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WINNING ANGLER OF THE YEAR HIGH IN FISHING RESOLUTIONS

Posted 1/11/2010

Yamaha Pro Ish Monroe is fishing both the BASS® and the FLW® tours in 2010  2009 FLW® Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt will pay close attention to the conditions on the water  Yamaha Pro Jay Yelas plans to fish swimbaits more in 2010

During the 2010 season, 2009 Yamaha Pro Jay Yelas plans to fish swimbaits in hope of winning another Angler of the Year title. Fellow Yamaha Pro Clark Wendlandt, who won his third FLW® Angler of the Year title in 2009, simply wants to have another good season, while Yamaha Pro Bobby Lane will settle for a six-pounder in his first tournament of the season.

For pro bass fishermen like Yelas, Wendlandt, Lane, and others, New Year's resolutions naturally revolve around fishing.

"When I won the title in 2007, I caught about 60 percent of my fish during the season on swimbaits," remembers Yelas, "but in 2008 I weighed in only one bass on the lure, and I caught it in the last event of the season on Lake Erie."

"Then, last season I only caught about 10 fish on swimbaits. I've been fishing swimbaits for years, but I simply lost confidence in them. This year I'm going to make myself fish them more often because I know bass will hit them."

Wendlandt, by contrast, does not plan to concentrate on any particular lures, but rather, wait and see what the conditions offer while he's on the water. The Yamaha pro also won FLW® Angler of the Year titles in 1997 and 2000.

"I like the rule changes in which the entire field fishes for three days before there's an elimination," he notes, "as well as using a total cumulative weight. It's going to make the tournaments more competitive, and we'll all have to work a little harder, but that's how I like it."

Some of his competition will come from 2009 
Yamaha Pros Ish Monroe and Takahiro Omori, two Bassmaster® Elite anglers who plan to fish the FLW® Tour, as well. Monroe is a multiple winner in BASS,® and Omori is a former Bassmaster® Classic winner.

"My New Year's resolution is to win the 2010 Classic and be in contention to win the BASS® Angler of the Year," says Omori. "The Bassmaster® Elite season begins with two events in California, and I've already been out there practicing. I want to try to maximize every opportunity I have because I really like this year's schedule."

"I want to win both the BASS® and FLW® Angler of the Year titles in one season," adds Monroe. "It has never been done, and because I am fishing both tours, I won't get much practice time on any one lake. I will be figuring out the fish during the tournaments themselves, but I usually do better when I have to fish that way because I don't have time to over-think the fish."

Another FLW® veteran, Brent Ehrler, has also made a determined resolution to win this season's FLW® Angler of the Year title. The 2009 Yamaha Pro lost the 2009 title by 12 points and the 2008 title by a single point.

"For me, that means making sure I stay calm and don't panic if things don't go just right," says Ehrler. "This past season at Kentucky Lake, for example, I lost a four-pounder on the first day, and I knew it would hurt me.

"That day I only weighed in four fish and for the rest of the tournament I ran around too much instead of staying in one spot and fishing more thoroughly. That bass would have been worth between 25 and 30 places in the finishing order, and the points I would have gained would have given me the title."

At Lake Fork where he has been guiding for more than a decade, Lance Vick's resolution is to catch a 13-pound largemouth he can enter into the Texas ShareLunker program. Two years ago, one of the 2009 Yamaha angler's clients caught a giant bass that qualified for the program, but Vick has yet to catch one that big himself.

"Fork is one of those lakes where a 13-pound or larger bass might come on any cast," he laughs, "so if I make enough casts this coming year, maybe it'll happen."

Bobby Lane will settle for a six-pound largemouth, hopefully in his first Bassmaster® Elite event of the 2010 season on the California Delta. He'd also settle for winning any tournament by a margin of six pounds. The six-pound number is significant for the Yamaha Pro because that was the exact weight of his new daughter Amberly, born this past October.