Pro angler Brandon Palaniuk weighed in with 21 pounds, 6 ounces of fish on the final day of the Bassmaster Elite, which was held July 30-Aug. 2 on Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, N.Y., winning the tournament with a total of 80 pounds, 1 ounce.
It was the fourth B.A.S.S. win for the 2017 Angler of the Year from Rathdrum, Idaho., who earned the first-place prize of $100,000.
“It was just one of those days where everything worked out,” Palaniuk said in a statement.
Palaniuk had left the Bassmaster circuit to compete in the Major League Fishing series when it expanded its format last year. Months later, Palaniuk and fellow pro Gerald Swindle exited their contracts with MLF to return to the Bassmaster. The two had initially joined MLF with 75 other Bassmaster anglers, leaving some to ponder the fate of the 50-year-old Bassmaster. However, the circuit has continued to thrive.
Palaniuk told Trade Only Today after joining MLF that he missed the Bassmaster fan base.
“One of the toughest things to live with in life is regret,” he said when he rejoined B.A.S.S. “I don’t regret the last year, not even a little bit. I’m actually thankful for 2019 and the things I learned. I learned about this industry; I learned about business; I learned more about catching fish; and, most importantly, I learned a lot about myself.”
Palaniuk said his Lake Champlain win confirmed that he made the right decision in returning to the Bassmaster. “The emotion is what solidified that I’m right where I’m supposed to be,” he said.