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Bigwater Fishing with Ross Robertson
Bigwater Fishing with Ross Robertson

Episode 43 · 7 months ago

Brandon Palaniuk - Bassmaster Elite Series Angler

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Nicknamed "The Prodigy" Brandon Palaniuk is one of the most successful anglers on the Bassmaster Elite Series in the last decade. He was the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship winner in 2010 and 2017 Bassmaster Angler of the Year. He has five Elite wins. In 2021, Brandon had two Top 10s in the Elites and won the Bassmaster Northern Open at James River. Brandon talks about how he got started, some of his favorite places to fish and his love for catching walleye when he's not on the Series. You can check out Brandon Palaniuk at bmpfishing.com

Producer. Dude, here we are again. You asked me for a fishing report today, which I reluctantly did, so everybody can check those things out, but I kind of dug deep again here. This is a different deal. You know, we've been kind of getting a wide array, almost an ecleptic mixed of guess is that fair? It's yeah, it's been some lesserknown people in some really well known people and then we've had like just some interesting people in the middle that have done things that maybe young guys don't know and older guys would or regional guys. But we've got a guy that pretty much everybody's gonna know. We've got brandon pounding that today. Yeah, I've even heard of him. Yeah, he's a big named Bass cat. But guess what, we're not going to talk about Bass. We're not gonna about best. We can talk about his RV. Yes, we've also, because we've learned, we look at the things and people don't want to hear from Bass guys. We've done that a little bit, but I think that we're going to talk about some pretty interesting things that people aren't going to see going brandon definitely thinks a lot differently than most guys. So I have you chime in a little bit too and keep this on track, but I think this is going to go a much different direction. And let's just say eighteen pound Walley, eighteen pound Walley, eighteen pound three ounces. Actually, that's what we're going to talk about. Welcome back to the big water podcast. Today we did something that some of you guys are going to be a little upset about, but you're just kind of the bail this is don't just hold on, don't buy I'll hold on to it, because we've got a bass guy on. You know, green carp you know ditch pickles, whatever you want to call those things, but I'm going to bring this back to you guys, got to stick with me on this. We have the man, the myth himself. They call them, the prodigy, Brandon Pellnick. Welcome to the big water podcast. Thank you. Thank you. Glad to be here with all my fellow anglers. Right. We can all get along on the water right. Yeah, we can. There's something it is just funny. Producer, you can jump in here on this one. There's something about we've had like guys from Bass Master on. We've had a bunch of guys that I just from friends with you know that are known as Bass guys, wellknown guys, and it just doesn't do as well. Or we'll even get comments from people like hey, what's up by this, like you doing with best guys? Why are we talking Bass? It's so funny because normally you know what's pro stapts and things like that. Me and you've been on a lot of the same pro staffs through the years, different things, and you know, it's always like when I walk in, it's like, oh, it's the Walleye Guy, you know, like Bandans, like it's the wall. I am like, you know what, yeah, stank you, but I'm a closet small mouth guy. I'm here to say it. I really, really like small mouth and I can tell through some of your stuff and obviously some of your adventures and wins and money, that small mouth been pretty damn good to you too. Yes, small mouth of treated me good over the years, and I mean I grew up in a part of the country that has a lot of small mouth in it, and so I grew up chasing those little brown creatures. Yeah, they that that's fun out there. So you're from it originally and still making that big drive all the time. That's that's got to be a hard deal man, just the logistics, but was also, you know, let some guy like, let's say swindle, you know lives on Gunnersville. He can kind of sneak out and do things a little easier. Or do you got a lot of closet stuff back there that you know, good lakes that people don't really know about, kind of sleepers? We do have some sleeper lakes and it's kind of started to get out more and more. My homelike, which is coordling like that's kind of the most wellknown one. It's been in like the vast masters top one hundred lakes in the country a couple times and I think just because it's so far away from everything normal bass fishing, that it just still doesn't get the pressure. But it probably get ten times the amount of pressure now as it did even maybe five or six years ago. You know, there's been a lot more people move up here and just a lot more guys starting to bass fish, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's great. You know, we're just known for trout, Salmon, Coke and e all more of your cold water species because we're so far north right. I only lived two hours from Canada and you know, this spring I know of two tournaments where it took over thirty pounds for five fish. You know, I think it was thirty thirty two one day and thirty three, almost thirty four pounds the next. You know, those are a hundred percent northern large mouths. So well, you know, for for a northern strain large mouth to get that big, you know where they're catching eights and nines pretty, you could say, pretty regularly. Is Impressive, you know, and I think a lot of us just due to the fact of how much trout and other species we have. Totally off topic, and not to get too political, but I have some friends in quarterline actually, and you know they're that whole count that California invasion. They're...

