Elite Pro Becomes A Dad During Tournament
Billy McCaghrenBASS Communications/Seigo Saito
Billy McCaghren didn?t make the Top 50 cut in the Carolina Clash on May 13, but cut him some slack. He had something else to do that Friday: get back home to Mayflower, Ark., for the birth of his first child.
McCaghren was on the water, 800 miles away from home, when he got a call from his wife, Norma, at about 11 a.m. on May 13, three days before the baby?s due date. (McCaghren had been cleared by tournament officials to take a call from the water.) Here?s how the conversation went, according to McCaghren:
?Are you catching them?? Norma asked. ?Do you have your limit yet??
?Yes,? McCaghren said. ?But Norma, you can?t be calling me just to ask if I?m catching them.?
?I?m not,? she said, ?but since you have your limit, you might want to come home. I?m in labor.?
He called tournament officials, who allowed him to come off the water early. He left his truck and boat in the hands of friends. Tilly Davis, wife of Elite Series pro Mark Davis, drove McCaghren to the Charlotte, N.C., airport. He caught a flight Friday night to Little Rock and arrived in time for the baby?s birth in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
McCaghren got credit for his Friday catch, thanks to his marshal, Brandon Bryant of South Carolina. Bryant held McCaghren?s Friday catch at the tanks until 2 p.m., when the scales officially opened for early weigh-ins.
Mother and baby boy, named Callen, are doing well, McCaghren reported. He is, too.
?I didn?t catch enough to make the money cut, but May 13 is the best day of my Elite Series career,? he said. ?Now I just sit and look at him; I am so thankful to have a child.?
McCaghren, 39, had not expected to have a child.
Callen already owns a life jacket, fishing pole and a baby blanket with fish on it, handmade by the mother of Elite Series pro Jami Fralick.