Up until last week, things were relatively “all quiet on western front” in regards to the Thunder Valley Outdoors/Future Pro Tour Angler of the year races. Leaders in both divisions were sitting comfortable in their respective divisions, hoping for the best, and waiting for the clock to run out on those still chasing the top spot.
But now, as the tour approaches its final two events of the year – within each division, teams vying for the most coveted title in amateur bass fishing, are beginning to feel the pressures of “crunch time” along with all the distractions of “dock talk” and the temptations of second guessing their own abilities.
“The pressure is definitely on”, stated a weary Travis Huckaby who along with team partner Benny Broom of Modesto, have high hopes of moving up from their current position of 2nd place in the points race, to overtaking – and staying on top of the leader board. “Current points leaders Rush and Tremble are on a roll with recent back-to-back high finishes on the delta, and the team right behind us, Harry Markarian and Joe Verna, seem to be pretty focused, so this things not over by a long shot”, he added.
In the northern region, perennial favorites Paul Parks and Jim Markham of Granite Bay, currently sitting on top of the points race in that division by 50 points, don’t seem too concerned about those sitting below them, and their confidence in capturing the AOY title in the northern region is most likely based on their confidence in the next two FPT venues which will be held on the California delta, and Folsom lake. “We do pretty well on the delta, and Folsom is home for us, so we are pretty sure we can stave off the rest of the field and take this thing”, they stated confidently.
And while confidence is definitely a necessary part of any competitors arsenal, everyone who has ever fish competitively fully knows that bass fishing can be extremely humbling , and that the only thing one can be sure of is that you can’t be sure of anything.
Newcomers to the tour, the team of Koregalos and O’Neil, along with veteran FPT team Smith and Pearl, are in a virtual tie for the second spot, but are not conceding a thing, as both scored top five finishes at the tour’s Folsom event earlier this year, and look to scored big at the season finale on Folsom Lake in October.
In addition to the unparalleled accolades and industry recognition FPT Anglers of the Year receive for proving their mantle throughout an entire year against the toughest competition, winners are also awarded beautiful lead crystal trophies and receive paid entry fees paid into the 2012 FPT season.
So get ready everyone for a “dog fight” of magnum proportions as the top amateur teams in the west dig in and fight it out for their respective FPT Angler of the year crowns, and earn the right to be called the best amateur team in the west!
See you on the water!