, a Rick Pierce will be there. But from an angling standpoint – maybe a [few guys still fishing] but Mark Davis was the last of the big-name [AR] guys and he was inducted 3 years ago.
> "Right now I believe the mafia is not nearly what it was 25 years ago. Jerry McKinnis and Forrest Wood – we've had an incredible tutelage and have not carried it on, for whatever reason, from a state standpoint."