WHEN BRIAN ROBISON IS NOT TRAINING or playing with the Minnesota Vikings, he can usually be found flipping a Texas-rig around a dock or working a crankbait over deep structure.
Robison is a bass fishing fan of the highest order.
Football was a natural for a boy who grew up in Splendora, Texas and went on to play at University of Texas en route to the NFL but there has always been another passion his life. —fishing.
“I grew up fishing in the pond behind my house and in the creek down my road. For my whole life, if I had a chance to fish, especially for bass, I did,” Robison said.
Robison purchased his first bass boat in 2012 and its debut was made on a windy, drizzly day on Lake Fork.
“As you can imagine the fishing wasn’t that great, but I was hooked,” he said.
And he wasn’t just hooked on catching fish but also the competitive possibilities of high-level bass fishing.
“Other players have gotten in the boat with me and thought it would just be a relaxing fishing trip, but that’s not really how it is with me,” he said containing laughter.
Robison likes to put his angling skills to the test so in the off-season he fishes local tournaments and for regional organizations like Bass Champs and the Texas Team Trail.
Every year his love for fishing and competition will come together for a good cause on Sam Rayburn reservoir.
Robison and his wife Jayme are founders of the “Reel ‘Em In” Foundation (501 c3) and they will host an auction and tournament to raise money for K9s4COPS-an organization that helps police departments purchase K9s.
“We saw a demonstration and were blown away,” he said. “Since my dad was a Houston cop for 29 years, it was a perfect fit for an organization to help out.”
These highly trained dogs can make a big difference in the fight against crime. They save law enforcement lives, but they are very expensive hence the need to help out.
“How we do this is the first evening will be our auction night where we have many pieces of memorabilia and other items up for live and silent auctions,” Robison said. “Our live auction includes an opportunity to bid to fish in our exclusive VIP tournament. We invite professional fishermen along with NFL football players and other notable celebrities to our event.
“We then pair them by boats and auction them off. Whoever wins that bid, gets to fish with those two the following day. We’ve had names like Kevin VanDam, Brandon Palaniuk, Gerald Swindle and Jordan Lee paired with guys like Adrian Peterson, Terence Newman, Linval Joseph and of course myself.
“The final day is our open tournament, and we have seen it grow every year.”
Despite the extreme sports competition and passionate fundraising Robison, he goes back to a childhood favorite when things get tough.
When asked if he could only fish with one lure the lifelong Texan said, “Something I can flip like a Texas Rig.”
This was the first rig he learned as a youngster and it’s still a go-to when things get tough on his favorite lakes such as Fayette County and Sam Rayburn.
Robison hopes others can tap into their love of fishing and support his and his wife’s foundation during their 2019 event.
“It’s all for a very good cause,” Robison said. “There’s no better way to celebrate that than bass fishing on Sam Rayburn.”
Having had the opportunity to spend time on the water with Robison, it is easy to see how his intensity translates to the water. “I’m definitely into fishing and approach it competitively,” he said.
Finding bass for the photo shoot for this story came on a morning when a major thunderstorm system was headed right toward us. After watching him fish the first spot I knew we would get our fish. You can tell pretty quickly when an angler knows what he is doing and whether he or she is committed.
There is no doubt Brian Robison is committed to bass fishing. It’s something he will likely be even more involved with as his NFL career winds down.
In parting, Robison said “The great thing about fishing it is something you can do your whole life. It’s certainly something I greatly enjoy doing.”
Chester Moore and Brian Robison discuss Brian’s passion for fishing and his Reel ‘Em In Foundation, which raises funds to support K-9 police units.
—story by CHESTER MOORE