Four Strike King Pros Vying for AOY
With three Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments to go in the 2014 season, including this week's event on the Delaware River, Strike King pros are 1st (Mark Davis), 2nd (Greg Hackney), 5th (Keith Combs) and 7th (Todd Faircloth) in the Toyota Angler of the Year standings. Is winning Angler of the Year on their minds this week? Here's how they answered that question – except for Keith, who we couldn't track down during practice.
And by the way, Mark is a multiple Bassmaster AOY winner, Greg almost won in 2004 (finished a close 2nd to Gerald Swindle), and Todd almost won in 2008 and 2012.
"You have to think about Angler of the Year a little bit, but it'll take care of itself if you catch 'em," he said. "I'm not worried about it, but I am thinking about it."
He started off the season red hot, then cooled. It's been a long break – has he prepared differently for this event?
"I've wanted to get refocused. Hopefully I am. I feel like I kind of got off track at Dardanelle, then we fished one where the points didn't really count [the Chickamauga BASSFest where everyone got the same points] and I didn't do well there either. On the break I've just tried to refocus."
On the Delaware River, he said, "This is one of those that you worry about. It's a tough fishery and will fish very small. A lot of unknowns here.
"We don't have any history with this place, and I don't think it's as good a fishery as what has been said about it. I think some fish will be caught, but I think most of the field is going to struggle. You can have a pretty good day here and still not have any weight.
"I don't know. I don't feel great about it, but I don't feel horrible."
"You have to think about Angler of the Year," Greg said, "but right now all I'm concerned with is the Delaware River. I'll worry about AOY later on."
"I'd really like to go into the last tournament of the year in contention. Honestly, I'd like to go into that one blowing it out, but like this place here [Delaware River], I have no idea what's going to happen. I'll know by Saturday anyway."
"I'm not really even thinking about [AOY]," Todd said. "I'm in 7th place, we have three more events – I'm just trying to keep a positive attitude about where we are right here [Delaware]. It's going to be a tough one. "My goal this week is just to try to cash a check. We'll see from there. A top 12 would be even better, but after my practice I'm trying to just get a check here."