A Team Effort…the AC Insider Story

By Danny Blandford ~ AC Insider

Over the past year or two, fans of fishing have seen lots of changes, with certainly more to come.  From the brands that support the industry, to the leagues and formats, to the anglers themselves, we’re seeing big shifts in the fishing biz.  Our readers and followers may have noticed a few changes in style and feel around Anglerschannel.com and our social properties as well.  Today we wanted to give some credit where credit is due.


Our “world” of bass fishing here at Anglers Channel encompasses everything from the highest level professional events, to grass roots events that feed our industry with aspiring tournament anglers.  That landscape is broad: multiple events, multiple leagues, and a variety of platforms to reach the consumer all make it a bit complex for a two-man band, like me and Vance McCullough.  We knew we needed a full team of passionate folks to aggregate meaningful and timely content in the same way we’ve succeeded in aggregating news over the years.


The rapidly-evolving social landscape required a young perspective who knew it well and a vested interest in staying ahead of the curve…fortunately I already “knew a guy” who was doing some impressive things in the space. Bringing in a personal friend and colleague, Jeffery Johnson, made a noticeable impact starting on Day 1.  We won’t bore you with his impressive social gains for the brand, but we know several thousand folks are being introduced to Anglers Channel on a daily basis…which I guess deserves a Fist Bump Emoji…or something like that.

Jeffery Johnson ~ Social Coordinator and Bass Fishing Fanatic


As the platform grew, we needed more relevant content from events.  Our AC Insider, Vance McCullough, also “knew a guy” who was doing some impressive things in that space too.  He actually didn’t need any introduction to me, I was already a fan myself.  I’d been following Ricky Bodsford’s work since the BassEast days, and I frequently checked in on his Bass365 platform regardless of what job title I had over the past twenty years.

Ricky Bodsford ~ The Man Behind The Camera

Bass365 is a fitting title for his group because that’s exactly what they are, Bass Fishing 365 days a year.  Bodsford will never boast on his own work, but I will!  He’s been at more take offs, weigh-ins, and industry functions than most of us can imagine as an “embedded” reporter, and he has both passion AND talent.  Enough talent to feed his own growing client list and platform, as well as coordinating with our team to make sure we’re getting the onsite event content we need for our audience and partners.  Our collaboration is already produced eye-popping results, and its only April.  We’re all looking forward to watching this transformative season unfold and delivering all things bass fishing as they unfold.

In addition to media, I also wanted an AC Insider who was a true participant in the sport…someone dealing with entry fees, travel schedules, sponsors, and everything that goes into life as a “touring pro”, and I wanted someone with fresh eyes, and preferably not yet jaded by the toll that the lifestyle can take on a person.  A chance meeting at Green Pond Landing on Lake Hartwell during the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship sparked something for me.

Red Hot Rookie Drew Gill ~ Photo Credit: Major League Fishing

I had the opportunity to meet Drew Gill during a battery swap, and let’s just say my Spidey Senses told me there was something there.  We scheduled an episode of the AC Insider podcast, and within a day of posting it, I picked up the phone and partnered with Drew.  Luckily, I got it done prior to his first cast on the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour; before the invitation for that matter.  Drew has blasted out of the gate, and if you don’t know of him yet, you will!

I recently had another stroke of good fortune, when our AC Travel Insiders at Half Past First Cast passed along what seemed like a simple enough email.  It was from Pete Robbins and went something like, “I was introduced to Brady Harp through a mutual friend of ours, Dave Mansue.  I thought he might be a good fit for Anglers Channel.”  A recommendation from Pete and Dave, and a quick web search was all it took and I said, “Yep, I’d love to meet him and talk!”  A quick chat, and once again my Sidey Senses went into overdrive.


Brady Harp ~ The AC “Young Gun” Correspondent

Brady’s pedigree and story is an awesome one that I’m excited to share.  Brady’s passion for fishing started with drowning red worms with his dad in the neighborhood pond and catching bluegill.  Somewhere along the way he picked up a plastic worm and caught his first bass, and at that point he was hooked.  He was a quarterback for his middle school football team, yet he always found himself longing for practice to hurry up and get over so he could head to the pond for the rest of the afternoon.  Seeing his passion and thirst for knowledge, which his parents couldn’t seem to quench, they signed him up for Kurt Dove’s Pro Bass Youth Camp in the 6th grade!  Brady loved it so much, he went every year from the 6th through 12th grade, AND came back as an instructor once he aged out of the program.

According to Brady, “I genuinely attribute so much of my love of bass fishing to Kurt, Dave Mansue, and even Denny Brauer.  Having mentors like these men in the Pro Bass Youth Camp actually changed my life, and I can’t thank them enough.”


Brady put down the football and spent as much time as he could fishing, ultimately finding himself on the Spain Park High School Fishing Team, setting his sights on college fishing with Auburn University after graduation.  He hit the ground running at Auburn, volunteering for roles in the club as Secretary, followed by Chaplain, and ultimately finishing his college career as President of the Auburn University Bass Fishing Team

Ironically, Brady doesn’t want to be a touring pro, he just wants to stay connected to the industry and the sport that has helped shape him.  He has grown up with some of the hottest young anglers in the space.  They all started their journey together as teammates, classmates, and most importantly, friends.

In our interview, I likened him to Clark Kent…he’s an accountant during business hours, but he’s a bass fishing fanatic as soon as he’s covered his “day job”.

He added, “I chose a job that I could do effectively as a remote worker and part of that was so that I could travel and fish…not day in and day out like a pro, but the flexibility was VERY important to me.  I love fishing the Alabama Bass Trail with my dad, and as a matter of the fact I’m on my way to the lake to get in a little practice for an upcoming event.”

Harp went on to add, “At the end of the day, I want to be involved in this industry on the media side, whether it be writing, videography, or some combination of both…I want to help keep telling the kind of stories that have meant so much to me.”

Brady will start applying some of his passion as an AC Insider by bringing us special interest pieces on those young men and women, the “Young Guns” who will be taking the reins from some of us “old dogs” and we’re thinking he can even teach us a few tricks along the way.

On a recent AC Insider Podcast, co-host Vance McCullough casually dropped some knowledge that resonated with me.  We were talking about the future of our sport and V added this, “The only way to live eternally is to pour what we’ve learned into the younger generation in hopes that it matters enough for them to do the same for someone else later in their life …”

Vance McCullough ~ The OG Insider, writer, podcast host, AND more

On the topic of the podcast, we’ll be pulling the AC Insider “Crew” together for a special AC Insider Podcast and we hope you’ll join us for the “Meet and Greet”.  It’ll take a bit to coordinate it all.

Drew’s been busy with the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour AND the Tacklewarehouse Invitationals.  Ricky and his crew have been tied up making magic with both Major League Fishing AND the Bassmaster Elite Series, sometimes both at the same time.

In the meantime, Vance and I will make sure it all keeps humming along!  We hope you’ll tune in to hear the sum of all our parts; between the “young guns” and the “old dogs”, we make a pretty good team!

The rest of 2024 will be an exciting year both on and off the water and our team of AC Insiders will be bringing it to you as it happens.  Our combination of news, event coverage, and special interest pieces will make sure Anglers Channel is your Number One resource for tournament bass fishing!

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