Tastes So Good
Aug 29th, 2012 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Brandon Palaniuk. Palaniuk isn’t a name most casual fans of pro bass fishing know. They should, but they don’t. Palaniuk won his first Bassmaster Elite Series event this season on famous Bull Shoals reservoir in Arkansas. Pretty cool stuff, especially considering he is from a state famous for potatoes and not bass pros. Rathdrum, Idaho to be exact.
|Brandon Palaniuk claimed his first Bassmaster Elite win in April on Bull Shoals, (Photo BassFIRST)|
So, what drew this “Spud Stud” to bass fishing in the first place? There is no history of infection in his family from the bass tourney bug.
“I really don’t have anyone in my family that is a tournament bass angler,” said Palaniuk. “My mom set up an opportunity for me to fish a bass tournament with a family friend. Once I fished the first one, I knew I wanted to fish them from then on.
“I’m 24 now. I think I’ve been fishing bass tournaments since I was 8 or 9. I love it”
In his second year on the Elite Series, Palaniuk hopped into the winners circle. Unlike other anglers, his approach changed post victory.
“Like everyone, I want to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic and make a run at the Angler of the Year (AOY),” said Palaniuk. “Early in the year I thought about the points for the AoY and to do well enough to make the Classic. After I won at Bull Shoals and I was qualified for the Classic, points didn’t matter to me.
“After I got a taste of winning, all I wanted to do was win. The rest of the events, I did my best to win. I come from a super competitive family. I just want more wins.”
Palaniuk has a couple of anglers he admires greatly in the Elite Series.
“I admire Kevin VanDam for his sheer dominance of the sport for 20 years,” said Palaniuk. “He has broken and set so many records. His mental strength is unreal. Another angler I really admire is Mike Iaconelli. The way he interacts with fans and children is amazing. Sure, he screams on TV, but in person he is really calm nice guy who is just so good to the fans.”
The unknown keeps Brandon interested in his piscine pursuit.
“When I wrestled, I could work harder than everyone else and I knew I’d do better,” said Palaniuk. “It’s not that way in fishing. There are always unknown factors, weather, etc. Plus, bass are wild animals and you can’t control what they do. That keeps me coming back for more.”