At 31, with a new baby daughter and a comfortable living managing a pharmacy, Team Mercury pro Brad Knight had a decision to make: “Do I go to school to be a pharmacist or do I try to make a living as a tournament bass fisherman?”
Luckily for Knight — and not so luckily for the 49 other anglers competing in the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, Ark. — he decided against the pharmacist’s white coat and opted for a tournament jersey instead.
He became the cup’s 20th winner on Sunday, bringing 51 pounds, 12 ounces of Lake Ouchita bass to the scales in four days and earning a $500,000 payday.
“I had worked in a pharmacy for almost 20 years, had all of my undergraduate work finished, and decided to go fish the Everstart Series instead of starting school — not the most popular move to those two people right over there,” Knight said backstage after the win, according to a statement. “I kinda like that decision at the moment. It’s been a bumpy road, but when you do your own thing, sometimes that’s how it goes. Peaks and valleys. But whatever happens from here on out, the bumps and valleys are all worth it.”
Knight came into the Aug. 20-23 event after narrowly squeezing into the championship based on the FLW Tour Angler of the Year standings — he was 34th of the 37 who qualified — and with no notable experience on Lake Ouachita, a 66,000-acre impoundment of the Ouachita River in central Arkansas.