Pro Angler, Josh Bertrand and the 2014 Bassmaster Classic

We love our outdoor sports here at Smokey Snuff. Call us adrenaline junkies or just lovers of the great outdoors.

NASCAR shows sharp speed and nail biting intensity, bull riding displays manly courage and strength and pro angling bass fishing brings challenge, mystique and determination to the surface.

Pro angler rookie, Josh Bertrand, has already had his fair share of ups and downs, but happily for him, way more ups than downs.  

In 2012, Josh took home the Bassmaster Central Open Tour Angler of The Year Title and he’s qualified for the 2014 Bassmaster Classic. The Classic is the Super Bowl of fishing and typically draws over 100,000 eager fans. So, it goes without saying Josh is excited.

“That was the most exciting thing for me. It’s a dream of any fisherman.”

So, where did Josh get his love for the lake and capacity for casting?

Josh is originally from New Hampshire, but moved to Arizona as a kid. Yep, Arizona.

“Believe it or not, that’s where I got into fishing,” he said with a chuckle.  

His father and grandfather took him out on the lake when he was young and he had “a lot of good mentors.”  Besides crediting his father, Josh thanks fishing pro, John Murray as one fishing great he looks up to.

Josh fished his first tournament at the age of 15, and has worked his way up to the top of the tournament circuits ever since. Just look at his stats:

·    Angler Of The Year – 2012 Bassmaster Central Opens
·    2013 Bassmaster Elite Series qualifier
·    FLW/TBF Federation National Championship Qualifier
·    FLW Everstart Championship Qualifier
·    Angler of The Year – American Bass Association Central Arizona Region

The rush from the catch and the great outdoors gravitated him to the sport. And now, the competition is driving the 25 year old. Josh practices by taking his gear out to as many lakes as he can. He studies the lake, checks weather reports, finds the good spots, and learns the depth and where the fish are swimming. It’s a calculating and intelligent sport.

In order to keep a level playing field, anglers have a limited amount of time to pre-fish a lake prior to a tournament depending on proximity and off-limits restrictions.
With the multitude of variables that can occur during a tournament, including weather and mechanical issues, an angler must be on top of his game, but still be humble enough to learn from the day in order to continue to improve.

So what are a few of his favorite fishing spots?

The St. Lawrence River within the Thousand Islands offers excellent fishing. Called the “Recreational Boating Capital of the World”, the Thousand Islands constitute 1,864 islands that straddle the Canada-U.S. border, with the U.S. islands residing in New York.

Another favorite is Falcon Lake on the Rio Grande, southeast of Laredo, Texas and Tamaulipas, Mexico. Largemouth bass and catfish are commonly found in the reservoir.  Josh noted that the reservoir has the biggest bass in the country.

Josh also quickly mentioned Guntersville Lake, located in north Alabama. Lake Guntersville offers great largemouth bass, bream and catfish. Alabama’s largest lake contains 69,100 acres and stretches 75 miles from Nickajack Dam to Guntersville Dam.

For now, Josh will be joining the other anglers who are resting their professsional rods for the winter season.  Bass anglers elect to put away their jerkbaits once the temperatures drop.

Until then, we’ll be looking forward to Josh’s next tournament in Lake Havasu on January 30th and of course the Bassmaster Classic, next February, in Alabama!