On Saturday mornings, well before light, there is an ever-increasing number of Arizonans making the journey to various lakes throughout the state. Their destination may be Bartlett, Pleasant, Alamo and the ever-popular Roosevelt desert impoundments.
Not only are these early risers going fishing, but they are in pursuit of bass in competitive team fishing tournaments sponsored by corporations, clubs, and private individuals.
One of the most popular and fastest growing circuits is the Arizona Bass Fishing series, more commonly called the ABF.
This seven-tournament series has just completed the 2006 schedule and one of the most prestigious awards is to be crowned ABF team Anglers of the Year.
This award is earned by consistent high finishes, with points awarded. Consequently, the two-member team with the most points earns the championship.
This year's award winners are the team of Brian Daniels and Gary Senft, who, with their families, are part-time residents of Tonto Basin and frequently fish Roosevelt Lake.
They have fished as a team for the past three years and have earned numerous team championships.
Prior to being awarded ABF Anglers of the Year, they most recently won the All-Star Championship in 2005 and won a fully-rigged bass boat.
When on the water, they think as a team and their fishing decisions are critical in catching big bass when the weigh-ins come at the end of the day.
If you are a weekend tournament bass fisherman, you know the team of Brian Daniels, a dentist, and Gary Senft, a mail carrier, for their successes on the water away from their real jobs. And on Saturdays they are trailering their bass boats well before light, making the journey onto the next lake to compete.
So if you hear the names ABF, All-Star or Best-Bet, you know they are talking about tournament bass fishing and how to catch that elusive big fish that will give them a paycheck or a tournament title in their quest for Anglers of the Year.
So, congratulations Brian Daniels and Gary Senft for earning the honor in a field of over 150 bass fishing teams. And don't forget, this weekend take someone fishing and enjoy God's creation.