Reese Ready to Roll on St. Lawrence - Major League Fishing

Reese Ready to Roll on St. Lawrence

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July 27, 2021 • Joel Shangle • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

MASSENA, New York – Heading into the first practice day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers event on the St. Lawrence River, one of the most frequently asked questions was “Where’s Skeet Reese?”

The answer: On a plane from Malta, bound for New York.

Reese, who enters the final tournament of the 2021 Pro Circuit regular season in second place in Angler of the Year standings (21 points behind Michael Neal), was a strong “maybe” to compete on the St. Lawrence because of a family vacation to Europe. Reese had been coy about his intentions in the months leading up to the late-July season-ending event  – “I’m not sure what I’m going to do, maybe I’ll fish, maybe I won’t,” he repeatedly said – but answered the question definitively in a Monday-afternoon post on his social media: “I am here.”

After a 20-hour trek from Malta to Massena, New York, the Berkley pro put in a slightly shortened practice in preparation for his run at the second tour-level AOY title of his career (he was the 2007 Elite Series AOY).

“I was ready to stay in Europe with the family and finish out the vacation, (but) my girls – Kim, Lea and Courtney – are the ones who told me to come fish,” Reese said. “(They said) that we could always go back to Italy and visit there, but it’s not every day that you get an opportunity to fish for an Angler of the Year title. They said ‘You worked hard to get to this point, so don’t give up’.”

Competing in a full Pro Circuit-level season for the first time since the 2003 FLW Tour season, Reese has enjoyed one of the best years in his career in 2021. He started the season with a win at Stop 1 on Lake Okeechobee in February, and collected Top 10s at Lake Murray and Lake Eufaula, marking the first time he’s earned three Top 10s in a season since 2014.

Reese is also in the Top 20 in AOY standings on the Bass Pro Tour (18th with 257 points), is well inside the cut to qualify for 2022 Heavy Hitters (he’s 18th with 26 pounds, 9 ounces), and is in excellent shape to qualify for the 2022 Patriot Cup after finishing third on the St. Lawrence River in BPT Stage Five in late June.    

Reese has had a Jekyll and Hyde relationship with the St. Lawrence River, finishing fifth on the big drainage of Lake Ontario in 2015 and 20th in 2018, but also finishing 78th there in 2018 and 93rd in 2013. 

“I’m not sure what’s going to happen,” Reese said. “I have a 21-point deficit to Michael Neal, but I’m here fishing the St. Lawrence River this week, so you’re saying I have a chance. We’ll see what happens.”