Palaniuk in pursuit
Jul 23rd, 2014 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jul 23rd, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Rigid Industries pro Brandon Palaniuk has been on a meteoric rise over the last few years on the Bassmaster Elite Series. Palaniuk has a victory in each of the last two seasons to put him on the top tier of all pro bassers. Each victory earned him a shot to fish for the coveted Bassmaster Classic title, thanks to the “win and you’re in” rules that B.A.S.S. has for the Elite Series anglers.
This season is slightly different. Instead of needing a victory to secure entry into the Classic, Palaniuk is making his way via Angler of the Year (AOY) points. Currently sitting in 33rd, Palaniuk would be in the Classic if the season was over today.
There are 29 guaranteed spots given to Elite Series anglers, not including double qualifiers. So, with several anglers already in the Classic positioned higher than 33rd, Palaniuk is in right now, but sitting on the notorious “bubble” that can burst at any time.
Palaniuk battles his personality.
“I’ve really had to work hard this season to fish the way I am fishing,” said Palaniuk. “I have that winning mentality. I tend to always go for the win. I look for the pattern that will put me in position to win an event. My blood runs with the gambler mentality.
“Previously I would look for something different so I could win. If I didn’t find it during practice, I would still be searching for it on the first day of the tournament. That often didn’t work, so I would dig myself a deep hole. This year I am in more of a damage control mode. I still look to win, but if I don’t have the right pattern or fish, I make the best out of what I have and try to avoid the big bomb.
I still want to win every event. There is a lot more money to be made and of course, you automatically get into the Classic.”
A little home cooking is helping Palaniuk.
“My girlfriend Tiffanie is traveling with me this year,” said Palaniuk. “This is giving me some needed stability on the road. She makes sure I eat healthy and she also takes care of the things that took up a lot of my time when I was traveling alone. Things like doing laundry and other detail and time-consuming work.
“Being able to put on clean underwear is a big deal. Plus, the time it saves is more than most people think. If I don’t have to go shopping or do laundry, it’ll save me a couple of hours. I can get more sleep or work on fishing related preparation. It is a big help.”