(Editor's note: Here's the latest BoatUS Angler blog entry from fishing TV host and part-time comedian Mark Zona.)
Not only was I not … not … voted the 2013 Tower of the Year. Heck, I’m not even allowed to drive this giant red TowBoatU.S. boat.
But at BASSFest on Lake Chickamauga last week, I met the people who are, and they rock louder than Nikki Sixx.
Shane and Stacey O’Neal own and operate TowBoatU.S. Lake Chickamauga and not only do they sign a ton of people up for BoatUS Angler memberships, but they also do some awesome things to support tournament bass fishermen, and that’s how they earned the Tower of the Year award last year among a network of 300 locations.
Ready for this? In addition to Shane being the certified captain of the ‘the big red boat’ that I’m not allowed to drive, he and Stacey put up a $100,000 prize for anybody who could catch the new Lake Chickamauga record bass in one of the Chattanooga Bass Association tournaments they sponsor. Plus, they also sponsor the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga bass fishing team and operate towing services on eight bodies of water including Chickamauga, Nickajack, Watts Barr and Guntersville, where they assisted multiple spectator boats that called for their towing service assistance during the most recent Bassmaster Classic.
Look man, yes, you can buy your boat insurance from BoatU.S. – but it’s all the other cool stuff this company does for bass fishermen that makes me proud to call them friends. They’ve saved the day for numerous Bassmaster Nation, Open and Elite Series anglers, and there’s hardly a weekend throughout the year that they aren’t engaged in assisting a tournament angler somewhere.
So while they’re never gonna give me the keys to this tougher-than-Ditka tow boat, they can’t stop me from telling you that you’re a knucklehead if you haven’t considered signing-up for a membership to BoatU.S. Angler and registering for their Weigh-to-Win tournament cash bonus program that’s free for members.
I say "knucklehead" in a loving way, my brothers and sisters – but seriously, the folks who run around in these hugely helpful red boats are doing great things for their members. Check ‘em out at www.BoatUS.com/Angler/.
And frankly, it’s probably best that they don’t let me drive.