ESCANABA, Mich. (Sept. 22) — With only one goal in mind throughout the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship event this weekend on Bays de Noc, Pro angler David Walker qualified for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.
“It’s going to be my 10th Classic,” Walker said. “For me to qualify for 10 of them, that’s a goal I really wanted to get to. The Classic is my favorite tournament that I’ve ever got to fish.
“I just can’t stand not being in that tournament. Maybe I put too much pressure on myself. I worry about every little point instead of worrying about each tournament and letting the chips fall where they may.
“I feel great about qualifying though. I don’t know anything about that body of water, but the cool thing about the Classic is it’s quite a ways off, so you have time to prepare for it. That’s what I’m going to be doing, preparing for my 10th Classic.”
Walker, along with the other 49 Elite Series anglers in Escanaba, was faced with a unique situation when extreme winds shortened the season finale to two days. Initially fishing Thursday, the Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat Elite angler had to wait three more days before he could seal his Classic fate when the tournament wrapped up Monday.
“I think it did affect me,” Walker said. “I’ve never fished a tournament where you fish one day and it’s four days later before you’re out there on the water again. Many times fish will move around and change what they’re doing. That seemed to be the case this weekend. Where I left them at, they didn’t seem to be at anymore today.
“I had to re-locate them and even change up what I was doing a little bit. I was hoping that wasn’t the case but it turned out it really was. It would have been nice to pick up right where I left off Thursday but that didn’t happen. It was definitely one for the record books.”
Wanting to ensure his spot in the 2015 Classic, Walker finished the Angler of the Year event with an overall 12th-place finish after an 18-pound, 10-ounce bag on Day 1 and a 19-pound, 8-ounce bag on Day 2. Ending his season on a high note, Walker jumped to 20th overall in the 2014 Bassmaster Elite Series points standings.
“If you asked me, I’d rather it be two days,” Walker said. ” Even today it was just so rough out there. It wasn’t supposed to be but it was. It was a good event though. Getting out on the water is a pain because it’s such big body of water, but once you get out there and it’s a good day, you can catch these really big smallmouths they have here. It’s actually a lot of fun because smallmouth bags at 20 pounds consistently are pretty rare. I don’t know anywhere else in the United States that you can catch that many big smallmouths.
“It’d be more fun though if it wasn’t under such circumstances. That’s the difference when you’re at a tournament like this where fishing is really good, you know everyone’s going to catch them, not just you. You have to do well just to maintain. I’m happy with the way it came out though. I feel like I did what I set out to do — mission accomplished.”
Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat angler David Walker secured his spot in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, the 10th of his career.