Shaw Grigsby loves reading his bible, and he loves flinging arrows from his compound bow at nuisance wild pigs. He loves spending time with his young grandson, and he loves looking for spawning bass. As simple as it may sound – he loves life. This week he loved a lot en route to winning the $100,000 Bassmaster Elite Series event at Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes.
It was no surprise that Grigsby stood on the stage while weighing in another fat limit of largemouths and told an audience of a few thousands fans to "trust in the Lord with whatever you do." Advice uttered through Shaw’s calm smile under a full-grown mustache, with "Romans 8:28" scripted across the back of his tournament jersey.
This week he again trusted his faith and followed his strengths. He did what he does best -- look for fat bass on shallow water spawning beds in the springtime, and catch them with a level of proficiency that few in the world have ever rivaled. Grigsby used a Quantum Smoke baitcasting reel loaded with 25-pound test line, and a Quantum size 30 Tour Edition spinning reel spooled with 8-pound Stren. His top two lures were a Strike King Okeechobee colored Rodent and a pearl white Rage Craw. Both reels were mounted on easy to identify royal blue Quantum Tour Grigsby rods.
And the cool thing is – as Shaw marched toward victory -- unlike the wild pigs that tear up his Gainesville, Florida lawn – nobody was rooting against him.
Grigsby's long-time fellow competitor and roommate on the road, Gary Klein said, "Shaw’s a great human being. He loves the outdoors. He has tremendous respect for Mother Nature. He’s a very positive person – and that’s by choice. I figure it takes equal energy to be negative as positive. I'd rather exert my energy toward being positive, and Shaw is the same way – that's why we're close friends. And knowing Shaw like I do, I'd have to say he's the best sight fisherman there's ever been."
Grigsby's style earns the respect of not just fellow pros, but his long-time sponsors too. Guys like Bob Bagby at Quantum, who said, "I've had the pleasure of working with Shaw for more than 20 years. We've both been with Quantum a long time. I can honestly say you won't find a guy in the fishing industry that is a nicer human being and has a more upbeat attitude than Shaw. But, don't let his happy-go-lucky attitude fool you. The dude is an intense competitor, and as cool under pressure as you can get. This event just showed the young guns that you never want to count out the old veterans. Congratulations buddy, you earned it, and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy."
Well-liked, down-home and talented B.A.S.S. photographer James Overstreet echoed Klein and Bagby's thoughts. "Oh man, Shaw's one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. He loves life. He just makes you feel good. It's hard to beat being around positive people like Shaw," said Overstreet.
B.A.S.S. weigh-in host Dave Mercer added, "The most amazing thing about Shaw is how giving he is. He was standing on the dock minutes before morning blast-off, all the pressure on him to win, yet he's signing autographs and posing for photos with every fan that asked for one."
Perhaps it was Shaw himself, as he held the first place trophy during an interview, who best explained his approach to life. "There have been a lot of people in my life that served as bright spots, I try to live each day in an effort to be a bright spot to others," said Shaw.
A good guy finished first. A bright spot indeed.