What Truck, Boat and Outboard does Matthew run?
Triton 19X3 Pro with a 225 Mercury OptiMax Pro XS. Tow vehicle is a Ford F-150 XLT.
I have allowed all contracted sponsorship agreements to expire to allow for new opportunities.
What Matthew does for a living:
Commercial Airline Pilot
What you should know about Matthew:
I am the proud father of three girls and married to the most beautiful woman God ever created. I am a professional airline pilot which enables me to have plenty of time off to spend with my family as well as time tournament bass fishing on the Ram Open Series and the American Fishing Tour. I am also the the Director of the ABA American Fishing Tour Georgia North Division 125. I am a very personal person and love meeting new people and talking about fishing tactics. I have traveled all over the country to fish as well as assisting the ABA at various events such as The Bassmaster Classic, boat shows, and National Champinship Tournaments.
How Matthew started fishing
My earliest childhood memories include fishing. My father and uncle were both avid bass anglers and I would often join them on fishing on fishing excursions from Florida to northern Minnesota. Most of my bass fishing was spent on Lake Lanier and Lake Hartwell in northern Georgia and that is where I ultimately learned how to fish and became entrenched with the sport.
I first became interested in tournament bass fishing after meeting members of the American Bass Anglers marketing team at the Atlanta Boat Show in the Winter of 2006. Knowing the ABA offered close to home, organized tournaments really peaked my interest. After competing in my first American Bass Anglers American Fishing Tour tournament, I was immediately hooked on tournament bass fishing. I have been competing on the American Bass Anglers American Fishing Tour and the Ram Open Series ever since.
Aspirations or goals with fishing
My fishing goal is to improve my fishing tactics every time I hit the water. I aspire to use my abilities to eventually be the best Ram Open Series Angler and win the Ray Scott National Championship.
Favorite way to fish
My favorite way to fish is power fishing with a spinnerbait. I have a spinnerbait tied on all year around.
Most exciting fishing experience
I have encountered so many exciting experiences fishing that is is very dificult to pick just one. I would have to say that my first ABA American Fishing Tour victory would rank among one of the top. In February of 2014 on Lake Allatoona, I had a tournament where everything was going my way. The day started with a big largemouth bass in the boat within the first 30 minutes on the water and things only improved from there. I won the tournament by a three pound margin. I only had five bites all day but landed all five fish for a big Lake Allatoona sack.
How Matthew prep for a tournament
My first step of tournament preparation begins with map studies of the lake. I also use maps with Google Earth to get to know unfamilar water. The next step is the pre-fishing phase. I usually spend one to two days on a new lake just "boating" and searching for areas that should be holding fish at the particular time of year and/or conditions. The final step is narrowing down bait selections. I usually de-hook lures in order to reduce the amount of pressure that I put on fish while pre-fishing but on occasion, I throw a bait that I have not de-hooked. That is when I usually accidently catch big fish while pre-fishing. Unfortunately, because of this type of luck while pre-fishing, I have made a name for myself on local forums as "Mr. Pre-fish".
Three favorite search baits
Spinnerbait, lipless crank bait, and a shaky head.
Best tournament finish and what you did that day when you were fishing
My best Ram Open Tournament Series finish was a fourth place finish on West Point Lake. My tournament success was based on a deep water structure pattern (Summer Tournament) using a finesse jig. My best American Fishing Tour finish is a first place finish targeting pre-spawn largemouth in shallow water using large finesse baits on Lake Allatoona.
Most challenging part of tournament fishing
One of the biggest challenges is the mental preperation involved with tournament fishing. Conditions on the water are always changing and an angler must always be prepared to change his or her "mental game plan" with the changing conditions. This is one area that I have made vast improvements over my career but still find to be challenging at times.
When tournaments don't go my way
I learn! I ALWAYS take away something when a tournament has not gone my way. That is how an experienced anglers gains experience. I don't let bad tournaments get me down. I learn from it and let it fuel motivation to do well next time.
Advice to give to an aspiring tournament angler:
Have fun! I have known tournament anglers that loved the sport lose focus of why they even like to fish in the first place. When you are out on the water, take it all in and have fun. Yes, we all have our "bad days of fishing" but you are still fishing! Enjoy every moment.
Some shared general bass fishing techniques for people just getting into the sport
Yes! You let me know what type of water and what time of year and I will share every technique that I know. One simple technique is utilizing a shaky head with a finesse worm and usually you can catch fish with this tactic ALL year-round.
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