Bass Tracker 66 Unmasked

Who is Bass Tracker 66 and why is he so darn nice? If you are an inshore fisherman who scours the Internet for information and local fishing tips, chances are you have come across Bass Tracker 66 (BT66, for short).

Most serious fishermen, those who pride themselves on their angling skills above anything else, adhere to an unwritten rule:  If I tell you where, how and when I caught all these fish, I’ll have to kill you. I might give you some information, but it’s likely to be like my mom’s chocolate chip cookie recipe – something critical is “inadvertently” omitted so the final outcome is just not quite the same.

So what do you make of a guy who fishes about 150 days a year, logs onto the Internet and gives details of each trip, including number and species of fish caught, location, type of lures or bait used, time of day, and what he had for lunch? After several years of reading BT66’s posts on the Great Days Outdoors inshore fishing forum and two other local Internet fishing forums, I decided to find out for myself.

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A nice speck falls victim to BT66’s angling skill.
That’s OK, this one went back in the lagoon.

One of my buddies at the Eastern Shore Fly Fishers club, Robert Blosl, or Kayak Bob, as he’s known, is another frequent poster and a fishing companion of BT66. I asked Kayak Bob if he could weasel me in on a fishing trip with the duo. He came through, and we set a date to meet BT66 to explore the productive areas of Little Lagoon in Gulf Shores.

Robert Dobson adopted the handle Bass Tracker 66 about six years ago, when his younger son, a chief investigator for the Robertsdale Police Department, encouraged him to buy a computer and digital camera to start a log of his fishing trips. Initially Robert was skeptical about plunging into all this newfangled technology, but as he tells it now, his only regret is that he didn’t dive in earlier.

Robert and his wife Dorothy, or Mrs. BT, have lived in Foley more than 40 years. His fishing passion was ignited in a Mississippi childhood where he spent countless days fishing on a nearby creek for bluegill, bass and catfish. Robert spent six years in the U.S. Army as a communications specialist in the Army Security Agency. He served two tours in Vietnam and one in Germany, where he got his first taste of fly-fishing. After the service he embarked on a career in retailing. Robert and Dorothy settled in Foley in 1970, finding the perfect combination of great weather, friendly people, and importantly, outstanding year-round fishing.

We meet at the Little Lagoon ramp about an hour before sunrise. I introduce myself to Robert and thank him profusely for the opportunity to fish with him. He looks at me with kind eyes and an easy smile, like, “Why should you thank me? I’m just as happy to have somebody come along.” Kayak Bob has been fishing for an hour already and has landed two specks, a redfish and a flounder. He eases his boat up to the dock as Robert and I load up. Robert’s boat is perfectly equipped for inshore fishing. He has four or five rods rigged with different lures. He has depth- and fish-finders at the steering console and at the foot of his trolling motor controls.

As we pull away from the landing on Little Lagoon, Robert nods toward a commercial fishing guide who is about to launch his skiff. “Those guys don’t like me at all. They won’t even look at me, ” he says. “They think I’m giving away information that they should get paid for.” Robert holds fast to the highest form of fishing etiquette, never crowding other fishermen, and especially not intruding on commercial guides who rely on charters to make their living. For the most part, charter captains in the area, such as Bobby Abruscato, Dan Kolenich, Yano Serra and others, are extremely helpful and courteous. There are those, however, who are simply jealous of Robert’s success and less than thrilled with his postings.

We head west down Little Lagoon as the sun is creeping over the eastern horizon. For the Ides of March, the temperature is unusually mild, creating a ghost-like atmosphere over the slightly cooler water.

The mirror-like surface of the water reflects a fisherman’s dream of a
Little Lagoon sunrise.

There isn’t a ripple on the water, save the wakes created by our boats. Robert drops anchor in the middle of the lagoon. I’m expecting us to fish some sort of structure, but he is looking for deeper water and finds it. Robert starts working a deep-diving hard bait that tracks only inches off the bottom. In a matter of minutes, he hooks and lands a decent-sized Spanish mackerel. Spanish mackerel in March? Just another sign of this year’s unusually mild winter.

Throughout the morning we bring about a half dozen nice speckled trout to the boat, keeping only three. We explore several parts of the lagoon as Robert explains why each particular area is productive. The highlight of the day is Kayak Bob’s fight with a 10-pound redfish on light tackle. The fish takes him around the boat at least two times, but he brings the bright bronze beauty alongside and, after a few snapshots, releases it unharmed.

Robert Blosl, or Kayak Bob, does battle with a Little Lagoon redfish.

We then head back to the landing, and I offer Robert one of my over-stuffed pimento cheese sandwiches. He looks at it admiringly, and says “You made that yourself. No wife knows how to stuff a sandwich like that.” At least I contribute something of value to the outing.

After surviving a serious illness about 10 years ago, Robert is grateful for every opportunity to pursue his passion and introduce it to others. For this reason, and because he’s just so darn nice, Bass Tracker 66 does everything he can to pay it forward. He offers lectures, demonstrations and slide shows to youth groups all over Baldwin and Mobile counties. When you see him on the water, tip your hat and say thanks.

Oh, and don’t expect me to tell you where all the fishing hot spots are. For that information and even more, visit BT66’s website,

text and photos by Walter Kirkland

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