Southern Illinois’ Travis Cockburn is a highly accomplished outdoorsman. The 40-year-old insurance man has cashed many tournament paychecks in regional events, and he recently arrowed one of the largest whitetails in Illinois history.
Still, no amount of experience in a treestand – or on a trolling motor – can compensate for a dropped cylinder in your outboard when you're 50 miles from the weigh-in ramp.
That’s exactly what happened to Cockburn during a Bassmaster Weekend Series event that came uncomfortably close to costing him the points he needed to qualify for a regional championship after a long season of effort. In a sense, one call to BoatUS Angler saved Cockburn’s season.
“It didn’t take me long to realize what an awesome value a BoatUS Angler memberships is,” he said. “They dispatched help, and they had me back to the weigh-in just in time to weigh my fish, save some points, and qualify for the regional championship."
He became such a believer in the goodness of BoatUS Angler that he wrote a sweepstakes-winning testimony that landed him a free day of smallmouth fishing with Mark Zona.
“When it comes to sweepstakes winners, you get a mixed bag of very novice anglers and a few fairly serious ones. Then, every once in a blue moon, you get a dude that’s an absolute ‘stick’ like Travis,” said Zona.
“He and I flirted with the razor’s edge of disaster when, late in our day together, I offered him a gambler’s chance to stop fishing the lake we were on, load the boat, make what I called the Old Spice Hot Sauce Move of the Day, and race to a lake I thought could be even better. Key word there is 'thought' – no guarantees. It could have been a disaster."
It was anything but a bomb. Instead, with just a couple hours of daylight left, Cockburn and Zona proceeded to whack 4- to 6-pound smallies on nearly every cast until near darkness.
For very different reasons, Cockburn’s two most significant BoatUS Angler-associated days are very memorable ones. Both played out along a sharp edge between falling short and celebration, but ultimately, each were punctuated with the kind of success in the outdoors Cockburn often seems destined for.
Signing up for BoatUS Angler and becoming eligible for “Weigh-to Win” tournament cash bonuses like Travis did is easy. Just visit www.BoatUSFishing.com, or call (918) 742-6424.