Welcome to another installment of the member Spotlight Interview. This is the place where each month readers can come and learn a little something about our members, who they are, what they do, what they think about topics of interest, and the like.
From our most sponsored angler, to our sponsors, right on to our weekend anglers, Everyone has a story.
In this interview, we will learn a lot of interesting information about Joel Brunk (left_turn56). Joel is part of our editorial staff at UltimateBass.com and has contributed some outstanding articles about one of the loves of his life…his trusty SeaSprite.
Question: First, tell us a little about yourself. Where you work, live, your favorite sports, restaurant, movie etc…
Joel: My name is Joel Brunk, and I am a fishaholic! I am an Account Representative for a mortgage documents software firm, near Denver Colorado. I live in the same area, with my wife of almost 7 years, and 2 dogs. Favorite sports: spent a ton of money (and time) racing, and got hurt a lot playing hockey. I still follow both pretty passionately. Favorite restaurant, local: Las Fuentes, Best beef and carnitias burritos anywhere! Favorite restaurant: chain: Old Chicago Pizza. Favorite movies: Smokey and the Bandit, Blues Brothers, both Grumpy Old Men.
Question: Have you lived near Denver all your life or is somewhere else actually home?
Joel: We moved to Denver in 1998, from Phoenix, AZ. I grew up on the Monterey Bay of California.
Question: How long at your current job and what other jobs have you had?
Joel: I have been at Guardian Mortgage Documents for about a year and a half. Before that I was in the automotive and motorcycle industry as a mechanic, service writer and shop manager. It has been quite an adjustment to working in an office after being in a shop for so many years!
Question: What would be your dream job?
Joel: Well, the problem with “dream job” is the second word in there…let me explain. About 10 years ago I was offered my “dream job”, running a shop dedicated to building racing karts and engines. I was working for one of the nations premier 2-stroke guys. After about 6 months of 60 hour weeks and weekends at the track, I was pretty tired, and burning out. My ‘dream’ had become a ‘job’. I was so sick of it I declined an offer to race a car run by our shop! While I think that you must enjoy your career there must be another outlet for your energy, something to look forward to away from work.
Question: I noticed that you spent a lot of time (and money) on racing. What type racing? Was there ever the thought of professional racing?
Joel: I mostly drove dirt-track karts and a few mini-sprints, with an occasional road race thrown in during the off-season. There is an old adage in racing…Speed costs, how fast do you want to go. Karts are about the cheapest form of racing and offer an amazing bang for the buck. Where else can you go 75 MPH on a dirt track with your butt 2 inches off the ground for under $5,000! Unfortunately to be competitive you need to spend an incredible amount of time and money. As to the professional part, I had a pretty unique situation when I raced in Phoenix. I happened to have an instructor (at Motorcycle Mechanics Institute) who was looking for a guy to drive his kart, and I was looking to get back into the sport after a brief layoff. We got together at the track and I test drove for him. He liked what he saw and I liked the car. I drove for Gene for 2 seasons and we won a bunch of races. At a track with over 100 cars I was one of 4 guys that was a “hired” driver…all I paid was entry fees. It was really a blast and a great experience!
Question: I noticed that bass fishing wasn’t among your favorite sports. How is it that you got started fishing for bass and is it your primary type of fishing?
Joel: lol…sorry, I guess it was implied. I started fishing with my dad, but my first real fishing memory is fishing with my Uncle Bob at Lake Powell in the mid 70’s. We mostly caught catfish and bluegill. Now I fish for trout year around and bass (and other warm water fish) in the warmer months.
Question: So what is your favorite technique when bass fishing?
Joel: I love plastics and wonder if the rest of the fishing community is as confident in using them. I just caught the first bass I have gotten in many years. I was using a texas rigged bubblegum worm with Mega Strike…so I guess that is my favorite! Top water looks like fun too!
Question: So, plastics are your favorite to use. If you have one, what is your least favorite or what do you lack confidence in?
Joel: Ha-ha…I don’t really have a least favorite yet, not enough experience in them yet. I have not even tried Carolina Rigging yet, so I have a TON to learn.
Question: How long is the period (warm enough) to bass fish in your area?
Joel: From about April to Mid October…then we concentrate on trout!
Question: Do you plan on increasing your bass fishing? Do you see it taking more of your time than other hobbies in the future?
Joel: More time??? Are you trying to get me divorced??? Honestly, I would spend every weekend and most weekdays fishing if I was not married! My wife is pretty understanding of my illness and even participated occasionally.
Question: How did you find UltimateBass.com?
Joel: I used the force! Actually it was a Search Engine
Question: What have you gained from being a member of UltimateBass.com?
Joel: Good friends, amazing information, tons of laughs, a couple of tears, and more fun than is legal in 3 states!
Question: Do you plan on trying to make it to the Ultimate Bass Rally in 2006?
Joel: I sure hope to! With gas prices the way they are now I am not sure. If I go I will be bringing the SeaSprite!
And there is no way we could finish this interview without the MOST important question of all: How much “red wire” do you have laying around your house? Do you use anything for repairs but red wire?
Joel: I have a large spool with about 150 feet of red wire. This winter I am re-wiring the boat, so I will need to add some colors to the inventory!
I want to thank Joel for taking the time to answer these questions. It is so awesome to get the time to learn more about our members at Ultimate Bass.
Beware…you could be next.