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The Life of an Elite Series Angler in the Offseason

Posted by stephen on November 14, 2014

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It’s November and the tournament season has since ended.  This period from the fall until late winter can be verbalized as the offseason for us anglers.  The word Offseason, brings to mind a time off right?  Well, for a professional angler there is much more work than just with a hook and line.  This time of year brings sponsor obligations and preparations for the next season.  It’s not all bad though, since this time of year does present opportunities to get out and have some fun too.  The offseason is prime time to hit the woods for the buck of a lifetime.

 

Over the past month, I’ve made a trip up to LiveTarget Lures headquarters in Ontario, Canada to discuss products.  Now, the 2015 product line is pretty well set, but we met to discuss products for the 2016 season and I’m definitely excited about the new ideas we have in the works.  In order for these products to be ready for market in 2016, we need to first produce them, and then get them in the hands of professional angler’s in order to fine tune the action and see if they do indeed catch fish.  It’s a good thing, because we make sure the products are up to snub once they are released to market the next year.  It also gives myself and a small group of anglers to have a “secret” bait for a year.  Think about Randy Howell winning the Classic on the cranbait that wasn’t even on the market yet!

Preparations for the 2015 season are a big part of the offseason.  I’ve sold my 2014 Triton/Mercury rig and have picked up my new 2015 ride.  I hooked up with a new sponsor, Raymarine and am waiting to put on my new electronics.  From what I’ve already seen, the picture and quality is truly unmatched. 

I’ve registered for both the Bassmaster Central and Southern Opens for next season.  After a great season this past year in the Centrals, I’m really looking forward to the Opens circuit again in 2015.  The bodies of water have switched up, which in a way is disappointing because the last couple season’s the schedule has been real good to me, but I have fished all of the lakes and river’s on the new schedule.  A change is good sometimes too.  It’s a new challenge and I think a lot of the tournaments will be grind it out kind of deals which I feel suits my style well.  Here’s a look at my 2015 Open’s Schedule:

Southern Opens

January 15-17 Lake Tohopekaliga, Florida

April 16-18 Alabama River, Alabama

October 22-24 Lake Seminole, Georgia

Central Opens

March 12-14 Ross Barnett Reservoir, Mississippi

September 10-12 Fort Gibson Lake, Oklahoma

October 1-3 Table Rock Lake, Missouri

The 2015 Elite Series season is also very intriguing.  We really have a good mix of fisheries and slug fest type tournaments as well as grind it out ones.  Throwing in some West Coast tournaments will definitely be a new challenge.  We’ve fished out there throughout the years, but it’s been awhile.  Here is a look at the 2015 Elite Series Schedule:

Elite Series

March 19-22 Sabine River, Texas

April 9-12 Lake Guntersville, Alabama

April 30-May 3 Sacramento River, CA

May 7-10 Lake Havasu, Arizona

June 3-7 Kentucky Lake, TN

July 30-August 2 St. Lawrence River, NY

August 13-16 Chesapeake Bay, MD

August 27-30 Lake St. Clair, MI

September 17-20 Sturgeon Bay, WI (Toyota AOY Championship)

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Right now, I’m enjoying the “offseason” in Southwest Kansas on my annual deer hunting trip.  The offseason offers the opportunity to recharge a bit and get away from fishing which really helps you refocus when you come back from being out in the woods.  This trip is always something I look forward too.  I say if you’re looking to catch a 10 lb bass, go to a lake where plenty of them are swimming around.  It’s no different with this hunting trip.  Southwest Kansas has plenty of giant bucks walking around and offers the opportunity to put down the trophy of a lifetime.  For these twelve days, it’s all about the hunting and enjoying the camaraderie with some of my best friend in the world, Jeff Berry and Lowell Aberson. -SB