News & Media

Six Pack of Pop: Plenty of parallels between fishing, NASCAR

April 26, 2011, Joe Menzer,

Professional fishermen Andy Montgomery and Bink Desaro, who recently spent time attempting to teach driver David Ragan how to catch the big ones on Lake Norman just outside Charlotte, N.C., answer this week's six questions.

1. So are you two big NASCAR fans?

Montgomery: My grandpa, growing up, was a huge NASCAR fan -- so naturally I've followed it a little bit. I've never been one to sit down and necessarily watch a whole race. [He's frequently busy fishing in tournaments on weekends]. But I know who wins every week and I know Jimmie Johnson has won five championships in a row, which is very, very impressive to me in any sport. So yeah, I like NASCAR -- especially the first 20 laps and the last 20 laps of a race.

"I understand there are some driving schools where you can buy a couple laps or whatever. I'll have to look into that. ... Just being around them when they take them off the trailer and fire it up is pretty impressive."


Desaro: I really enjoy it. I actually have just become a fan in the last year and a half. I've been to a few races now and the horsepower and just the power and energy around those events is mind-boggling. It just throttles me every time I'm there. I don't know if I have a favorite driver, but I met Trevor Bayne at the Daytona 500 and I've been to JR Motorsports. And of course we just took David Ragan fishing. He's a really cool guy.

2. Bink, did you meet Trevor before he pulled off his stunning Daytona 500 victory earlier this year?

Desaro: Yes, actually. I might be his good-luck charm. We sat there on the dock before that race and had a very good conversation, as a matter of fact. We were just kind of shooting the breeze. So hey, maybe I ought to be the guy he should be packing around with him, right? I'll drive that truck of his [to the races] if he wants.

3. So what kind of a fisherman did Ragan turn out to be?

Montgomery: Actually, he was pretty good. The first couple of flips, you could tell he was a little rusty -- but you could also tell he's had a rod in his hand before. I think he's got a small pond at his shop that he fishes at some. He was actually a lot better with the rod than somebody.

4. So are either of you thinking about getting behind the wheel of a race car and giving that a try?

Desaro [laughing heartily]: I would love to do that. I understand there are some driving schools where you can buy a couple laps or whatever. I'll have to look into that -- because we've had [Dale Earnhardt] Junior's show car at a couple of our [boat] displays. Just being around them when they take them off the trailer and fire it up is pretty impressive.

Montgomery: Yeah, well, Bink is kind of built like them NASCAR guys. You know, aren't a lot of them kind of short? Bink is a little bit short -- sort of short and stocky. I don't know if I could get through the window or not.

5. Well, Andy, how tall are you?

Montgomery: I'm 6-foot-3. I don't have to worry about that in a boat. I can fit behind the console.

6. So let's get something started here. Who is the better fisherman between you two?

Montgomery: Aw, fishing is something where anybody can beat anybody on any given week, because there are so many variables. So to say who's better or whatnot, it's just too hard to do.

Desaro: There is the [Fishing] 101 stuff you kind of live by, but then there are so many other factors that come into play. You start out in the morning and it's sunny. Then it gets cloudy. If the conditions change, you have to change up what you're doing. Anybody, even your [11-year-old] son, could come out and catch more fish than one of us on a given day if the conditions were in his favor. You just have to try to play the conditions right and adjust on the fly if you have to -- a lot like some of these guys have to in some of these races that maybe start in the daylight and end at night or whatever. Whomever does that best -- and has some of the best luck -- on any given day can beat anybody else. There are a lot of variables. It's always changing and you have to adjust. That's no joke. I guess it's like racing some in that way.