Brent Chapman’s Pro vs. Joe Last-Second Drone Save

LAKE APACHE, Ariz. — The video first surfaced on Brent Chapman’s Facebook page. At first, you see a view of picturesque Lake Apache. Then, you notice the camera slowly falling towards the water. Then you realize, the camera is on a drone, and that drone is about to crash.

Suddenly—out of nowhere—the wake of a screaming bass boat appears and the drone finds the front deck of the boat just in time for an epic save worth thousands of dollars.

Here’s how it all went down. “The drone belongs to our production crew at AC Productions,” said producer Tom Leogrande. “We were filming an episode of the new show, “Brent Chapman’s Pro vs. Joe,” where Bassmaster Elite Series pro and 2012 Bassmaster Angler of the Year Brent Chapman takes on a weekend angler (non-pro … or “Joe”).”

Chapman was taking on Phoenix-native Tracy Alcina. Lake Apache just happens to be Alcina’s home water.

“Anthony Crivelli of AC Productions was flying the drone for about 10 minutes, capturing aerial footage. The DJI Phantom II drone battery began to die. The controller no longer had control and the Phantom lost GPS location.”

Brent’s wife, Bobbi, was with Leogrande when the drone went out of control. “Typically, those cameras will come back to you when the battery dies, but we were in these really steep canyons with no phone service, no cell service, no GPS service,” she explained.

According to Leogrande, the drone was about 600 feet high before it began slowly descending for a safe landing. “The only problem is, it was over the water, so a safe landing wasn’t going to happen. We realized about halfway down that the drone was not going to return, as we expected, via GPS.”

That’s when things got dicey.

At that point, the pair ran to the boat, started it and raced towards the drone—about a quarter mile. “As the drone dropped to the water,” said Leogrande, “We dropped the boat off plane and slid under the drone just as it crashed onto the deck.”


“We had to race out there and it just hit the deck of the boat right as we got there,” said Bobbi Chapman. “We were coming down off plane right underneath it. It was insane. Tom just reached up and grabbed it against the windshield.”

The duo says Alcina and Brent Chapman were across the lake fishing when the drone went down. It’s the second episode of “Pro vs. Joe” that Chapman has filmed. “We did Caddo Lake in Louisiana before Apache,” he said. “It’s one extreme to the next.”

Brent says the fishing that day was tough, but not as tough as the road to Apache itself—12 miles of mountainous, gravel road on the old Apache Trail. “I told Tracy this is not a place that’s made for bass boats to get to,” he said. “There were cars from the 1950s along the road that went off a cliff. We could have filmed a show just getting there.”

The show is currently in production and still searching for more “Joes.

Chapman said he isn’t sure whether the series will ultimately air on television or online. “We’re always looking for ways to give our sponsors more bang for their buck and educate our fans on fishing,” he said. “We’re kind of winging it and learning as we go.”