Crad Hendricks: Bassmaster

Bassmasters like to show their prize fish that they catch. Can be rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, perch, walleye, you name it

A fisherman’s tackle box needs to be both economical and versatile. Low-profile, but also high-volume. A harmony of jigs, lures, spoons, live bait, crankbait, powergrub, hooks, lines, and sinkers. But this isn’t a balance that’s arrived upon right away. It’s tuned, re-tuned, and then fine-tuned. Scrapping unnecessary elements along the way, and bringing a few back that ended up being integral. Akin to almost any masterpiece or other fine body of work, the balanced Plano tackle box reveals evident the summation of trials. A resolve tempered after hitting placid lakes and coming back empty handed, then going back with an evolved strategy. Getting a hook stuck in your thumb, losing your line underneath a rotting log, and losing a lunker after a boat-rocking fish-fight all become a part of trenching the waterway.  

The Splendid Species Of Bass

Ounce for ounce, the Largemouth Bass brings its A-game to battle. Writhing, wriggling, undulating with force when it meets resistance from an inhaled lure. Able to swallow bait of nearly any size, and conditioned to take the fight on the line into extra frames. This species is the main reason that Crad Hendricks wakes up in the morning. Something that has motivated him to become TV’s number one Sunday morning angler.

Another quality that has made Crad Crad, is what the Greats refer to as the “Separation Factor.” Some Bassmasters have it, most don’t. And Crad Hendricks has it. "It" is the quality that allows you to ascend to the stage. The quality that makes you appear not only consistent, but consistently great. Believe it or not, when there’s a camera attached to your outboard motor, things tend to change. The fish you catch are smaller. The line you use becomes brittle. And all seemingly because of the white hot lights of being telecast on an ESPN auxiliary network. None of this affects the Largemouth. He’ll always be there. He’s always going to bring it.

Iced Freshwater Runs Through His Veins

His blood is thicker than spoiled milk, and much much colder. His face is harder than any rare earth metal. If you wanted to rattle him, you’d have to unspeakably compromise your ethics. Nothing gets to Crad Hendricks. Not even the untimely death of his father. 

A few brief words about Crad Hendricks father, Saundra Hendricks.

Wait... that was his mother. His father’s name was.. oh, that’s right, Crad Hendricks! (How quickly you can forget that tidbit). So that means this story is actually about Crad Hendricks Jr., which is sometimes condensed to CHJ. But whatever, we’re in too deep, let’s just move on and keep calling him Crad Hendricks, and quickly pass along that his dad shockingly passed from a freak sport fishing accident involving a 725 lb. saltwater Marlin 20 years back.

Since then, Crad has been on a mission from God. Funneling his venom into freshwater lakes across the country. Avenging his father at every livewell weigh-in. 

If any of the above hasn’t shaken Crad, it’s doubtful anything ever will.

Crad Hendricks: From Lure Dangler To Pure Angler

As I’ve alluded to above, a majestic bass penetrating the Troposphere has never rattled Crad. Ever since he was a babe on the bank of the creek, seeing water life briefly soar into the air excited him. Immensely.

Since then he’s had his 10,000 hours, the experience of losing his Father in the field, and hours of film study. He’s angled from every angle. Learning from failure, progressing to success, and putting the past behind him.

Today, he’s even mastered the business side of being a Bassmaster.

A Bass dangling over the side of the boat to show the camera its size and fight?

That’s trademarked, and it’s known as the “Hanging Crad.”

Reeling in a 10 pounder all while flipping off his ball cap and exposing a trendy pop culture hairstyle?

That’s the “Crad Hamilton.”

Pulling a lunker in over the side of the boat while “Unforgettable” buffers through on his waterproofed iPod?

That’s the “Crad King Cole.”