When B.A.S.S. Elite Series pro and Wisconsin native Jay Przekurat began his first year as an Elite angler in 2022, he set a personal goal to do well enough to end each tournament by cashing a check and maintaining his spot in the top half of the angler standings. With a great start to his inaugural season, Przekurat stayed in the top spot for the Rookie of the Year standings for most of the first half. In the first four tournaments of the 2022 season, Jay did well enough to meet his goal of getting paid after each tournament. After a couple of tournaments in which he did not finish well enough to be in the money standings, Przekurat answered back uniquely by winning his first Elite Series tournament by catching a record number of smallmouth bass on the St. Lawrence River, finishing a top 15 at Lake Oahe, then securing a top 10 finish at Lacrosse where he clinched the Rookie of The Year title with many of his family and friends present and cheering him on.
With all the first-year success, he finished the season in the top ten of the Angler of The Year standings. Przekurat met all his rookie goals and surpassed them after the top 10 finish earned him a qualifying spot in the 2023 Bassmaster Classic that will begin March 24-26 on the Tennessee River in Knoxville, TN.
With the 2023 season beginning soon, I had the opportunity to sit down with Jay to find out his expectations for his second season and how he is working and preparing for the upcoming Bassmaster Classic in Knoxville.
Q: What Is Your Goal For The 2023 Season?
Jay: One of my first goals this coming year is to do at least half as well as I did the previous year. I want to cash checks again, especially on the three or four lakes I haven’t ever fished. Next, another goal is to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic again, win another tournament, and also win angler of the year. Without those goals, there isn’t any reason to fish the Elite Series.
Q: What Is Your Goal For The Bassmaster Classic?
Jay: For the Classic, I want to make a solid statement to show everyone I can compete at a classic level and on a big stage with 50 anglers. I wouldn’t say my goal is to win the Classic, yet I want to have a good showing, a top 10 would be huge, yet if I can make it to the third and final day, that is my main goal.
Q: During The Winter, What Are You Doing To Prepare For The Classic?
Jay: I have never been to Knoxville, so I am doing a lot of map study on the Tennessee River. We have four practice days on the Tennessee River, yet I know that in early March, the bass will be shallow and wanting to get close to the bank. To be prepared, I am studying what the shallow areas look like on the map and searching for rocks, laydowns, or other areas, such as docks, that I can target. I likely will fish the obvious first, then go more in-depth as I get a feel for the lake.
My main focus is map study, then ensuring my boat runs properly. Next is a lot of tackle prep and organization; I want to be prepared for every situation so I don’t miss any opportunities that may help me do well during the tournament.
Q: What Do You Think It Will Take To Win The Classic?
Jay: Without prior knowledge, a three-day tournament on the Tennessee River, I am going to say fishing is going to be pretty good when we first get there, nothing stellar. As for how many fish it will take to win, the winning weight total will be somewhere near the fifty-pound mark.
Whitewater Fishing is proud to partner with Jay as an Elite Series Angler, and we wish him the best of luck during the Bassmaster Classic and the upcoming 2023 season.