ESCANABA – Brandon Lester from Tennesee did very well fishing for smallmouth bass Thursday. He is a rookie among the professional fishermen on the circuit but he found some big bass that will help in his standings with the Bassmaster Elite Series.
“This is one of the best bass fishery, the best smallmouth bass fishery I’ve been to in my life,” Lester said. “Any time you can go out and catch a legitimate six pound smallmouth and have a really good shot at a six pound smallmouth – I caught one yesterday in practice and one today in the tournament – any time you can go somewhere and catch more than 24 pounds of smallmouth, that’s a special, special fishery. There are only certain places in the country where that is even possible.”
Lester showed two of his fish off to the crowd during the first weigh-in in Ludington Park. He caught the biggest one first thing in the morning. Lester said it was the biggest smallmouth he has ever caught.
Being a professional fishermen is tougher than you might expect, Lester said, but he said he has always had a passion for the sport.
“This is my first year in the series and I’ve enjoyed every second of it. It’s a blessing just to be here but it’s tough, it’s grueling. You spend a lot of time driving, a lot of time away from family and it takes a lot of sacrifice but it’s pretty special,” he said.
Lester came into to the tournament in 33rd place. As a rookie, he is nervous about staying in the top 39 to be able to compete in the Classic. After today’s catch of more than 24 pounds and good catches in the two remaining days Lester said he is confident he will make the Bassmaster Classic in February.