Fans of Larry "The General" Nixon, know he's been swinging his fishing rods for 37 years as a pro basser. Like any top-end athlete, Nixon knows time starts to catch up with him. However, never fear, The General will be swinging on his bassy quarry and striking fear into the hearts of his competition for the foreseeable future. Even though nearly four decades of competition are under his belt, Nixon has no plans to retire.
"The years have definitely caught up with me," said Nixon. "I've been competing as a pro for 37 years. I feel every year of it! About 1 or 2 in the afternoon during a tournament I can feel the mental drain. Then about 4 or so I'm thinking about getting something to eat.
"I still love it. I plan on fishing as long as I am having fun and I have such good sponsors like Chevy, Stratos, Evinrude, Yamamoto Baits, Lucky "E" Strike, Seaguar line and Dobyns Rods supporting me, as long as they are still happy with how I represent them.
"You bet your butt I'm not like I was in the 80's or 90's where the other guys had to look out for me every week. But when I am on, they better still look out."
Nixon's regular season wasn't so hot; he finished 63rd in points, but he was fishing with very little pressure due to qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup through the FLW Opens in 2012.
"I didn't have a great season," said Nixon. "I had three bad tournaments and three pretty good tournaments. I was fishing with no pressure this year since I made the Cup through the Opens last year.
"That Forrest Wood Cup has been a thorn in my rear. I can see it, taste it and feel it. I've had it in my grasp three times, but something stupid happened to take it away.
"Still, I know I have it in me to win it eventually. Most people have no idea how tough a four-day tournament is on its own. Now turn it into a championship. After Day 3 you don't just go and prepare for the next day. You have to sit down, answer media questions. Switch into a different boat. That is hard on an old man. I'm brain dead after fishing and then you get all goofy with the added stuff."
Nixon feels the future of bass fishing is bright.
"Over the years we've seen a lot of developments in our fisheries," said Nixon. "Over the last 10 years or so fisheries are getting better and better. Like Grand Lake and Chickamauga. I attribute that to proper management and catch-and-release fishing. My only fear is potential overpopulation and the Largemouth Bass Virus. Mother Nature is really cruel when it comes to handling overpopulation.
"But even that isn't the end of fisheries. Look at Table Rock, Bull Shoals and Lake Fork. All of them have bounced back and are good again."
Story by: Dave Landahl, OutdoorsFIRST Media