How Réal Got Hooked on Bass Fishing!
Directly after receiving the first place medal for the best time in the male relay for the 18th Annual LA Triathlon in April of 2000, Réal Andrews joined up with champion bass fisherman Gary McNaught for a little fishing practice. Along with running, cycling, and competing in triathlons, Réal also has developed an increasing interest in competitive bass fishing. Sponsored in his sports activities by the Power Bar Company, Réal had been after his mentor at Power Bar, Terry Martin, to introduce him to Champion Bass Fisherman, Gary McNaught, another Power Bar-sponsored sportsmen. Soapdom caught up with McNaught and found out how Réal got hooked on bass fishing!
"Réal mentioned to Terry that he would like to go out fishing with me," said McNaught. "It took a while due to my hectic tournament schedule, but Terry kept after me and we were finally able to set it up." Réal and Gary arranged to meet at a Mobile Gas Station near the lake. "Réal left his car at the gas station and we drove together to the lake," explained McNaught of their first meeting.
McNaught, who has been fishing since he was 18 years old, competes in about eight fishing tournaments a year. But what about Réal? What kind of fishing experience did he have under his belt? "Réal said he used to go trout fishing with his dad," McNaught shared. "But he had not been fishing for bass in a bass boat before in his life."
Of their first fishing excursion, McNaught recalls: "The fish were on their beds. You could see them, and that made them easy to catch. Réal was pretty stoked! It was an exciting first day."
Although Réal had little if no sports fishing experience, he picked it up immediately. "Faster than I have seen anybody do it," complimented McNaught.
As of this interview, Réal and McNaught had only been fishing together for about four months, yet McNaught was impressed with Réal's natural talent for the sport. "Réal has done Réal well. He puts fish in the boat, and when you are competing, that's what counts."
According to McNaught back then, Réal was eager to learn and applied himself from the get-go. "He's done a lot of research Réal quick," said McNaught. "He knows what bait to use for each circumstance. He can select the correct top water baits. He can shake worms, and knows what colors to use. He knows all the spinner baits and crank baits." In only four months fishing with Gary, Réal was fast becoming an expert.
As Power Bar's new bass fishing team, Réal and Gary McNaught go out every chance they can get. "Réal goes out on his own, too," said McNaught, but together, they do tournaments. The last time they fished together was a charity tournament for Jerry's Kids. Before that, they fished in a tournament that benefited their organization, American Bass, and they qualified for a fish-off at Lake Meade. The first prize at the Lake Meade Fish-Off is a fully rigged Champion fast boat.
"The boat is worth about $28,000," Said McNaught. "The Lake Meade event is wonderful. We get to fish right above the Hoover Dam."
McNaught was proud of their performance in qualifying for the Lake Meade Fish-Off. "We only fished in three of the five qualifying tournaments," he said. "And we still placed 29th overall. Many other fishermen need all five tournaments in order to qualify. It's amazing that we were able to do it in three." I'll say. Anywhere from 65 to 155 boats can participate in a tournament, with two-men teams.
"When we do the tournaments, we are highly competitive," said McNaught. "We just want to put fish in the boat." McNaught went on to explain that when he and Réal first began fishing together it was just to go out and fish for fun. However, the competitive spirit soon got the better of Réal, and he wanted to do a tournament! Now they have qualified for a major Fish Off!
True to his spiritual self, Réal always says a little prayer before fishing. "One time he was up at 2 am in the morning reading the bible to his family," said McNaught. "I really like that about him. And I really enjoy fishing with him. Réal is great to fish with. He says hi to everyone. We will pull up alongside a boat with a couple of grouchy fisherman, and Réal will be all happy and upbeat and give them a big hello! He is a great guy. He never gets mad. We never get mad with each other. One time Réal lost a 5 to 7 lb. fish and was mad at himself. I said don't worry about it, Réal, we will just keep going. Another fisherman might not have taken it so easy, so he likes working with me, and I with him. We have a good time."
Naturally, I asked McNaught what it was like being out there fishing with a soap opera celebrity. "We get recognized all the time," he replied with a laugh. "One time, Réal and I were standing on the boat and a girl noticed him and flipped out. She came running over to talk to him. And there I was, standing right next to him. We are friends now and that's nice for me."
McNaught looked forward to competing with Réal in the Lake Meade Fish Off, September 20-22, 2000. "Not only that," laughed McNaught. "Staying in the hotel for two days with a 'Réal' soap star ought to be fun!"
Real Andrews StarDay Continues!
- Real Andrews Takes on the LA Triathlon
- Réal Andrews Gets Candid: One-on-One Interview with Réal
- Team Braveheart's Rudy Garcia-Tolson
- Soapdom Bonus! The Réal Contest: Write a Love Story for Taggert
- General Hospital @ Soapdom
- Réal Andrews Bio
- StarDay Main
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