SAN DIEGO – When he isn’t climbing aboard bucking bovine athletes inside sold-out Built Ford Tough Series arenas, Marco Eguchi much rather be leaning back and casting a fishing line into a body of water somewhere near his Decatur, Texas, apartment.
The 25-year-old bull rider knows that he needs to escape the grueling grind that is the PBR season and in his opinion there is nothing more peaceful then relaxing with his fishing pole in hand.
“I am a fisherman,” Eguchi boasts with a big grin, before whipping out his iPhone and showing a galore of pictures from a recent trip in Chico, Texas, with Valdrion de Oliveira before the Built Ford Tough World Finals.
Eguchi is a master with his fishing rod. He often takes his gear to Robson Palermo or Adriano Moraes’ ranches in Tyler, Texas, when he is hanging out with his friends. Normally he will fish for bass, but he has also caught catfish and plenty of other sea creatures.
Palermo is used to having fellow riders Guilherme Marchi, Valdiron de Oliveira, Emilio Resende, Silvano Alves, Eguchi and others over at his ranch throughout the week before a BFTS event or during the offseason.
“Those guys like to come here because I have a place to hunt, fish and a bull to get on,” Palermo said.
Eguchi said, “Adriano’s ranch is a good place to fish. Palermo’s too. When I go to Brazil I fish a lot too.”
He learned to fish from his father, Marco, when he was a young boy and will still try to find time when he is visiting Brazil to go fishing outside of his hometown of Pao Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Not only does Eguchi fish, he actually skins and cooks what he catches.
“Yes sir. I skin it, cook it. Everything,” he said.
Palermo knows Eguchi is a great cook and jokes that it is about time his younger friend cooks him a nice fish dinner.
“Every time he catches fish he takes it to his house,” Palermo said with a laugh. “He hasn’t cooked it here, but he has to soon.”
Eguchi is expected to compete in Saturday night’s BlueDEF Velocity Tour event in San Diego. He has yet to take a weekend off since the 2014 BFTS concluded and went 0-for-2 at the L.J. Jenkins Invitational last weekend.
“We have a two-month break and it is too long of a break,” he said. “I need to keep riding. In Brazil, there are no rodeos right now by the PBR.”
Eguchi’s wife, Amanda, also enjoys fishing and many times it can become a day outing for the young, married couple.
In years past, Eguchi would be in a rush to go home to Brazil in the offseason because he would want to visit Amanda, who he married last year in Brazil right before the start of the 2014 season. Amanda has since moved to the United States and there isn’t an immediate rush to fly back to Brazil.
Eguchi, who’s English continues to improve, can now focus on gaining a few extra points toward the 2015 world standings, as well as win some additional money this month.
“We are married now and she is here,” Eguchi said. “I don’t care if I need to be here for one or two months more.”
He won the first of two BFTS events (Chicago and Albuquerque, N.M.) this season two weeks after getting married, going 4-for-4 to win the Chicago Invitational.
Eguchi had finished inside the Top 10 of the world standings in his first two full seasons on tour and was hoping in 2014 he could inch closer to his first world title.
However, this past season was much like that of a true fisherman. There were days he would get a bite –in Eguchi’s case an 8-second ride – and there were other events where he would catch nothing and return home empty-handed.
Eguchi went rideless in nine of the career-high 27 events he competed in to go along with a 36.11 riding percentage. That kind of inconsistency led to him finishing 15th in the world standings, as well as placing inside the Top 5 at three events and finishing in the Top 10 at six events.
“This year for me, I call crazy,” Eguchi explained. “I don’t ride good in some events and I would win and (then) I would do no good and then I would win. That is good, but I don’t understand.”
He continues to ride with a right elbow brace after Pound the Alarm stepped on him during the 15/15 Bucking Battle in Nampa, Idaho. Eguchi says every now and then his elbow will feel some tightness, but it is nothing serious. He also doesn’t think the brace played a role in his up-and-down season.
“Sometimes I feel the pain and sometimes I don’t,” Eguchi said. “Sometimes it affects my riding, but not really.”
The goal for 2015 is quite simple. Eguchi wants to reel in that prestigious first gold buckle and accompanying $1 million bonus.
“I hope I am first all year long,” Eguchi said. “So that is my plan, but that is everyone’s plan.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.
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