Pro bass angler prodigy credits AccuWeather app for $100K tournament win
Brandon Palaniuk sat down with AccuWeather to talk about the big win and how a quick glance at the app helped him with a split-second decision that catapulted him to tournament victory.
Being a professional angler may seem like a pretty straightforward gig, but as pro bass fisherman Brandon Palaniuk shares, to make a solid living with a rod and reel, knowing a lot about the weather is an absolute must.
Fishermen are legendary for telling tall tales about the fish they catch, and one pro bass angler is sharing a whopper of a true story about the AccuWeather app and a happily-ever-after involving a cool $100K.
Based in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, 34-year old Bassmaster Elite Series angler Brandon Palaniuk knows a thing or two about fishing. He's been doing it all his life, recently finishing up his 11th season fishing professionally on the Bassmaster league series.
Palaniuk's incredible tale took place at a fall tournament last year at the Santee Cooper Lakes in South Carolina. "We had a bunch of thunderstorms and wind and mixed weather and had some cooler mornings," he told AccuWeather in a recent interview. "I was sitting in the top three going into the final day, and I was sitting there in my boat at the very final day and I was kind of going through the weather."
Palaniuk explained that he opened the free AccuWeather app to ascertain weather conditions, and what he saw caused him to change his entire strategy for the day. "I had been going out of our takeoff and turning right and running up the lake," he recalled. But after that quick check of the app, "I decided to turn left and go to this other area where I thought that the conditions would play out better."
Brandon Palaniuk reels one in at Santee Cooper Lakes in South Carolina. (YouTube/BmpFishing)
The move caused him to land three of the bigger fish that day from that area, and he ended up winning the tournament.
"That split decision, living in the moment, deciding to turn left instead of turning right based on what the weather conditions were essentially [what] won me 100 grand," he declared.
Palaniuk can sound like a meteorologist when describing how the weather is inextricably linked to fishing and says every angler he knows uses weather apps every day. They don't just check them before fishing to know what to wear and when to go but also during fishing to know which strategies to use.
Brandon Palaniuk at Santee Cooper Lakes in South Carolina celebrating his fifth Elite victory which earned him the top prize of $100,000. (YouTube/BmpFishing)
"There are so many variables. You've got the weather conditions of what is happening above the water, but then you've also got what's happening below the waterline ... So you could have had torrential downpours two or three days ago that muddied up a bunch of the backs of the creeks in the water." When that happens he said, fish in those muddy waters "are going to react differently than fish that are in cleaner water because they can see better. Your techniques and the targets change based on clarity, water temperatures; all of those things are determined essentially by the weather."
Pro bass angler, Brandon Palaniuk, talks to AccuWeather from his home in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
The more accurate the weather forecast, the better he can game plan, Palaniuk explained.
"It's crazy how much weather plays into it and how little it gets talked about, even though every single fisherman uses it."
Palaniuk knows he's lucky to be able to make a living doing what he loves. His passion for the sport is obvious, his face lighting up when he describes his favorite part of fishing.
"The moment that I live for and what I love is the split second that it takes for your brain to register from your fingertips to your brain that you have a bite." He pauses, smiles then continues. "You get a bite. It hits your fingertips, it travels up your arm, it hits your brain and your brain says, 'Hey you got a bite, set the hook.'"
You can find Brandon Palaniuk's YouTube channel here.
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