...not so happy. You know what I mean? I think anyone that's like born and raised in Idaho thinks that if anyone comes from another state it's an invasion. That's just kind of how it is because, you know, you think about I think Idaho. I could be wrong on this, but I believe Idaho has more public land in it than any other state in the country. Yet we only have like one point five million people in the entire country, in the entire state, and so we're used to not having a lot of people around and to the point of a bunch of California people moving in, I don't blame them, right like I would want to get out of California if I lived there, and I would want to move here, except for when they they raise your prices and then bring the same shit here. Oh my gosh. Well, that's the thing is, like we just you're going to move here, just understand what you're moving into. Right, like we love to be outside, you know, like it doesn't people here are not apt to change very much. For the most actually, funny story about we're talking about Idaho and we're talking quite a voice south of you. But producer, dude, I don't want if you remember this when you were editing the footage. A Guy came up to me in the parking lot where ice fish and cascade last year, like whatever, eighty nine months ago, and a guy like walks up to me, just looks at me like I'm an alien and he goes, what are you doing here? Sounds about right, and I was like, pardon me, and then I immediately kind of knew, like Oh hey, this guy's going. He's like, you know, we had a Michigan trailer plate in Ohio, you know, truck plate, and I looked the guy said, listen, dude, I'm from California and you know I'm not I'm not moving here. Okay, like you want to ease up, because I'll give you a knuckle sandwich. That was like, man, I think of Idaho is being nice and wholesome. They's dude went out of this play to walk up to me. I was like well, yeah, and that area is probably one of the worst. I mean just as far as like price is rising up right because it's in the middle of the nowhere. Obviously you've seen it, like you're somewhat close to Boisee there around cascade, but you know, it's really just like small farming communities in the middle of this valley surrounded by mountains, and the house prices and everything it just went crazy there because of, you know, people moving there and they're not even there permanent residence. They're just summer house, summer homes, but their million dollar summer homes. So you know, again, because it's a small world here, not to change, but you know, I think it's Hayden quarterline. You know, I've got some people that I know okay, and they told me originally, because I always asking is like how did we get here? You know what I mean, like here's some ginger face kid. I've been the fishing industry my entire life. I've never had a real job. You're kind of the same way, right. So I heard you want to be a snowboarder first. Is there anything room? That is true. Actually, I have spies power meck. You Do? You Do? You got spies right in the backyard, it sounds like. And Yeah, I grew up Gosh, I started snowboard about six years old and my mom was on the ski patrol, but she was a snowboarder. So her and her friends we're actually some of the first, like Ski Patrol People, to be certified on a snowboard because back then, like they had to go through all these hoops to prove that they could actually get somebody down the mountain safely with the Toboggan. And so I spent, you know, nearly every Friday, Saturday Sunday on the mountain when I was young. That's what I wanted to do for living. You know before I kind of fell in love with bass fishing and still to this day I love getting on the mountain. I just don't get to do it nearly as much. It's not his true story. Field Games. Yeah, so I've got some more of that, a little more embarrassing, but will hold those off to a little later. But no great. So you see how I've roll. So I mean, I joke about hitting baths, but it's actually really true. So let's talk about some Walleye stuff, because here's the thing that interests me greatly, and anybody that's listening to this, you know my kind of guys that follow my stuff with Wal Eyes. They're like they don't want to hear about green carp either. So we'll wal eyes out there. You guys got some giants and I see a blade beat them up, which is a favorite thing of mine. I don't know a lot either. Producer dude seen it though. So tell me about you don't have to give any deep dart secrets away. I know you're not going to anyhow, but give me, give us a little insight, because none of us are going out there. We even need to name bodies of water or whatever, but what can realistically happen out there when we all know about the Columbia River, but people I don't know think, no, that hey, these water sheds that are pretty close to this got some just giant donkeys in it. Yeah, I mean there was really before I made the elites, we did a lot. I just don't have the...

