Brett King, 2011 Angler of the Year
Jun 9th, 2012 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jun 9th, 2012 at 10:44 AM
2011 J.J. Keller Angler of the Year Brett King has definitely become a Walleye Wizard on the AIM Professional Walleye Series. Though Brett doesn’t really have a magic wand, he does have the kind of electrically charged magic that keeps him in the spotlight, tournament after tournament. Earning the prestigious title of Angler of the Year is one of those once in a lifetime moments but Brett is very determined to repeat. Can he do it? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons Brett is “King”.
Brett’s 2011 season was Hot! Fishing competitively takes a lot of determination and hard work and Brett has proven that he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty and buckle down. Brett fished each and every event with a positive attitude. He realized that every fish counts, every decision counts (especially when you are under pressure) and a little luck helps too. A tournament pro needs to take everything into consideration, utilize the fishing skills that he/she has developed and must also be willing to try new things. Brett King is just that kind of top notch angler. A very competitive man who knows how to stay at the top of his game.
The first tournament took the AIM anglers to Winneconne, WI during the month of April. Brett started off well by placing 16th while vertical jigging with Lucky Strike jigs using minnows and plastics.
Next it was off to Brimley, MI in June and that’s when things got really interesting for Brett. During pre-fishing he found a great spot and as often happens during an event the weather changed. When Brett was asked about his game plan adjustment he commented “when it was time to just go fishing, I turned right instead of left and headed back to Lake George where I fished using crank baits and Off Shore boards. That turn of the steering wheel made all the difference.” Brett took home the win and $40,000 cash. Not only did he have a win, he was now in first place for the J.J. Keller Angler of the Year Title.
In late June the AIM Pro Walleye Series traveled to Dubuque, Iowa. Dubuque’s system consists of many locks and dams and Brett doesn’t usually like to use the locks. “You never know what’s going to happen when locking through. Yet I had only found two decent spots in the Dubuque pool during pre-fishing so, to fish well, I felt I’d have to lock through and make the long runs where some of the better fish were being caught.”
“I drove about 25 miles south all the way through the Dubuque pool only to realize that the lock was going to be tied up for about an hour. While I was waiting I noticed fellow angler Terry Wilson catch about an 8 pounder. Already an hour behind and I hadn’t even started fishing yet! The tension was building. Once I locked through I still ran about ½ to ¾ way through the Bellevue pool before I started pitching jigs into a very small spot. I noticed the water had risen and for the next hour and a half I didn’t catch a fish. Time was running out and I knew I had an important decision to make. I decided to go back to my river favorites and thankfully that decision paid off. I was using 3 way rigs with floating jig heads and live bait—night crawlers and leeches. I made about two passes and caught all of my fish within the last hour. On day one I had 24.7 pounds but with the rising waters I only had 12.68 on day two and 6.58 on day three. Still, all combined it brought me a total of 43.96 pounds and enough to place me in 9th and keep me in the lead for Angler of the Year.”
Brett definitely wanted to do his best to win that title but the next event was three months away. As he headed home he knew he had other pressing responsibilities that required his care. His mother-in-law’s health was declining and his family needed him. Daughters: Hollie (22), Tasha (22), Jenna (18) and son Lucas (12) were happy Dad was coming home. Brett and his wife Elayne owned and operated a school bus company and they were selling it in August. So needless to say, the days were busy and full. Still even during that busy 3 month time, Brett stayed sharp by fishing two other tournaments which included the South Dakota Walleye Classic in Akaska, SD, the same site where the AIM Championship was to be held in mid-September.
Finally it was off to Lake Oahe in Akaska, SD with the possibility of taking home his first ever Angler of the Year title, but there were a few talented anglers creeping right up behind him in the standings.
Brett knew he was the first boat out and felt confident that he could get to the main river bridge first to fish the pillars. He jigged spoons for suspended walleye and did well the first day, but day two didn’t pan out. As Brett came into the weigh-in he realized that he was now behind two of the top anglers in the country. His stomach was in knots with only one day left to accomplish his goal and achieve that Angler of the Year Title.
Sleep didn’t come easy that night as Brett contemplated whether he should stay where he was or fish further down the reservoir and troll in the trees. He went out on that last day and fished like a possessed man. He decided to stick with his original plan and kept jigging for those suspended fish along the pillars of the main river bridge. Once again his decision made all the difference and he came in with an impressive 30 pounds. After a very impressive year he achieved his goal and brought home the 2011 J.J. Angler of the Year Title.
Brett had a passion that pushed him to fish his hardest. Not only does he fish hard, he works hard. Though he sold the bus company, he still works 10-12 hour days managing it throughout the school year. This way he feels he’s able to get away and fish the tournaments in the summer. His main desire is to always keep fishing.
Every single event in 2011 held the promise of something new and exciting and for Brett, being versatile was the key. Rarely does a fisherman win using just one specialized technique throughout a whole season. Brett proved that he has the skills to fish many different ways from vertical jigging with minnows and plastics at Winneconne, WI, using Off-Shore boards and crank baits at Brimley, MI, pitching jigs and pulling 3 ways at Dubuque, Iowa and jigging spoons for suspended fish by bridge pillars in Akaska, S.D. Brett King mastered them all. As you can see it took more than a little bit of magic to make it happen. During this upcoming season Brett will be seen in his new Warrior Boat. Will this Walleye Wizard repeat in 2012? Only time will tell who’s next in line to be “King”!
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