BW: Do you have any baits in particular that have been especially effective so far this season? BC: At both the St. Johns River and Okeechobee I used two baits primarily; the UV Tackle Inko Stick Bait and a 3/4oz black and blue War Eagle Jig. The conditions at the St. Johns were ideal for the UVEnko stick bait. I caught all of my fish that tournament with that single bait. The Okeechobee tournament featured a one- two punch of the UVEnko and the 3/4oz jig with the vegetation deciding which I’d employ.
BW: What do you think is the main reason for the streak you’ve been on? Was it the early classic berth? BC: I think my success is a culmination of things really. I’ve got to a point in my career where I’ve got the optimal mix of youth and experience. I’m physically and mentally in the best shape of my life. I feel confident that I’ve fished enough tournaments and I’ve been put in enough situations that I can use my past expe- rience to put together a smart pattern that focuses on winning rather than just cashing a check. I’ve also become really familiar with my new tackle selection. UV Tackle has been a sponsor for a few years now and I’ve got really comfortable with their product. I know a lot of anglers switch sponsors and immediately that’s their new favorite bait, but for me I learned through experience. I’m like any other angler, I need to find success with a bait before I’m really confident with it. I’ve become a believer in UV Tackle because its made a difference for me in tournament situations, I just get more bites because of it. With that confidence instilled in me I spend less time worry about tackle and more time fishing; its been really important.
BW: Through two tournaments you’re in second in the points standings. Do you expect to change your approach at all if you remain in the hunt for the Angler of the Year? BC: That’s tough. The AOY Race is one of those things that actually requires you to swing for the fence the entire year. I mean you’ve got to make every cut and trying to do that isn’t easy. As the year continues I hope to continue to fish for the win, but if I’m fishing the second day and a limit means the difference between 40th and 60th I’m going to go for that limit. Points make you fish differently. I’ve talked to so many guys this year and the new points system presents added stress because you can’t make up ground as easily when you are behind. I’m glad its not a concern for me right now.
BW: Looking ahead, you’ve got Bull Shoals up next. What are your thoughts on that event? BC: Bull Shoals is actually one of the lakes I grew up fishing on. It was a lake I cut my teeth on for years as I tried to figure out how to win there. The clear water was really intimidating to me at first, but I put in a lot of time in there and got to a point where I was confident I could win any given tournament. I had just gotten to that point when I started fishing professionally so it’s a tourna- ment I’m extremely excited for.
BW: What are your thoughts on the remainder of the sched- ule? Any one tournament stand out to you? BC: I like the way this year is laying out. I keep looking at the schedule and it has a shallow water theme to it that is re- ally exciting me. The remainder of the season plays out well for me. I like the way the northern Mississippi fishes, you know, its supposed to be a shallow bite and I enjoy picking apart shallow cover. Oneida has been good to me in the past and I’ve got a bone to pick with Toledo Bend after last seasons disappointing finish.