The month was August. The year was 2013. My buddy Casey and I had fished that entire summer. I’d like to say I caught way more fish than Casey that particular summer, but that would have been a lie. Anyhow, from ’13 to probably ’15-’16ish, it was a pretty regular occurrence for us to load up my 2 man bass buggy and go hit a fishing hole and film/document the experience, edit/produce a video then upload it to my YouTube channel. We called our adventures or branded our “show” or videos as Bass Commander. I had started a Bass Commander instagram account and the premise was to have people email me photos of themselves with a nice fish they caught, then I would put the Bass Commander logo on it and upload it to Instagram. It actually grew pretty big and we received photos pretty much non-stop. I kept doing it until it became way too time consuming and I could no longer keep up with it. Alright – back on track with the story.

Casey and I on one particular August day in 2013, were just absolutely slaying some large mouth bass in our honey hole. I mean every time we casted, we couldn’t even get our flukes submerged before a large mouth was in full attack mode. Needless to say, everything was going great. We were capturing great footage for the 2nd episode of Bass Commander and I knew it was going to be a solid, action-packed episode… and then when Casey and I at one point both had fish on board that we were about to release, I came up with an idea that would ultimately cause Casey and me to end up in the drink.

“Hey dude, let’s turn the camera on and get footage of us both releasing our fish at the same time”. Those were my famous last words before my iPhone ended up at the bottom of a moss-infested southwest Oklahoma pond. When we both learned over to release our fish, the boat started tipping the same way we were leaning and next thing I know, the trolling motor, the battery, our tackle, our poles, my iPhone and of course, US, were IN the pond. It all happened so extremely fast. We always had at least 3 GoPro cameras on the boat on our fishing adventures. One was mounted on the trolling motor pointed back towards Casey and then in front of me in the front of the boat, we had fabricated a pole that attached to the boat and we would put a GoPro at the top of it pointed down at us. Well… that camera that was on top of the pole, I didn’t have in water proof housing so while it would have captured the absolute best footage of the boat flip, as soon as it hit the water, the file must have gotten corrupted… so no footage from that camera. We did get a clip of it from the camera mounted on the trolling motor and of course that footage made Episode 2 of Bass Commander which we titled “Boatmageddon”.

Casey had his iPhone in a waterproof case in his pocket, so his phone was fine. The thing that still amazes me the most is that SOMEHOW Casey was able to hook the battery with his foot and pull it up and we got it into the boat after we tipped the boat back over. It is a remarkable feat to me, that he did that because we could NOT touch. I would say it was probably about 7-8 feet deep at the location where “Boatmageddon” wen’t down. We recovered everything but my iPhone. My phone happened to be in a waterproof case as well and the battery was still pretty full. We had this idea that if we get snorkeling gear and go back that evening when it was sunset-ish time, we may be able to call it from Casey’s phone and either hear it under water or see it light up IF it landed on it’s back where the screen was facing up. But the moss was so incredibly thick that we never did have any luck finding it.

Even though it wasn’t exactly “fun” going through that, it makes for a helluva story and we laugh about it all the time. Mainly I learned that two grown men have no business releasing a fish on the same side of a 2-man bass buggy at the same time.

Below, you will find a link to Episode 2 “Boatmageddon” of Bass Commander that tells the story and shows footage of that day. We are so dedicated that we actually ended up going BACK out there a couple days later to have my dad film us from shore and reenact the part immediately after the boat had flipped. That part of the episode is “staged” you could say, but there’s no doubt the boat flip wasn’t. The only footage we had of the actual boat flip, again, was from the camera mounted on the trolling motor so I felt like we needed some more footage to kind of show what it looked like after the boat flip – hence the reenactment with Wally Young’s stellar video work from shore.

Also if you will click right here, you will find a podcast that Casey and I recorded in 2018 where we reflected that trip through discussion. Scroll down until you see “Episode 2 – BBQ & Fishing (with Casey Castillo)” and scrub to the 20:35 mark and you can listen to Casey and myself talk about Bass Commander and the famous boat flipping incident.

That’s a moment I will never forget, and I’m glad it is pretty well documented via video, podcast and this blog.