Are you done for the year?
I’m done fishin tournaments, (laughing). I’m looking forward to being home for a while. I was only home for about three weeks this year.
What is it about 2014 that you’re the most excited about?
Is that because you’ve done well there before, or just because it’s The Classic?
Well I’ve only actually fished Guntersville once for a total of three days. But I love The Classic. And I’m really looking forward to having a fresh start in 2014. This year was full of so many huge ups and downs for me. The Classic is a new beginning, and a chance for me to start making a run at Angler Of The Year.
You just missed winning the Classic, you had a tough break in Wisconsin where you were on pace to just absolutely destroy the competition, then you win big at The St. Lawrence River in NY; do you feel like you finished well and have good momentum going into next year?
Well the thing about Angler Of The Year is that you can’t just finish strong. You have to be at it from the very beginning and I think that if I learned anything from this year, it’s that when I have tournaments where I don’t have a great pattern of fish locked down, I need to scrape together something decent enough so that I still finish decent. I can’t always swing for the fences.
Did you know you had a shot to win in NY?
Hmmm. I mean, I had good fish, I knew that. And I’m glad I made the decision to start my first day of practice out on the lake (Lake Ontario) because if I had started in the river, I might not have made the decision to run to the Lake. The thing is, you never know what other guys have or what they’re catching. So I thought I could bring in like 23 pounds a day on the lake. But if I had started in the river and found 19 or 20 pounds a day there I might not have made the run to the lake.
Was it a tough decision to make the commitment to that long run?
Not really because I knew I had a potential winning bag waiting there for me, but I paid for it physically.
Dude I was so beat up from that. It’s a real long ride.
When we fished together in Virginia you said your favorite way to fish was throwin a swimbait because it’s so innocent (the bait itself), and the bite is so violent.
Yeah absolutely. But also I’ve just seen so many big fish just smash big swimbaits.
Tell me about your contest with BASS.
That was something we started talking about a couple months ago. They (BASS) came and asked if I’d like to be part of the “Win a Trip with______” contest and I said yes. They had wanted 4 anglers and I’m the fourth. I’m not sure yet where it’ll be or when, but I’m looking forward to it and hopefully we’ll get to go someplace where we can catch a lot of fish.
Are you more comfortable in deep water, or was it just coincidence that your better finishes this year were smallmouth tournaments?
I actually grew up in Idaho and we fished shallow all the time and I was really one of the first people I knew at the time to break away from that and try to figure the smallmouth out a little bit. So it’s not that I’m more comfortable out deep, but I like it and I think it’s something that I’m good at.
Is it good to be done for the year?
Yeah man, I figured it out and I was actually only home for about three weeks. I’m ready to get off the road for a while.
Speaking of that…
1. What do you do when you’re not on the road?
Hunt. Fish. I actually don’t get to hunt as much as I’d like to. I miss it.
2. Do you have any pre-tournament rituals or superstitions?
3. Where are you both the most and least excited to go in 2014?
I’m most excited about fishing The Classic because I know what that place can do, and I’d have to say I’m least excited about St. Johns.
4. Are you livin the dream, your dream, or was there something else that you have always wanted to do for a living?
I definitely am. I knew long ago I wanted to make a career out of fishing.
5. What’s the one thing that nobody knows about you?
Hmmm…I don’t know. That’s a really good question. Maybe that I love snowboarding. If I wasn’t fishing professionally I probably would be trying to be snowboarding as a pro.