A Week Outdoors Hunting and Fishing with Boo Weekley
Boo Weekley and the Beginning of Bass Fishing
Editor’s Note: Thomas Brent “Boo” Weekley of Jay, Florida, one of the nation’s top professional golfers, is also an avid hunter and fisherman and often takes his rods and reels with him as he tours the world on the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour circuit. In 2007, Weekley earned $3 million in tournament winnings. So far, this year, Weekley has won over $2 million. This week, we caught up with Weekley at the Brewton Country Club in south Alabama. “We’ll reach the golf course before it opens and fish in the ponds,” Weekley reveals. “Then about 10:00 am, I’ll start practicing for my upcoming tournaments.” Today, Weekley is ranked number 8 in the PGA points standing.
Question: Boo, how long have you been bass fishing?
Weekley: I started bass fishing when I was old enough to get out of the house with a lifejacket on and get down to the Blackwater River where I grew up. My grandparents owned land in that area and I lived about 300 yards from my grandparents. My grandparent’s house was about 100 yards from the river, which housed a couple of ponds I could fish. I’d get up every morning, my dad would put a lifejacket on me, I’d put on some snake boots, and from the time I was 6- to 8-years old, I’d go to the river alone to fish.
Question: When you first started playing golf, you used to take your bass rods with you to just about every tournament, didn’t you?
Weekley: Yes, I did. If I was flying, I’d carry a two-piece rod and reel. If I was driving to a tournament, I’d carry my bait-casting rods and reels. I kept my fishing gear with my golf clubs.
Question: Were you fishing on the golf courses?
Weekley: Yes, I was. I fish quite a bit on golf courses. Many golf courses around the nation have excellent bass fishing in the ponds on the golf course. The golf courses need ponds to hold water they can use to maintain the courses. They pull the water out of the ponds and pump it onto the fairways when there’s not enough rain to keep the fairways green. They also fertilize these golf courses pretty heavily, and that fertilizer runs into the ponds. I’ve seen golf courses where the fertilizer really helps the fish, and I’ve seen other golf courses and caught bass when there may have been too much fertilizer in the water. I fished one golf course in Arkansas and never caught a fish over 1-1/2-pounds, but I’d catch about 75 to 100 bass every time I fished those ponds. Some of those bass I caught had red spots on them that could have been from too much fertilizer or an infection.
Question: What’s the biggest bass you’ve ever caught on a golf course?
Weekley: The largest bass I’ve ever caught weighed about 11 or 12 pounds, and it was in Greenville, South Carolina, at the BMW Championship on the Nationwide Tour. The golf course was the valley course. Jack Slocum, Heath Slocum’s father, was caddying for me at the time, and we were both walking the bank and fishing around the pond. I saw this huge bass swimming down a grass line on the bank. I was fishing with a Zoom Red Shad Worm, and when I pitched that lure out in front of this old bass, he inhaled it.
Question: Are there a lot of golfers on the PGA tours that fish the golf courses?
Weekley: Yes, sir, a lot of them fish at the golf courses. Lucas Glover and Briny Baird carry their fishing equipment with them wherever they go. Many caddies take their fishing equipment with them on tour, and just about everyone takes their fishing rods with them when they go to Disney World. Anytime we have a tournament in south Florida, the players and their caddies generally will have their fishing gear with them. I went down to the Blue Monster Golf Course in Doral, Florida, near Miami, and caught some peacock bass on the golf course.
Question: In your opinion, Boo, what’s the best golf course you’ve been to for bass fishing?
Weekley: Well, that depends on the golf course. Most golf courses won’t let the golfers fish. Many country clubs don’t let their members fish in the ponds unless the golf course is private, like the one in Brewton, Alabama, where I practice a lot. They’ll let me come in and fish before the course opens. When the PGA or the Nationwide Tour rents the golf course, we’re usually able to go out and fish.
Question: If you only could pick one golf course as the best place to catch bass, which one would you pick?
Weekley: I have to be honest. I really prefer catching peacock bass in Doral at the Blue Monster Golf Course. That probably was the most fun time I’ve had fishing in a long time. There aren’t many golf courses where you can catch peacock bass. Although the peacock bass we caught were only in the 4- to 5-pound range, there were plenty of them to be caught.
Tomorrow: Boo Weekley and His Supporters