...time to go do it as much now, but we used to chase Walleye bally all winter long, right, because that's when we felt like they were the biggest, they're the fattest, right. They were. They would start staging up pre spawn, January, February we'd see those bigger female start moving up a little bit down or where we could target them, and that mean we caught some giants. And you know, I mean it wasn't there was a stretch there where it wasn't uncommon for us to catch five or six fish over thirteen pounds in a day. And it was. I mean the biggest one I've got to date is eighteen pounds three ounces. So what's your STI. What's the state record where I caught that one? I caught that one in Washington, so anywhere else it pretty much would have been a state record except for the state that I caught it in. So was that? Can I ask? Was that the Columbia River? It's a section of it, but it's not the section and that is most publicized, has most known for it. So, stopping for one second, producer, dude, so you understand this out on the Columbia River, which is like a trophy walleye fishery, but it's not because they literally encourage people, because there's no limit to throw them on the bank, because the trout snobs are like your take, the wallies are taking over, which they're really not. But it's just a throat snob deal. Is that fair? Yeah, we deal with that all the time and they it's that's kind of why it's not as good as it was then. We've seen it kind of come back a little bit, but they were netting a lot of them, you know, and they had bound as on the Walleye so that they came like that, twenty bucks a fish or something. The state was paying you to have heads or something. Well, not everybody could do it and it was really just a lot of the tribal stuff that could do it over there. But it that was that was a bummer to see, just because I get where they're coming from, but it wasn't having the impact on the trout and the salmon like they thought it was. There's a lot of more factors that go into that than just Walleye and saying there's politics and there was a lot of there's a lot going on more than just walleye killing trout and coconate. And you know, we like I caught that one on a blade bay that eighteen three. So that's one of my favorite ways to catch him. And then the other way that we caught him as we caught them on swim baits, which is something that I don't see a lot of Walleye guys doing, but we're throwing seven hundred and eighty nine inch hard body swim baits at night, not rolling form. We were casting for them, but we're imitating the trout at these whalley were eating and I think we were Gosh, we were up to I think like fifteen or sixteen fish over sixteen pounds. We had broke seventeen until I got that eighteen, but I mean we had I don't know how many over ten pounds, like fifty, sixty Dover ten. I we just quit count if it was over ten pounds. Producer tod care we on this podcast right now. Yeah, just you get come on out and time. Man. You're like, you're well, I mean ten, I mean we can you know, like that's over a hundred a year an ear. I mean that's a big fish, but like that is a different level. The biggest thing that we realized is that it was all based on foradge. For us, right the trout in the cokeny was what made these Walleye grow wide. I mean the one, the biggest one that I caught was. It wasn't the longest one we ever clad. It was only thirty three inches long, but it was twenty two inches around, and you only get that from the right forage. They don't get that way by chase and perch and Shat around right. They have to have good vitamin T. is what I like, slid and so explain to these guys, when you say the Cokeney, which is basically like a small salmon, for lack of a better description. Yep, explain how big that these fish that they're eating. A lot of the ones that they eat or kind of in that for to six inch size. But then as those while I get bigger right. They want the most bang for their buck. They're no different than a bass or a northern pike or, you know, a Predator species. The bigger they get, the more bang for their buck they want. They don't want to the less energy they can exert and get the most out of it the better. And so what we realize is that as those water times cooled down, we would follow where the bait fish went. At the Cokeny in the trout they would get up closer to the banks. Well, Walleye, you know, by nature, like to live...

...deeper in our bodies of water. We got real clear water and in the summer they would suspend and they get harder to target, but in the winter right there feeding up to get ready for their spawn. It just happens earlier than our baths, and so we would target where these fish were staging up and feeding and intercepting the bait fish and it you know, that just happened to be in the cooler months. You know, some nights it would be five degrees outside, all your guides are freezing up, but you're looking for that one bite. And that was the thing is that we could go out and throw warm harnesses and catch, you know, thirty, forty, fifty fish a day, but most of them were this big and the baits we were thrown where this big, trying to catch those big ones, you know, that were really our goal was. We called them teenagers, so anything thirteen plus is kind of what we were targeting and we just learned that, you know, those bigger fish, they didn't live in those giant groups. You know, they were in smaller packs where those big females would kind of stage up and feed on these bigger trout or Cocony, which is pretty much just a landlocked sockeye salmon. So do you think that, generally speaking, when the mass of these fish were coming in, with those giants, shallower or often the haunts on the deep edges, compared to the average, even middle aged fish, let's say six, eight nine ton pounders? I would say on average there shallower right up let's say, most of our fish would come from twenty five foot or less or thirty foot or less, and at night some of those fish were, you know, five to ten foot. But the difference was is that they had really close access to six thousand and seventy eighty foot of water right and so they had the steep breaks that they could move up and feed and then slat out there and suspend over deep water if they wanted to. And I was the big key for those those bigger fish, right. They had to have close access to deep water. Generally they were shallower than the general population and they had to have good forage base. And I you know, I think like back here, you know, I live right on the shores of Lake hereier. It's about ten feet that way. It's amazing that, you know, from a guide standpoint and even when filming and doing things for shows, when they're like, Oh yeah, we want to come and get an eerie giant, you know, we want to get a giant, we want to catch a bunch of big fish, and they're not going to be fifteen, sixteen pounds most likely. Right, yeah, but it's the same thing of like an hour in somebody's going to be like, okay, let's just go get some meter sir. They let's just get some photofish, you know. And it's just crazy to me that you think that a lot of these guys, even people that are out in your neck of the woods, when that bite was going you, I can I'm gonna go on a limb and say most people weren't catching fish like that. So was it because you were geared up properly or just because you continue to throw those when you knew there's going to be fishless days or nights and you're willing to risk that because you didn't really care? Yeah, it was all just about the way that we targeted them, right. I mean it any fish that you target, if you're targeting the larger than average fish and a body of water, they're just going to live different I don't care what species it is, because they don't want to fight for food. Right, there's only so much biomass that can live in an area and those larger than average fish are going to live in smaller groups and they're going to do things a little bit differently. And we weren't going there to catch them to eat them, right. I mean we released all those big ones and if we happen to catch a few smaller ones, we may cook a few up for lunch or, you know, for dinner that night. But we would stay the night over there a lot of times, or we would get off work, drive over there, fish all night, come home, sleep for two hours and go back to work the next morning. But it's it's usually it's that kind of stuff that keeps guys from doing it because it's not easy. You can't just go out there kick, put the kicker down and just troll and you know, when you get a buy it, you just reel it in. You know this. It took a lot more dedication, a lot more prep work to build a target. Those bigger fish, botlock would have been off all my spect then it's fallock would have been nice. Yeah, interesting. Yeah, I mean how much? So did you catch many of those? I mean, let's say even three, four five pound fish on those ten twelve inch brates or whatever they are. No, not really. I mean honestly, the smallest us we would catch eight pounders usually, you know, those are like our smaller ones. And I would say, I'm like an average night you'd catch one or two of those and then you'd catch,...

