As the 2016 tournament season comes to an end, the start of the 2017 schedule has already kicked off. The Wild West Bass Championship at Lake Mead was another grueling tournament for me, but I was lucky enough to take home a check and that’s very important for a family man to do. Bryant Smith took home the victory and $66,750 including a new Ranger Z520c. The 2017 Wild West Bass Teams circuit began on Oct. 15th at Lake Pleasant and my partner Josh Petrucci and I started off well with good points and a respectable finish in the money. Matt Shura and Lon Armel won the first event with a 17.69lb limit.
As I reflect on my season there are couple things that really stood out. I was very consistent and fortunate enough to cash a check in every Pro/Am event this year except for one. The most important thing for a tournament angler on a budget is to bring home some money to help get you to the next event. One of the biggest reasons this year was a success for me is because Wild West Bass Trail came to Arizona and had amazing payouts and contingencies. I cannot express enough how badly we needed a circuit like this in Arizona. Wild West Bass is the ultimate circuit for the average blue collar worker wanting to make a name for themselves. With an affordable entry fee, 100% paybacks, contingencies that pay thousands and televised events, it is a no-brainer for me.
So far in the past 7 years, I have won 17 tournaments, 5 Angler of the year titles, multiple top ten finishes in the money but I haven’t won as much money as I did this year fishing the Wild West Bass Trail. Big Thank You to BRP for sponsoring WWBT and offering a very valuable contingency for running my Evinrude E-TEC outboard!
To say that I am excited about the 2017 season is an understatement. I plan on fishing the Wild West Bass Trail, Won Bass US Open and if I can swing it, the FLW at Lake Havasu. First Pro/Am at Lake Shasta is Jan. 27-29 2017 and I am already researching like a madman. If anyone is on the fence about getting into tournament bass fishing I highly recommend joining me next year as a Co-angler and learning what the obsession is all about. You can check out my schedule for 2017 by clicking the schedule icon above.