Owensboro , KY
Competition Team: A
Division Point Standings
Service Team Standings (American Fishing Tour Only)
What Truck, Boat and Outboard does Tom run?
Triton Mercury Ram
I only have one. It's the best I could have. I sleep beside her every night.
What Tom does for a living:
Retired Army Command Sergeant Major, Former Tournament Director for ESPN Outdoors Bassmaster Weekend Series.
What you should know about Tom:
Born 7/28/48, Disabled Veteran, Live in Owensboro KY, Have a home on Ky Lake, Bachelor's Degree in Business from McKendree University, Married, 4 kids, 10 grandkids, Catholic, Sports fan.
How Tom started fishing
Started fishing creeks as a youngster with a cane pole and worms. Not many opportunities during a military career but fished for Peacock Bass in Panama Canal Zone in the 70s. After working for BASS, started tournament fishing in the Series I had been working, The BASS Weekend Series. Fished a few local events and a few BFLs as well. Lower back surgeries limited my involvement until the Team Series started in 2015.
Aspirations or goals with fishing
I'm just thankful to be able to continue. I fish tournaments for the fun and camaraderie. I'm in the "never satisfied " group when it comes to weight, but just happy to participate. I would love to win a ABA event before my time to stop though. Haha
Favorite way to fish
I prefer finesse fishing over power fishing but can be happy either way. It's hard to beat the topwater blowups on buzzbaits and frogs. When that is happening, your worries aren't there.
Most exciting fishing experience
My most exciting experiences have to be working the Classics at BASS. Being around the Elite anglers on and off the water gave me an appreciation for our sport and memories that will last forever. Seeing first hand the work and dedication they put in to succeed at fishing for a living was remarkable. I am honored to have met many of them and admire their appreciation for the anglers that support them.
How Tom preps for a tournament
I try to get on the water and find the fish more so than actually catching them. I prep my gear as well. Trying to dot all the Is and cross all the Ts so that it doesn't cost me on tournament day.
Three favorite search baits
Spinnerbaits Swimjigs and Lipless Cranks.
Best tournament finish and what you did that day when you were fishing.
Weekend Series Big Bass on KY Lake at 6.8 lbs. 121 boat field.
Most challenging part of tournament fishing
At my age, and with my constant back pain, it is maintaining focus especially during slow bite. I had to stop draw tournaments because there were times I simply needed to rest my back for several minutes. Since my coangler couldn't run the TM per the rules, it would put them at a disadvantage. Team trail changed that for me.
When tournaments don't go my way
Maintain positive attitude and move on. You can't change the past. Hopefully, it put you on a better pattern for next time on that water or similar conditions.
Advice to give to an aspiring tournament angler:
Nothing can make you better than time on the water. Keep an open mind. You never stop learning.
Some shared general bass fishing techniques for people just getting into the sport
Learn diversity. Flipping and pitching, speed of retrieval, weedless presentations, learning electronics, getting and keeping your bait in the zone, rod tip angles, staying hooked up til landed.