Thirty-three-year-old Mossy Oak Fishing Team member Brandon Palaniuk of Hayden, Idaho, has been a bass pro for 9 years and the Angler of the Year and has earned $1.3 million fishing. To learn more about Brandon Palaniuk, visit his Facebook page.
By day two of practice for the Bassmaster Elite Series, I was pretty much dialed in on where and how I was going to fish the tournament. I decided to fish in the area with the most bait fish and set up a milk run that started off with 50 different rocks/boulders.
There were about 15 other competitors who fished in the same area, and several of them made the cut for the top 40 and then the final top 10. I didn’t hesitate to fish a spot that I had located just because another competitor had fished that same place just before me. I knew another smallmouth would start holding in that same site before long. I was fortunate enough to have a few more areas located away from the crowd where I caught a few, extra-big bites. Although other contestants were in the same regions as me at times, the decisions I made on how long I fished and how quickly or slowly I moved from one spot to another really made a difference in my securing the win.
Over the course of the tournament, I learned which rocks and boulders most likely would be holding good-sized smallmouths every time I fished them. Some of the fish I caught off the rocks, I’m sure were resident fish, but I think a larger majority of them were roaming and following schools of bait fish. The two dominant bait fish in this lake were perch and LY’s (alewives).