FROM THE MIDDLE SEAT: Poche Made for Some Great Memories in 2020 - Major League Fishing
FROM THE MIDDLE SEAT: Poche Made for Some Great Memories in 2020
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FROM THE MIDDLE SEAT: Poche Made for Some Great Memories in 2020

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MLF cameraman and tungsten target Cody Prather relives some of his favorite 2020 memories from the middle seat of Keith Poche's aluminum boat. Photo by Phoenix Moore
January 9, 2021 • Cody Prather • Bass Pro Tour

Is it fair to say that too much hot cocoa will give you a sugar drunk? Maybe it’s the leftover candy canes from Christmas? I don’t know, but whatever it is, has my mind stuck in the past.  

Bouncing down the lake at 70 mph, long runs, frantic decisions, last-minute heroics (and failures), they all meshed together to create another epic year in the adventurous life of the Bass Pro Tour.  

The sugar takes hold and the memories of the notorious moments from 2020 flood back. Not from your viewpoint though. You got to watch it all live on MLF NOW! My position in the middle seat locks this cameraman into the singular view of one angler. That has its advantages, but it also means that I look at the season through a different lens. 

My memorable moments probably don’t match up to yours. “Memorable” doesn’t always mean an epic winning moment. From my point of view, it can be memorable on the basis of survival, and for some reason, Keith Poche keeps sneaking into my mind as I think about this. 

Target Practice

Bed fishing is one of the most fun ways to catch big bass. However, have you ever stood behind someone and watched them work a bed fish for what feels like hours? The glory of it seems to diminish a little bit, and frankly, it can get a little tiresome until the action happens. 

Tiresome and Keith Poche do NOT go together.

Lake Fork Elimination Round paired us for another adventure. Poche had an amazing creek full of fish on beds. Pitch after pitch led to bite after bite.  Each bite led to a monster hookset. It was perfect…-ish.  

The “-ish” part refers to the angle of the boat. Keith positioned the boat so each missed hookset sent the hook and weight on a straight path to the cameraman. How did I become the target? A good (maybe a little crazy) cameraman stands in like a batter crowding the plate. There’s no retreat.  “Snug up the Wiley X sunglasses, cinch up the Onyx PFD, angle the camera for protection, and let the tungsten fly,” is all we can think. 

Cody Prather feeds off the energy and excitement of anglers like Keith Poche to get the best action on camera. Photo by Phoenix Moore

That’s the way it had to be. The sun dictated the angle. I applaud Keith for his approach to those fish, and it paid off as he advanced all the way to Championship Round. It made for an amazing memory because the story that unfolded was worth it. The energy and excitement of the day took precedent over the bruises, and you got to watch it all unfold live. Mission accomplished and memory made.

The Perfect Storm

Who has the guts to take a 19-foot aluminum boat out on a great lake? You guessed it! 

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin is an amazing fishery, but oftentimes, you have to earn those fish. I met up with Keith somewhere in the Elimination Round as he was making a huge move up SCORETRACKER®.  

The back deck was all mine as the rollers tossed us all in different directions. 

We made amazing television that day as Keith caught fish after fish, road the waves like a seasoned sailor, and advanced to another day on the water.  I got to hang with him again during the Knockout Round and ride the same rollercoaster. It wasn’t easy, but easy doesn’t make memorable moments. Capturing that magic moment in the midst of the perfect storm is what makes memories for me. In the end, I was impressed at how that boat handled those monster waves.

Maybe we’ll bounce down memory lane later in reflection of the epic wins or bitter heartbreaks. Those moments are truly different when you’ve spent all day with the angler and traversed all of the emotions of the day. But for now, my thanks go out to Keith for definitely shaking things up for me in 2020, and allowing me to push myself to capture those important moments. I hope it was worth it for you and made for good MLF NOW! action.