Hello, Ultimate Bass family. My name is Jim Shunamon, but most of you know me by my screen name Smallie_Stalker. I joined the Ultimate Bass family on 31 December 2011, and from the very beginning, I felt right at home. I live in New England, and as my screen name suggests, I have a particular love for chasing bronzebacks. Fortunately for me, living in the Northeast offers plenty of opportunities to fish for smallmouth bass. Of course, I also enjoy fishing for largemouth bass, and at times anything willing bite.
I met my wife in November of 1991 and we married in May of 1993. We have one child, our son Joshua born in 1998. Joshua is my all-time favorite fishing buddy. At the time of this bio, Joshua just turned 18, and I am preparing myself for the day when my “little champ” goes off to college. Now I know how my dad must have felt.
Speaking of my dad, the values I have and the things I love are a direct result of my relationship with him. Besides a strong work ethic and love of my country, he instilled in me a great love and respect for all things outdoors from the time I was a toddler. I have tried to do the same with my son, and I only hope I did half as good a job as my dad did with me. I strongly believe a positive adult role model is important not only to the future of our children and our country but also to the future bass fishing.
Because of this belief, I became a fishing instructor with the Masswildlife Angler Education Program in 1998; eventually earning state certification as a Master Instructor. It was a very rewarding experience mentoring both children and adults and helping to ignite in them a passion for both fishing and conservation. Although I am no longer active in the program, I made many friendships and still occasionally fish with some of the other instructors. I am getting a little ahead of myself here, so let me back up some.
My love for fishing started when I was just a toddler. My father started taking me fishing as soon as I was out of diapers. I got my first fishing rod of my very own on my 6th birthday. It was an old hand-me-down steel rod with a direct drive baitcasting reel and dacron line. I also got a metal tackle box with some Daredevil spoons, bobbers and a pack of various sized hooks on pre-rigged leaders. I also got a purple rubber (yes actual rubber) worm with three weedless hooks, beads, and a propeller on the front of the harness. Man, was I excited. One would have thought my dad gave me a million dollars! For my 10th birthday, I received my very first brand new rod. Being a northern boy, it was of course a spinning rod. I had to learn a whole new skill set to cast with it. This rod came with 6 lb. monofilament which my father considered heavy line as he liked the challenge of fighting fish on light line and tackle. I also got my first bike this year, and every chance I had, I would ride my bike to the Charles River and fish until dark. It was these times when it I first hit me; fishing would always be a big part of my life.
I have always had a bit of a competitive nature starting with sports as a kid. As I poured through the pages of my dad’s outdoor magazines, I started reading about fishing tournaments and in particular a guy named Ray Scott who was starting an organization to promote fishing as a competitive sport. I was just a teen but the idea really appealed to me. I started having little competitions with anyone who was willing. Eventually I joined a fishing club a friend belonged to and had a blast.
I soon became a member of a club in the B.A.S.S. Federation. Throughout my years in the Federation, I wore many hats in the various clubs including Secretary and Conservation Director. However, most special to me was my position as Youth Director. I managed the “Casting Kids” competitions every year. I also qualified for the Federation State Fish-Offs several times, though I never actually got to fish them due to work and family obligations.
Throughout the years, I have had the pleasure of working for and with some great companies in the fishing industry. Currently, I am partnered with Pure Fishing and several of its related brands. I have also been a member of the Regional Pro-Staff for Livingston Lures for the past three years.
Along with fishing, I have had a long-running love of computers and trying to get them to do the things I wanted. Again I think this is part of the competitive side of me. I started teaching myself to program back in the days of DOS, when there was only a black screen with green letters. No fancy graphics, no mouse to click and believe it or not no internet!!!
I have recently enrolled in courses to study programming in several languages including Java and Python. I also study web design and development along with mobile app development. Putting my programming skills in VBA to use, I created several fishing-related databases in MS Access. Fishing equipment inventories, fishing logs, and a tournament records just to name a few. I also created a database to track expenses versus winnings, which in my personal case almost always seemed to come out with the expenses far exceeding the winnings. LOL!!!
I enjoy every interaction I have with my brothers and sisters at Ultimate Bass. Anytime you see me online say hello. And of course, if there is anything you need a hand with I am always glad to help.
Jim “Smallie_Stalker” Shunamon