UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Ohio River

Nabe to Use Marshal Winnings for Leg Surgery

Nabe to Use Marshal Winnings for Leg Surgery
Todd Castledine

When you live a bass-fishing vagabond lifestyle, sleep in a van and have no bank account, every dollar counts out there on the tournament trail. That’s why Hiroyuki Watanabe – better known as Nabe – was very pleased to earn the $2,500 winner’s check for being the top-finishing marshal at the Grand Lake FLW Tour event last week.

The Japanese angler was paired with Bradford Beavers and Buddy Gross in two days as a marshal, and both anglers put up quality numbers to help Nabe get the top prize.

For Nabe, the marshal experience is really all about learning the skills needed to make it as a professional bass angler. He’s a longtime co-angler who’s fished with FLW and B.A.S.S. as far back as the late 1990s (he finished 10th in the FLW Tour COY standings in 2018). After taking time off from fishing from 2000 to 2012 to work and save money for his run at a pro career, Nabe quit his job and returned to the States, where he now spends six months per year fishing tournaments, marshaling and running camera boats.

In between events, he lives a very low-maintenance lifestyle that’s filled with fishing and good times with the pros he’s come to know. He says guys like David Dudley, Bryan Thrift and John Cox have really helped him out over the years with everything from cashing checks to offering fishing advice to helping him with accommodations. Though, he has a pretty good system worked out for the latter.

Nabe sleeps most nights in his van in Walmart parking lots, unless he needs to charge his boat batteries, in which case he finds campgrounds near the tournament lakes.

“I’ve got the van. Inside it’s like a camping car,” Nabe says. “I don’t stay at a hotel. I have no address, no social security number, no bank account. I have nothing.”

Nabe plans to marshal at most of the FLW Tour events this season. He’ll miss Lake Champlain because he has to fly home to Japan to have follow-up surgery on the leg he broke when he slipped in the boat last March while ferrying a cameraman around at the Bassmaster Classic.

“I fished the whole rest of the season, from March to July, and my leg was broken, but still I kept fishing,” he says. “A lot of people told me, ‘Nabe, you need to go to the hospital.’”

Without health insurance in the U.S., Nabe put off treatment until he returned to Japan. He had to undergo surgery and spent six weeks in the hospital and several months recovering at his parents’ house.

“Bill Taylor [FLW Tour director] asked me what I was going to do with the money. I have another surgery coming up in the beginning of June. I’m probably going to use the money for surgery,” Nabe adds.

Regulations limit how long Nabe can stay in the U.S. on each visit, so in between, he works seasonal jobs at hotels and resorts back home, usually returning to fish in January and then flying back home again in July. If and when Nabe can earn a big co-angler win and secure some sponsor support, he hopes to move up to the front of the boat at the top level.

Whether or not he makes it, for Nabe, the experience of living the lifestyle of touring pro is already a dream fulfilled.

“I’m calling this trip in the bucket list,” he says. “I’m ready to die any time.”

 

Marshal prizewinners

1. Hiroyuki Watanabe – Shizuoka, Japan – $2,500.00

2. Jason Moyer – Wichita, Kan. – $1,000.00

3. Kobe Payton – Pauls Valley, Okla. – $750.00

4. Kenneth Taylor – Skiatook, Okla. – $500.00

5. Russell Gradert – Sandwich, Ill. – $250.00

6. Steve Tennison – Lexington, Okla. – $100.00

7. Benjie Seaborn – Guin, Ala. – $100.00

8. Mike Kendrick – Coffeyville, Kan. – $100.00

9. Steve Duncan – Amarillo Texas – $100.00

10. Carl Talley – Neosho, Mo. – $100.00

 

Want to be a marshal?

Thank you to all who participated at Grand Lake. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a marshal, please call 270.252.1000, or visit flwfishing.com/marshals. Openings are available for the upcoming events at Cherokee Lake and Lake Chickamauga.

Tags: flw-marshal  -nabe  -grand-lake  curtis-niedermier  article  2019-03-28-grand-lake 

Erie Midday Update – Day 1

Erie Midday Update – Day 1

From a weather standpoint, day one of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie has been almost too perfect. Slick and hot from the start, anglers have been able to go wherever they want and fish however they want. READ MORE »

FLW Classics – Week 5

FLW Classics – Week 5

Even though tournament action is back in full swing, we decided to keep dipping into the archives for some tournament highlights from yesteryear. Below is a batch of classic FLW TV shows from 2008 to 2010, with more on the way.  READ MORE »

Virtual FLW Tournament to Benefit Keep America Fishing

Virtual FLW Tournament to Benefit Keep America Fishing

As part of the American Sportfishing Association’s first-ever ICAST Online fishing tackle tradeshow later this month, FLW is partnering with Keep America Fishing to host a special virtual ICAST Cup fishing tournament.  READ MORE »

A Dream Come True

A Dream Come True

On June 27, 16-year-old Noah Crogan’s big wish came to fruition at the Apple Island Marina on Lake Champlain when he became the owner of a brand-new Tracker aluminum bass boat. Thanks to Make-A-Wish Vermont, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and local anglers – including Phoenix Bass Fishing League and Toyota Series angler Cole Harris – Crogan was surprised at the marina with the boat, along with plenty of rods and tackle to get him on the water. READ MORE »

