by Kate Nation
When Mark Duncan, longtime member of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance and Electrical Workers Local 26 in Lanham, Maryland, learned he won the Ultimate Bass Sweepstakes presented by the USA and Carhartt, he didn’t have to think twice about who to take as his special guest to the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic.
His 15-year-old son, Patch, is crazy about fishing. According to Duncan, Patch joined Mystery Tackle Box to receive a box of new lures every month and, just before he got the exciting news from the USA, Patch came to him to show off the new fishing gear he would get to try this summer.
“I have watched the Bassmaster Classic on TV before, but I’m sure it will be a much different perspective seeing it live,” said Duncan, an avid fisherman himself. “My son is a jitter with all the experience and knowledge he is going to get.”
When Duncan and his son head to Tulsa, Oklahoma, March 4-6, they will get VIP treatment as they cheer alongside more than a hundred thousand fellow bass fishing fans as pro anglers weigh their catch in hopes of making history. In addition to airfare, lodging, ground transportation and passes to event activities, Duncan will receive $1,000 in spending money and a Carhartt U.S. made camouflage jacket. Since he had to retire his old Carhartt jacket after trying to dry it a little too close to the fire, he looks forward to putting the new one to good use.
IBEW Local 26 has been very active with the USA through the years, and Duncan became a USA member early on.
“I thought it was pretty cool – the fact that it’s union and sportsmen,” he said. “I’m totally into hunting and fishing, so it was right up my alley.”
In addition to attending the USA’s Capital Area conservation dinner, which is strongly supported by IBEW Local 26, Duncan receives the USA’s emails and has entered most of the member contests over the years.
“I was pretty amazed. I never win anything, so the last thing I thought I’d win is something like this – I mean maybe a door prize or something,” Duncan said. “I was pretty ecstatic.”
Check back for photos and Duncan’s inside scoop on the Bassmaster Classic in late March.