Bob Bramblet and his friends made their suffering public when they launched Bass on the Road, the group's first extended length video with filmmaker Rob DeVore of Yaktastic Adventures. They'd set out with visions of logging a bunch of new bass species. A string of heavy rainstorms, stained water, and a whole lot of hard miles challenged the group, but one thing's sure. Nothing was a bigger drag on their spirits than the sad lack of fish caused by those evil conditions.
Let's dispense with the suspense right away. Bass on the Road 2, Bramblet's do-over (my term, not his), has a happier ending. You can see that right from the start (well, 90 seconds in), when Stewart Venable triumphantly hoists a respectable Everglades snook toward the sky. Several other exotics and "bucket list fish" make an appearance too. And a skunk ape, but you'll have to watch the movie for that.
"We were catching fish from day one. Everyone got a big fish. There were so many I don't think they all made it into the film," Bramblet says.
"Absolutely, the fishing was a lot better this time. One thing you can never forget when you're trying to make a movie is you can never predict fish or weather," says DeVore.
If the guys on camera look a lot less desperate, with no sign of the thousand-yard stares of the first movie, there's another reason.
"Last time we never had a chance to rest, we were tired the whole time. Every moment of the day we were completely exhausted," Bramblet says.
"That was a big learning experience for Bob. He thought you just took cameras out and made a fishing movie. People don't realize the amount of work that goes into a simple interview shot. You need time to light it, to make it look professional," DeVore says.
DeVore and Bramblet know their videos aren't up to the stratospheric standards of the slickest fishing productions. As long as each one is better than the last they're happy.
"We're self-taught dudes. There's a lot of trial and error," DeVore acknowledges. His goal is simple. He wants to inspire people to get outdoors.
"It's just to make people go 'Man, I really want to get out in my kayak.' You can find amazing places right in your own back yard," he says.
"There are all kinds of cool stories, adventures everywhere you look," Bramblet adds.
Their time in the Everglades touched the pair deeply. "We can go down here now but who knows about next year or the year after. I've seen changes in water quality, areas are drying up, other areas are too wet," Bramblet says. That's the next project, to focus a spotlight on the problem.
"There are ways to fix it. The Everglades restoration projects are taking too long," Bramblet finishes.