BFL Winning Patterns – June 27-28

BFL Winning Patterns – June 27-28

Wrapping up competition for the month of June, the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine saw four divisions compete this past weekend, which included a pair of double-headers. Due to the heat and a desire for the best fish care possible, one of the tournaments took place with a three-bass limit instead of the usual five-bass limit. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Chickamauga

AOY Update: Lake Chickamauga

Though Jacob Wheeler won the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga in grand style, his win didn’t impact the Angler of the Year standings. Only the original Pro Circuit anglers were competing for AOY points. That means the AOY focus is still on Ron Nelson, who slipped off his blazing pace a bit, but still holds the lead heading into the final two regular-season events in July and August on the Mississippi River and the Detroit River, respectively. READ MORE »

"FLW Fishing" Premieres Friday

"FLW Fishing" Premieres Friday

FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today the 2020 season of “FLW Fishing” will debut on the Outdoor Channel, Friday, July 3 (7 to 9 p.m. EDT). READ MORE »

Wrapping Practice with Jon Canada

Wrapping Practice with Jon Canada

Second-year Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Jon Canada enters the first of three Super Tournaments down the stretch run of the season ranked third in Angler of the Year points. After a 10th-place finish at Sam Rayburn to start the season, he tacked on a 20th at the Harris Chain and 21st at Martin, and he’s looking to keep that consistency rolling on Chickamauga this week. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Chickamauga

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Chickamauga

On the schedule this week is 24 hours of streaming on-the-water tournament action with hosts Travis Moran, Todd Hollowell and Marty Stone, who joins the crew for the first time ever. Daily weigh-ins will also stream live from Dayton, Tenn. READ MORE »

Birge Back on Track After Boat Fire

Birge Back on Track After Boat Fire

Major League Fishing pro Zack Birge is back on the water for day two of practice for the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga after scrambling overnight to deal with a boat fire. READ MORE »

Roaming Chick with Cole Floyd

Roaming Chick with Cole Floyd

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit rookie Cole Floyd is a rookie by definition only. Despite living in Ohio until joining the Bethel University fishing team, it hasn’t taken long for the young phenom to make his mark on the Tennessee River, from Kentucky Lake to Guntersville, Pickwick to Chickamauga. Floyd was gracious enough to allow me to ride along with him for the first day of practice on Chickamauga for a firsthand look at how he’s preparing to get the job done. READ MORE »

Several Patterns in Play at Ouachita BFL

Several Patterns in Play at Ouachita BFL

FLW has a long history of hosting multiple-day summertime tournaments on Lake Ouachita, where pros have to grind it out for three days in what are usually tough conditions. On June 27, when the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Arkie Division takes to Ouachita, the Natural State’s best bass anglers will need to game plan a little differently. With only one day to fish and a three-bass limit, they’ll have to swing for the fences with big-bass patterns to have a shot at winning. READ MORE »

HS Championship Will be a Frog-Fest

HS Championship Will be a Frog-Fest

If you wanted to design the perfect frog-fishing tournament, you might host it at Guntersville or the Cal Delta, but you could also copy the agenda for the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis. READ MORE »

Inside Bass Fishing Magazine’s June-July Issue

Inside Bass Fishing Magazine’s June-July Issue

With fishing tournaments back in full swing and the summer bite starting to heat up, now’s a good time to pick up a copy of Bass Fishing magazine for tips, tricks, gear reviews and all the bass fishing content our readers have come to expect from within its pages. READ MORE »

BFL Winning Patterns – June 13-14

BFL Winning Patterns – June 13-14

The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine season is in full swing again with six more divisions holding competition the weekend of June 13, including three double-headers. READ MORE »

48-Pound Limit Weighed at FLW Zimbabwe Event

48-Pound Limit Weighed at FLW Zimbabwe Event

From the moment registration opened for the second year of FLW Zimbabwe competition, it was obvious that FLW was here to stay. With Zimbabweans Roger Cousens and Denis Todd winning the International Division titles at the Toyota Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in November 2019, and Roger having been awarded a pro berth to compete on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit in the USA in 2021, every aspiring angler was out to be the next in line. READ MORE »

John Cox’s Greatest Hits

John Cox’s Greatest Hits

FLW is looking forward to getting back on the water for the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit in a few weeks. In the meantime, we’re offering a little retrospective on some of the all-time greats who’ve fished with FLW through the years. READ MORE »

FLW Cancels High School Minicamps

FLW Cancels High School Minicamps

FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today the cancellation of the three High School Fishing minicamps that were to be held in conjunction with three 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit events. READ MORE »

Video: Niggemeyer's Carolina Rig Setup 

Video: Niggemeyer's Carolina Rig Setup 

James Niggemeyer recently shared a good video on the basics of Carolina rig fishing. From how he rigs one to what baits he likes, the Texas pro covered all the essentials.  READ MORE »

BFL Winning Patterns – June 6-7

BFL Winning Patterns – June 6-7

The weekend of June 6 featured six different Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine events spread across four different divisions. With a pair of double-headers mixed in, it was an action-packed weekend on the water. READ MORE »