I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be debuting my new Triton 19 TXP aluminum boat to start this 2020 Bass Pro Tour season. I’ll be the only pro on the tour fishing out of an aluminum boat this year, and I hope that can give me an advantage. It’s all about feeling comfortable for me, and that’s how this new boat makes me feel.
I’ve been thinking about making the switch to an aluminum boat for years, but I just never pulled the trigger. It wasn’t until REDCREST this past season where I was talking to someone who works for Triton. I mentioned to him that I would love to fish out of an aluminum boat in 2020, and he told me that I was in luck, because Triton was coming out with a 19 1/2-foot boat pretty soon.
I tested the new boat with Triton and ran a 175-horsepower motor, which allowed it to get up close to 70 mph. That was plenty fast enough for me, so I knew right then and there that this was something I had to do for the 2020 season.
I have all of the same electronics that everyone else will have, so the only difference between me and the other guys is the boat itself.
This boat is so narrow and it floats so shallow that I can get places where other boats can’t really get to. I can squeeze into tight spots, jump logs, jump beaver dams and all sorts of stuff like that. That’s important to me because it means I can go fish things that I like to fish. A normal fiberglass boat can get banged up pretty easily on rocks and logs, but I won’t have that problem this year.
I used to hear all the time from other anglers, “You can’t go back there in that stuff, you’ll tear your boat up!” Well, they weren’t wrong, and I did tear it up sometimes. But now, that’s a problem of the past.
I like to go back into creeks and pockets as far as I can go where all the sticks and rocks can cause problems for other guys. I am fishing for fish that normally don’t get messed with. That’s a huge advantage for me because when you’re in the tournament setting, it’s hard to find “unbothered” fish sometimes.
While I chose to go the aluminum route because it was the best decision for my type of fishing, I’m also trying to prove another point. I want to show people that you don’t have to go out and spend $70,000 to be able to compete against the best. You can spend $30,000 to $40,000 and be able to do the same things that you can out of one of those big fiberglass boats.
If you want to really be a competitive professional angler someday, I have some advice: start out small. The very first boat that I bought myself was an 18 1/2-foot aluminum boat. I loved that boat, and that’s partly why I made the switch back to aluminum. I started my career in that boat and now I’m here starting my second season on the Bass Pro Tour competing against some of the best anglers in the world.
I’m ready for a great season and Stage One at Eufaula can’t get here fast enough!