...you know, one that was kind of around that like ten eleven pound class, and then you might get one or two bites that was thirteen to sixteen. Most of the time. I'm intruder right now. I never thought of Baska. I could get me intrigue. But so all of those thirteen and above where most of those caught at night. Do you think that that AIDS you? Majority of them were, and I think it's because, you know, I think the Walleye their eyes are more light sensitive. Right, correct me if I'm wrong. Correct, they have no more light sensitive and so I think that played into it a little bit. But the biggest thing was the forage right, the Cooler Water and at night those trout in those coke and he would push up and they would cruise those shallow flats and that's what brought those Walleye. That's would bring those bigger fish up to those places. Now at the biggest one I caught was during the day on a blade bait and we caught a lot of fish that were over thirteen during the day. We catch them on Blade Baits, you know, and like Jig heads a lot of times with plastics on them. Do you have a favorite Blade Bait? The one I throws called a nor Sada or Sada Blade Bait. It's a guy out here that makes them, paints them up and we pretty much always caught them on silver or Gobie color. It's pretty much shark to best colors and resting. Yeah, it's always funny. Blade bits are. I love them, and it's you know, up until recently it wasn't a sexy thing or you know, a lot of the major manufacturers didn't have them and it seemed like so many of the more regional you know what I mean, it was always this guy that makes them in his garage, like when the set river, there's a guy that makes them up there for pool three, four five, and then there's guys down here in the Great Lakes. And Yeah, I don't I think they're becoming mainstream enough now that you're seeing a lot of the bigger companies that have one or hybrids or something that kind of fits that category. You throw years on a spinning rod or a Bay caster. It depends. You know, it's a if we're vertical fishing, because for me I see a huge difference between putting throwing it on mono or braid right, so layand way more on Mano. Well, not even a landing thing, but just the it's like two to only different things. If I'm I'm assuming you were fairly deep and were your vertical jigging those those Blay Bass? No, we cast them all, ast them out. Yeah, you like for us a lot of what we're doing in some of the current as. We're vertical fishing right, but then there's like the bass style, like because we fishing for small mouth, like you know, the silver buddies, or we got one rate made literally right down the road called which is one you might want to look at too, called the Vibe, which is kind of unique. There's another one, captain the Jay's that's here that they both work really good for a small moth, but you have to like cast those out like I almost like a forty five like you don't want to cast those far as you can and kind of just get that swinger that little bit. But it's amazing at how many times that the mono really really makes a difference. I don't know if it's worth set and hooked too much or it's the slower fall rate. Obviously the landing percentage is better on Mon always. I think it is. Yeah, what's your take on the whole blade thing? I turned on spinning run because I feel like my hook set is quicker. You know, when when one eats it on the fall, I feel like I'm in a better position most of the time then I am with a Bait caster and you know, and they you on maybe a split second, but I feel like it makes a difference and I've got a little bit better control over it. The other thing is our guides don't tend to freeze up as much, right. You got a little bit bigger guides on a lot of your spinning rough and Sola Fi them in that I'll super cold weather tends to hold up a little better and I think you do land more on Mono. And I think the biggest thing is like sometimes that delay, that stretch right, so when you go to snap it, it's a little bit slower movement off the bottom and then it goes fast right. So you get like a little bit of slow movement and then it pops real quick and then it drops and just that subtle little difference versus if it was braid, you've got a direct connect. There's no stratechang you know, hit the bottom. I use a lot of Monel. A lot of Monel for just various things and it's guys are always like, you know, because everybody so flora, carbon or braid crazy and but nor here nor there. So are you put a little swiveling up above your deal, because I usually tie a little swivel up like maybe eighteen inches or two feet. No, we just don't want a little snap, okay, but I mean you got to deal with a little bit more line twist that way. Yeah, we are currents out here.

What I mean if I'm the Columbia River and Tributars, you've got that too. But the current thing can be crazy, crazy, crazy. Yeah, we don't have near the current that you guys have. The where we're doing a lot of it's more like based or like we're fishing out of the main heavy current. So now we're starting to if I ask this question here, I'm going to but if we're going to start getting into your pocket there a little bit, you may not want to answer this one exactly. But, like you know, you've had really good success on up on Ontario there and St Lawrence and that stuff like that's padded your pocket pretty good. snucky in a few big ones, right. Have you ever tried the blades up there for small mouth? Yeah, yeah, and they do work. But the thing is is, like we're generally they're more in the summer time and they do play, but I tend to throw blade baits more as the water times get colder. You know. I mean it's I think a blade bait is under utilize most of the time. You can catch them on a year round because it's such a reactionary bait, but you know, I end up finding myself pretty much lock and a drop shot in my hand most of the time. There I could see how that would be the deal. So kind of jumping ahead a little bit, I think the one thing that kind of amazes and some of our mutual friends that I always have just said to him like man, how do you do that? Is because I do a different form of what you're doing kind of, and you filming stuff like I've watched video a universe from like bass master something, where you're you're in the middle of battle, you're fishing for a hundred grand, and I think you to first submit. It's not even the hundred grand, it's the points, it's all the fuff going on, like you're in battle right, and you stop and I watch you like go over there and hit a go pro or switching something like how? Cause my producers bought ready to bust out laughing about three seconds I have a shit fit with him when we're shooting video that has nothing on the line. It matters zero and I'm like, I'm not going to miss this Fisher do this or I'm because I'm so laser focused that that's the last thing on my imagination. And he is just ripping me about. We got to get some production value, asshole. And and here here in the middle of fish in the classic or something, you're over here like adjusting your Gopro, like, is that just your personality? You know? I mean how and well, I have a passion for both drive for competing catching fish and then also the photography, videography side. But I think it was just I decided that I was going to commit to that and I just had to go all in on it. And it's kind of like you like, if a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, did it actually fall? Kind of deal. If I don't get it on camera, like it's harder to tell the story right, and so if it takes me a second to reach over there and just hit the button and it starts recording, I may get, you know, a pivotal piece of that story that then sets the tone for the entire video. So are you thinking it does just like Ross? This baffles me that you're trying to do your fishing in your tact is Petrosso thinking of a story goes along with how do you how do you do both, like during the tournament? Oh Aw, it's kind of second nature. Now I've filmed every elite series event for five years now. Okay, but some of them is stocks here. Let me stop it. So producer Du Serre understanding for all you Walleye guys out of there. They hate bass guys like I do. He's got a producer dude called Kyle. That's one of his old buddies, and he's filming from another boat. So like he's getting this stuff right. So you still you kind of have an out, but yet you're still doing this. Yeah, and the thing with that is when you have another boat, then you have to think about, okay, where is he positioned? Where do I have to take the fish so that he can get the right shots? And so I'm always thinking about that. Right, whether it's, you know, live video guy for Fox sports on the back of my boat, whether it's kyle filming for our Youtube Channel in another boat, or whether it's just my go pro, or it could be a bast master photographer, I'm always consciously or subconsciously thinking, ok, where are those guys positioned and where are they going to be able to get their best shot? You know what? I know like that. What's that? I just learned that, producer. I just this was the worst question to ever ever ask you, because for the next ten years assumed me. Maybe this is Brandon said. Brandon said hundred percent like me and him and been filming together for I think this is you're eleven and you just confirmed my entire existence. With raw it runs one Rossish. Yeah, roster job himself right...

...in the foot. I am I'm branning said, is it? It's going to be like I already called my water wife. It's going to be so bad with brandon can do and he's fishing for a hundred grant. Where you shooting a youtube video? You think you could do this? Easier said than done. Brandon would have brought this any other day the boat, because I'm always like you get it. My jobs to catch him. Your job is to get it so that you've kind of just shot me in the foot. That was the worst thing I let myself I let myself right into a firing squad right there. But so, I mean, obviously the GOPRO thing makes it way easier than if you would have started, you know, day one, when those things weren't at the level they are. What have you now? And Assuming Kyle's not there, because it's just like my producer dude, we're down Louisanna here a few weeks ago, producer dude do another stuff for us. And when it's just you and the go pro or your wife or something, I mean it's a different deal, right, like you're trying not to get divorced already, but yet they're going to do things different because Kyle's really good or they're not seeing what you're seeing, right. So how have you kind of work some of those things in with a filming, because I know producer Dude's gonna ask you this basically in a different way, probably as far as like managing other people filming it or just well, makes mean the go pros? Yeah, I mean, and I guess on a bigger because we've asked other guys the same question where it's like okay, even on a different level, do you just go out there and, because producers do it, whenever we leave, and as he should, and I'm happy does, he's like hey, when I'm going to whas and he gave me my marching orders. Hey, you need to sell film this, you need to make sure we get this, this, this, this, and I'm like, I don't want to. This is kind of like a somewhat kind of location. We're not really any specific mission for one time out of so. I mean, but you just did your little deal to Costa Rica. We all know, because we watch all this stuff, and you know you're still filming it because it's part of your job and what you do. But you ever just kind of shut it down or say hey, this is going to be difficult to get good stuff anyhow, so just screw it. Yeah, there's Times that I just don't put a camera on and I just want to go fish and not have to worry about, you know, talking to a camera or worry about getting this angle or that. There's Times that I just want to go enjoy fishing, because you can make it feel like a job, you know. And but the thing that I've learned is that just getting that footage, even if it's not perfect, is better than not having it at all, and that's probably my biggest here. That pose is that's one of the things that me and kyle struggle with. The most is like we always want it to be at the highest quality possible, but then that ends up causing us to not capture some stuff. And you know, to just put a Gopro on looping and plug it into the boat power and just let it run on a stationary mouth is better than nothing. Let's let's roll into kind of the you know, I'm not going to beat up on the stuff everybody's seen a hundred times, not because it's good or whatever, like the tunder suite. You know producer dude, he also slept the the back of his truck at the beginning eating peanut butter and jelly like me. But you know, as you run into that, and obviously there's a pivotal point where you're going to make it or you're not, or you can sustain things, what point did the business side click for you, or did you have some mentors or some other guys that really probably or were helpful for you being able to keep going? I think. I think when I qualified, I'm in into it with a business mindset because I had wanted to do it for so long that I had studied the game and just realized that that was part of it and I think because I had a passion for the photo and the video side as well, that those just kind of meshed and blended together, you know, and I enjoy building those relationships with people. When, you know, if you go back to like interviews from a long, long time ago, some of the first things I said is that I wanted to bring new companies into the sport of fishing, right, like nonmindemic companies that would help drow the sport and, you know, starting the eight years old, like, I just wanted to continue to grow the sport, and that's the best way to do it right, just to bring in more eyeballs, more people, different company knees, because our industry sponsors only have so much budget to go around. I mean being truthful, though, do you think that that's happened with not necessarily just yourself, but as a industry, because it seems like they come in, they dabble and then they go, let's go to racing or NFL or something that's bigger? Seems like they just come and go. A lot to me they do, and a lot of that is just the nature of giant corporate companies, right. They'll come in if you can get...

...one the last three to five years. That's a win, you know. I mean the fact that like Toyota, for example, has been in the game as long as they have. It's incredible, you know. But you could argue they've probably sold a ton of Tundras because of it. You know, I think that there's certain companies that benefit from it more than others and but I think really you see that in any industry right like even if it's Nascar. A lot of those companies jump in the sponsor guy for three years and then they back out. So the business aspect of things, how much has that changed for you? Obviously it's just like anything. The longer you do it, the more people you know, the more comfort level. But I mean there's a lot of bass guys I still think of this day that are great fishermen, but they still kind of feel that they're getting paid to cast a line and don't do the other things and some of the process same pro staffs they're on and you're like that the guy is not doing what they're at being asked. How natural is that for you really, though? I mean I know you you say have a plan when you get into the game. I think it's just the fact that I put effort into it and I do enjoy some of that, you know. I mean the biggest thing that I've learned is that you have to align yourself with people in products that you believe in. If you don't do those things, then it makes it feel like a job, you know, because then it feels like you're selling to people. If you don't believe in it, then you're lying to people, and that's kind of been the biggest thing for me that keeps me enjoying it or working with those people is that I'm actually very selective and I will turn money deals down if I don't think it's the right product or the right people that I want to work with. And I'm the older I've gotten, the more and more I've even kind of followed that rather than not taking deals just for the money, and that makes a huge, huge difference on the longevity and also your credibility. I think I learned from a family friend when I was pretty young and he used to say no is a powerful word, and I mean to comfortably tell somebody know when you're in your own business, is it is a powerful thing and you can't understand that but now I'm at that point too, where I can say, you know, this is just not good for me and it doesn't matter how much money's involved and and realistically, some of those those situations, they're the they're not going to have the Longevit at anyhow. And I think some of the younger guys are just grabbing anything they can, and I understand that to a point, but in the long run you probably do yourself an injustice. And Time Right, we've only got so much time and you know you have to learn kind of how to manage that to where you still have time to do the things that you want to be able to do or the time to spend with your family, and sometimes that requires you to say no to certain deals. To know that. You know, there's a hay calling it work life balance, because that's like dries, because that's have you figure that out, because if you did, please send it's well, it's different for everybody because everyone has different work, they have different things are interested in. So it's it's really just about kind of spending being able to do the things that you enjoy doing right, building a life that you don't feel like you have to vacation from and the longer you're in it, obviously the more easier it is to be able to do that because you can be a little bit more selective. But even starting out I was very cautious about who I aligned with because I'm I always at a long term thought process right. It wasn't about just who was going to pay me the most. There were so many other variables that played into that. You've helped with get this younger generation a little bit right. And then also like some of your kind of mindset and motivational things, like you're like. I know swindle kind of tries to do that, put that stuff out there, but he's like a whole different level of wacky. Where your there's this is a little different. Is there's a little more dialed in. How about that? So talk to me a little bit about that and how that actually helps you. I mean, it's not like that's not a sales approach at does at least it doesn't feel that way to me. No, my mental approach really came from wrestling, like you mentioned earlier. Wrestled all the way from eight years old all the way in to college, and I think that mental approach I carried over intoficient or out of most people don't realize how far you can push yourself physically and mentally because they just haven't hit that wall and pushed...

...through it. And but you're capable of way more than what you think most of the time. And taking that approach, I guess I've just had a lot of time sleeping in the back of the truck, you know, when you're traveling by yourself all the time and you get zero distractions, you have a lot of time to reflect and think about those things and, you know, I think it's important for people to have a lot of that self awareness. Even to this day, like I continually get more and more into learning about like the psychology and everything that goes into just how we're wired as humans, right even to the level of like studying the brain and the NEOCORTEX and the limbic brain and how those kind of battle each other. And then I apply it to fishing, right and like the decisions we make on the water and how how we go about that thought process and those moments that we have on the water, you know, and try to look back at the events that I did well and the ones I didn't do well in and like what was my thought process in those and so having that mental approach to me has always been I guess the most simple way to put it is is when you look at all the guys at the top level from a mechanic standpoint, nearly everybody is equal. Right. Some guys might be a little bit better at flipping, some guys might be a little bit better offshore, but on average everybody can do everything from a mechanic standpoint. So the only thing that separates the guys that are continually better or rise to the top has to be mental. There has to be a slightly different switch that turns in certain moments that keeps those guys toward the top. Right, maybe not always winning or it is winning, but they're always making that one little different change that keeps them from having a seventy or eighty place finish and they're able to turn it into a thirty. I've literally watched Van Damn say a few things to follow competitors back in then when he's the elite deal, and like yeah, just tell they were out, they were done. Like he before even casting he had that dude shut down. I'm like that guy's on a different level. I don't know if you would be in your top couple for for mindset, but I would assume he. He does, and he's got a different mindset. Right. He's so competitive and he was so good. He's still is so good. I mean he's the Best Tournament Angler we've ever had. There's no doubt, like you know, I mean, and he had so much confidence, right, but it beat it came from all of his experiences and the amount of time that he spent on the water. Right. He doesn't just given to him. He earned all of that and it was, is really cool to be able to see that. Like I saw that firsthand. Right. Or he just looks at you and smiles, like you know something bad's about to happen. Good for him, that for everyone else, and like, I'll never forget some of that stuff. Yeah, that that look like, oh, he's just being nice and you're like that evil man evil. Yeah, so it what point? I mean, I'm not comparing our TU careers in any standpoint, but I can just say the think we both started at very humble beginnings and I'm comfortable and I don't feel like I have to like is it going to be here tomorrow? But I still fight like it is right because fishing, I'd think it's still it's fairly fickle, but things are much better for you. You're not wondering if you're going to eat tomorrow without don't need to get any more specific than that. But do you feel that as you kind of get, you know, farther away from the back of the sleeping in the back of the truck, that you're not quite as hungry? Like I know you're super competitive. I'm super competitive, but at some point, you know, when now you're sleeping in that nice big fifth wheel, that yarn is hungry as you wear when you're in the back of the truck? I don't for me it's not a difference of being more or less hungry. It's a bout the approach. Right or what you're hungry for changes sometimes, and I don't think that I have any less drive. It just made be a little bit different right like at the beginning I probably felt like I needed to prove myself a little bit more. Nobody knew who I was. I was just some kid from Idaho where now I don't feel like I have to prove myself as much. Right I'd do it for different reasons...

