Up Front With Sara Parker Pauley

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From Missouri Conservationist: July 2020

Often when I read stories about huge record fish, my mind instantly wonders about the angler. What’s her story? What fuels his love of fishing? What did it feel like to finally realize a record fish was on your line?

I love masters of their craft, especially in the conservation world. Charlie Campbell was one. He reminded me of a dark-haired Jimmy Stewart, tall and lanky, a genteel spirit, a wizard at bass fishing and making friends. When he passed away a few months back, I was reflecting on the day he tookme fishing on Bull Shoals Lake to show me how to “walk the dog” and how that Zara Spook lure danced across the water’s surface. All I could do was watch in awe at this puppeteer and his dancing puppet.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us,” said Joseph Campbell, a well-known American professor of literature. And Charlie did just that. He said goodbye relatively early in a very successful career as a high school basketball coach to try his hand at a career few had heard of — a professional tournament fisherman. Decades, and a legendary life later, an inductee into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame and Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, he can be assured he made the right call.

Charlie reminds me to keep living my best story, to keep chasing those dreams. The big “fish” are out there for us all.

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This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Larry Archer

Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler