BassWestUSA - January/February, 2011, Page 21

title is not on his angling buck- et list, however. “My biggest goal has never been to win the Clas- sic, Angler of the Year, or any other speci c title. It’s simply to make a good living and be able to sh. Tournaments are fun after they are over and only if you do well. During the event, it is so stressful and you beat yourself up so much that I cannot say that it’s fun. For me, to go out and shake off a sh in practice is prob- ably more exciting than to catch one during the tourna- ment – I just feel like I am learning and guring some- thing out then.”

Photo by FLW Outdoors

WO TR With h is O in 2006 Bassmaster C PHY CL , Luke UB Clause lassic victory two-to n joine ur d an el on Lake Toho the “Tw champions. ite gro The fo o Trop up of llowin hy Clu champ g b p ionship ” ros bel o on eac – anglers wi h tour th at le ng to to thei r credi ast one Winner t:

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BASS AND BOWS » OF Luke’s af nity for understanding sh behavior is an exten-

sion of his love for the outdoors. When the tour season con- cludes each year, he grabs either his bow or shotgun and heads for the elds. “I’ve always loved hunting, even more than shing. That’s pretty much all I do in the fall. I’ll spend a lot of time back in Washington, Idaho, and Illinois. I’ll take friends different places and try to experience different things. I like to hunt quail, pheas- ants, chukars, duck, geese, antelope, deer, and elk. Hunting kind of balances me out. You’ve got to do something different than shing in the off-season in order to avoid losing your drive and motivation for it.” His universal passion for the outdoors is further evidenced by his recent sponsorship with Timber Creek Land Company. Luke believes that the partnership is a natural compliment to his whole sponsorship team. “Timber Creek buys, improves, and sells land after putting in roads, lakes, and food plots suitable for hunting. Larry Nixon and I met some company representatives at an All-American in Moline, Illinois. I’m excited about it because there are many op- portunities for cross-marketing and networking. So many people who sh also hunt.” Besides serving as a stress-free recreational outlet in the off-season, Luke believes that time spent hunting keeps him honed for the shing season. “For me, shing and hunting is a sensory sport. A lot of times you will hear a minnow jump out of the water ahead of the boat, and you catch one more sh as a result of it. Or, it may be catching a glimpse of some sort of movement in the water. Spending time in the outdoors, regardless of what sport it is, keeps your senses ne-tuned to where you have a better awareness of what is going around you more of the time.” And, in case you remain among the other anglers still unaware of what’s been going on around them, you better

start honing your skills… because this one-time Crappiethon “Joe” has quietly become one of the sport’s most successful, big tourna- ment “Pros”. BW

January/February 2011