...and I think that's only made me better, right, as I've realized I've been able to kind of peel the layers back and get to the core of why I actually love to do what I do, and that's that helps keep that drive and, you know, go back to the conversation we had about the financial side of it. Not Making those decisions based on money helps keep you hungry, right, if you're doing it just for the money, eventually that runs out, right, because you money for me only allows me to be able to do the things that I love. But it's not like just holding money doesn't make me happy, and so it doesn't do you any good to just chase that and I think being able to kind of have have that approach helps keep that drive and I'm not satisfied with what I've accomplished. I feel like there's always more. The game continues to change, you know, even just on the video side of things, right, like how do you continue to be better or step up the video game or the photo game or, you know, your social social presence. How do you, you know, do things better on the water? And so there's it's kind of that strive for perfection on those things and not perfection in a standpoint of like everything's in line, but just perfection of the process of being able to handle those things. So we have another mutual friend that you don't even know and he has it a mutual friend. If I don't know, well you, I mean you just don't know that it is. So I don't know it's mutual. Yeah, he may do some tshirt work or something for you, but any rate, so, and you know he I think I was literally sitting in his office or something when you were talking and made the comedies like man, were you going to keep doing? You know, you're doing the t shirt thing, you're selling this, we're doing this, you're branching out and doing things and and you like may the common I guess I'll just keep doing this till I suck. Yeah, I think that was like the exact word. I just thought that was funny and left. But but the bigger question that is is, in all seriousness, you seem like you're a much more planned out guy than some of these knuckleheads I see. So at the same point, I don't think you can plan past five years because of technology and life and the craziness in this world. But at the same point, like maybe it's your wife now goes hey, I'm sick of traveling around in this fifth wheel, and that that plays on a little bit. Or maybe you're sick of it, or maybe you know that's you know the changes. You know, Major League fishing, Bass Master, that whole thing that goes on and that happens again out of your control. I mean, what do you think the next step for what? Where do you ideally see yourself in the fishing industry? Me Even like like a van Damn, not the hijack this friend, but you see a guy like him who's kind of accomplished a lot. You know, is he going to be host? He is going to be the next bill dance, right? I mean is that where you could see yourself, even if it's twenty years from now? Yeah, I think the you always have a plan that you work towards, right, you have goals that you work towards, but nothing in life is guaranteed and things are thrown at us that cause us to adapt and change and you know, one door closes and you got to open up another one, and there's a lot of those things that you don't see coming. So I want to say control the controllables, right, because all the rest of it you can't get caught up and you have to kind of take your path and live by that and let other people live their path. And I think for me being able to kind of have that mindset and have a goal right, like I've only said, since early on when I started, my goal was to be set up by fifty that I can walk away if I want or I can keep doing it if I want, but I never wanted to be the guy that felt like at sixty five I had to keep competing so that I could make my house payment right, and I just never I didn't want to do that right because I at that point in my life I want to be able to enjoy it and I don't if I want to only fish the opens, and I'm fish the opens, if I want to keep competing on the elites, you keep competing on the lads, but at least be able to have that option. And you know whether or not that happens, we'll see. That's a long ways away from now. That's another seventeen years from now and, Young Buck, a lot can change in that amount of time. You know it's already changed in the first ten, Eleven Gosh, eleven years now that I've...

...fished on the lead. So I think you just have to always continually be ready to change right and not get stuck in one thing. So we have talked about snowboarding, we've talked about wrestling. Were talked about Walleye fishing. Thank God we did not talk much about green carpage, a ditch petals, but leave us with one, I mean because we're very appreciative for your time. So, but I mean I feel like a Walleye tip would be something good, so that some of these guys that watch my Walleye stuff would be like, you know what, the maybe this bass guys, okay, you know, maybe I can touch a few fish because of something you got. Yeah, maybe, not one to I think the biggest thing is like to not get caught up and right, and this is across the board for any fishing but it just may not get talked about enough. Is that having an open mind and not being afraid to fail right, and by fail I mean not getting a bite, because that oftentimes leads to the best fit fish catches or new techniques, new areas or I don't just go to the same places the same time of year. I get this question all the time of like, Hey, I've got this tournament three months from now. Right, we'll just say, Hey, I got this tournament in December. It's December two, two thousand and twenty one. How should I go catch them? Like, nobody knows, because December second, two thousand and twenty one has never happened. The fish don't know what's going to happen that day. We don't know what's going to happen, whether nature, she probably knows what's going to happen, but we don't know how to predict that. And so it's all about having that open mind and fishing those conditions that you're presented with. Right, don't fish based off of the calendar. Use that as a base guidance, but don't say, Hey, it's the first week of May, I'm going to go fish the same place that I crush them on last year because, just like you talked about earlier in the show, your water temps are ten degrees higher than they should be right now, right. And so if you are just fishing based on a calendar, you look at that and say, Oh, we're going to go to this you know this area, because we call them really good here. Last year the water tended, grease warmer. Odds are they're not in those same places because their conditions, they're living conditions, haven't pushed them to those areas yet. So, to simplify it, don't fish on a calendar. Fish based on conditions. But that's accept producers. We're going to let him live. That's the squid games you got. You can move on to the next challenge and all through this said, I really want to thank you for your time. Thank you for tuning into the big water podcast. Brandon Powell neck, you heard it. Snowboarding, Walleye, fishing, business life skills, all valuable stuff no matter what you're doing. Thanks again, Brandon. Make sure you chewn into big water fishingcom. Big Water fishing at Youtube, instagram, facebook, producer helped me. Stitcher, spotify, apple play, Google play. Yeah, you don't need me anymore. They're nailed. It is such a challenge to remember in this thing. He need you. We need each other where this functional couple there's no doubt. Thanks, agatting branded, for your time and tuning in.

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