WRITTEN BY: DESTIN DEMARION
When Grant, Molly, and our marketing department met last fall, I had no idea what was about to come next. Fast forward three months later and we had acquired a new truck, a new boat, and were on our way to Fort Worth, TX for the 2018 STMA Conference.
In early January, we departed from DuraEdge HQ in Grove City, PA after shooting some content at the office and at the plant for our series – ‘Not the Destination’ (follow the journey on YouTube). With the new truck packed to the brim, we pointed south towards Alabama where we would pick up our new boat, completing the package for the newly created DuraEdge Bass Fishing Experience.
After taking a couple of days to have the boat tuned to our liking, we departed for our next stop at Tyler Wrap Company in Tyler, TX. Tyler Wrap is well known in the bass fishing world for their vehicle and boat wraps being of excellent quality. Although the process took months of collaboration in our office and with Tyler Wrap beforehand, the finished product blew us out of the water (pun intended).
We unveiled both of the DuraEdge wrapped rigs to our employees and customers the following night at our big STMA kickoff party. Seeing the reactions from everyone was the perfect ending to all the work leading up to STMA.
Following the STMA conference, we relocated to Florida where we would spend the next few months. While in Florida we traveled around the state visiting Spring Training facilities and other customers. We brought the truck and boat along and set up cookouts for the crews along with hitting the water to do some fishing with them along the way. We had outings at places like the infamous Lake Okeechobee. In between, we traveled to fish Bassmaster tournaments and were able to connect with more customers and DuraEdge affiliates along the way – such as in Greenville, SC with the Drive and Clemson Groundscrew’s while at the Bassmaster Classic.
In early May, we departed for Charlotte, NC where the next Bassmaster event was held on Lake Norman. While there, we got to visit and do a cookout for our new friends Matt and the rest of the crew with the Charlotte Knights. BB&T Park was a beautiful facility. After wrapping up our event and cookout there, we pointed the DuraEdge rigs north towards Grove City which would be base camp for the rest of the year.
Over the course of the spring and summer we traveled to fish more Bassmaster and FLW tournaments, while hooking up with customers and distributors from Tennessee up to Maine. We had some great fishing trips on the Upper Chesapeake Bay and James River with some of our friends from the Phillies, Orioles, UMBC, Spikes, and Tides, as well as in Maine with Pioneer Athletics. We also got to do some cookouts and boat rides in Altoona and Williamsport too. We even made an emergency BlackStick Mound Clay delivery to Chris in Altoona afterwards (chuckles).
This fall we hit the road once again. Our travels took us out to the Midwest, starting with a trip to visit the Kansas City Royals crew. After having a fishing trip planned, we were forced to audible due to 40 mph winds, but made the most of it with a trip to TopGolf with the crew. Shortly afterwards we hit the road once again to Omaha where we did a little fishing and cooking out with the TD Ameritrade Park (College World Series) and Omaha Storm Chasers crews on a cold and windy Nebraska day. We shared some stories, some laughs and hit the road that evening for Iowa.
The next morning, we hit a small local lake with our friends Andrew and Seth from the Quad Cities River Bandits. The conditions were much more comfortable and although the fish took some coaxing, we managed to catch a handful, including a true corn fed Iowa monster bass, brought in by Andrew.
After hooking up the boat, we departed next for the Twin cities. At our first trip to an MLB stadium this season, we were greeted by a great bunch. I really enjoyed meeting and getting to know Larry and the rest of the crew while at Target Field. We talked some sports and of course fishing in the land of 10,000 lakes. We wrapped up there in the afternoon and hit the road for the Windy City.
The next morning we got all the supplies ready and departed for the famous Wrigley Field. I met up with a couple crew members and got the VIP treatment as we were escorted right into Wrigley stadium. We set up right there on the warning track and had a great cookout with Justin and company before departing for Michigan.
Hello Wrigley! @DuraEdge pic.twitter.com/ljWWNCLLot
— DuraEdge Bass Fishing Experience (@DEBassFishingEx) October 9, 2018
While in Michigan we were able to connect with Zach and Jose from the Lugnuts, Kelly and company from the Loons and our friends Mike of Homefield and Kevin of ATS for some fall time Michigan bass fishing. The conditions were challenging, but we were able to catch some fish and have some fun before landing back in Grove City.
We’ve had the great opportunity to meet and fish with so many DuraEdge customers, distributors and representatives this year. That’s probably been one of the coolest experiences thus far with our program – the people. It’s been a crazy year full of travel, fishing, cookouts and great memories. I can’t wait to see where the path takes us to in the upcoming year.