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Former Sooner, Cowboy anglers making B.A.S.S. Elite Series debut

Among the rookies for the tournament in Orange, Texas, on the Sabine River will be two Oklahomans – James Elam of Broken Arrow and Chip Porche of Bixby. Elam started the bass club at Oklahoma State, and Porche did the same at Oklahoma.
by Ed Godfrey Modified: March 9, 2013 at 10:38 pm •  Published: March 9, 2013
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/articleid/3764533/1/pictures/1977884">Photo - James Elam of Broken Arrow holds a largemouth bass and a smallmouth bass caught last fall on Tenkiller Lake. Elam and Chip Porche of Bixby will be rookies on the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament trail this year. Photo provided
James Elam of Broken Arrow holds a largemouth bass and a smallmouth bass caught last fall on Tenkiller Lake. Elam and Chip Porche of Bixby will be rookies on the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament trail this year. Photo provided

Porche was able to obtain a title sponsor, US Highland in Tulsa, to help defray his costs.

“He got a stellar deal for a rookie,” Elam said. “I have a few sponsors helping me out, but I don't have anybody floating it all.”

Elam, 26, works for his family's machine shop in Catoosa. He says fishing the Elite Series is a financial risk, but it's one he can't pass up.

“It's like starting your own business, really,” he said. “I knew how hard it would be and how much money it would take, but it's something I've always wanted to do. I didn't know if it would ever be possible.”

To help save money, Porche and Elam will be traveling buddies on the Elite Series. They will ride and room together during the season.

“James and I have known each other since we were kids,” Porche said. “We grew up fishing Fishin' Pals against each other.”

The anglers might share a meal and a room, but they won't share any fishing secrets.

Even though Elam and Porche are friends - they are competitors on the water - and rarely share fishing information with each other.

“We just don't talk a whole lot about fishing out of respect for each other,” Porche said. “Maybe what color (bass) are eating or something like that, but not where you're at or what you're focusing on.”

by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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