Carl Jocumsen is undoubtedly living the dream of many ABT anglers. We might not all aspire to fishing full-time in the USA at the highest level, but we think it’s safe to say that no right minded individual would turn down an opportunity to be guided by Jocumsen for over a weeks fishing in the some of the best bass lakes in America.
That’s exactly the prize that’s on offer for this years BASS Pro Grand Final, and it’s the exact prize that Peter Phelps, 2015 BASS Pro Grand Final Champion is enjoying right now. Phelps and Jocumsen are currently practicing for the first Bassmaster Northern Open on Lake Oneida, New York.
There’s three official practice days, and three tournament days. After two days, the field of 200+ is cut to the top 12 in each division for the final day’s shootout.
Someone that’s very familiar with joining Jocumsen on a fishing roadtrip is his longtime sponsor Ian Miller. The pair have travelled for weeks over the entire country, sampling everything from Florida flippin’ to Great Lakes smallmouth.“The time I’ve been fortunate enough to spend with Carl in the states over the last five years have included some of the highlights of my fishing life. We’ve developed an entire rod range and tested them in every scenario, caught hundreds of bass of all three species, and enjoyed plenty of laughs along the way. There’s no doubt in my mind this is the best prize that’s ever been on offer from any tournament in Australia. You simply cannot put a value on something like this – indeed it is priceless”!
Phelps is pumped after his first full practice day with Carl on Oneida, after having spent the last week marshalling the Bassmaster Elite Series events. Where he spent two days aboard Elite Series boats, soaking up the experience of the highest level of competitive angling. “I Couldn’t have been happier to sit on a boat not fish. The Elite Series anglers are machines and can really catch them. The event was dominated by a prominent bed bite for the first two days. A lot of anglers were in the same areas, and I got to watch a lot of bass get caught”.
Moving to Oneida, Phelps has put a few fish under his belt, although the general consensus is that Oneida is tougher than usual. “The weed is sparse and not topped out yet, it’s not matted. That means there is miles upon miles of edge from 3ft to 10ft, as well as 500-meter-wide flats around the whole lake full of sparse weed. It’s a needle in a hay stack sort of thing out here at the moment. Hopefully Carl and whoever I get paired with can find the juice”.
There’s only one way to enjoy the sort of experience Phelps is enjoying at the moment, and that’s to win the ABT BASS Pro Grand Final. With one event left in the calendar, there’s still time to lock your ticket to the big event in September, where you will have a 1 in 30 chance of living the American bass dream.