After his Cinderella performance in the 2011 Bassmaster Classic, the road gets tough for pro angler Brandon Palaniuk.
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Editor's Note: In part 2 of this feature, we follow 23-year-old professional angler Brandon Palaniuk and his 21-year-old sister Brianna through the grind of competitive bass fishing. After his Cinderella performance in the 2011 Bassmaster Classic, Brandon has a disappointing finish in the 2012 Classic, but the hurdles don't deter him or Brianna. See part 1 here.
The game of tournament bass fishing at its highest level is played out on a rotating lineup of roughly 20 to 30 fisheries in Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi, South Carolina and Oklahoma that changes rarely in both its timing and frequency. The majority of the big-time BASS and FLW touring pros also happen to hail from the Southeast; consequently, most of the veterans that Elite Series rookie Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho fished against in 2011 had spent thousands of hours on places like Toledo Bend, Lake Murray, Wheeler Lake and the Arkansas River. They figured out that bream imitations and topwater baits kill on Toledo Bend in April, and that their encyclopedias of waypoints will produce fish after fish, year after year on the Arkansas River in May and June.
Palaniuk, though? Not so much.