Affectionately know as "Hardware" by his many fans, Elite Series pro Jason Quinn is a five-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier and has amassed more than $700,000 in BASS tournament winnings to date. Here's how the Carolina pro answered our 20 Questions:
1. Where are you from?
I was born in Gastonia, N.C.
2. How did you get started in bass fishing?
I grew up on a lake, and I didn't want to go to school (laughs). My dad taught me, and I've always loved it.
3. Who were some of your earliest fishing heroes?
I always looked up to Hank Parker. He was a legend in the sport and he lived in the same area I did.
4. When did you realize you had made it in the bass fishing industry?
I first felt like I had made when the 2004 Bassmaster Classic came to Lake Wylie, and I was a qualifier. It was astounding and humbling to see the amount of fan support I had.
5. What's the biggest bass you've ever caught?
I caught a 12-1 on Falcon Lake while practice fishing for an Elite tournament a couple of years ago. Then, during competition, I weighed in an 11-pounder.
6. What do you love most about bass fishing?
No other sport has as many variables as bass fishing. It's always a challenge and you can't take anything as a given.
7. What is your greatest strength as a bass angler?
It would have to be offshore structure fishing with big crankbaits and Carolina rigs.
8. What is your greatest weakness as a bass angler?
Probably drop shotting and finesse fishing. It would seem that those techniques go along with my strength of offshore structure fishing, but they don't for me, and I don't really enjoy finesse fishing.
9. Where is your favorite place to fish for bass and why?
Falcon is phenomenal. It's a big bait hotspot. When you cast in there, you just expect to catch a really big bass. I love my home lake, too — Lake Wylie. It's a great structure and dock fishing lake.
10. What question do you get asked most by fans and how do you answer it?
They're always asking me how I acquire sponsors. I tell them that they need to work hard and believe in the products and themselves. You have to remember that the sponsorship is more about the sponsor than you. You have to support your sponsor. It can't be just the other way around.
11. What's the biggest mistake you see from casual anglers?
They keep going back to the same old things that worked for them before, even if it was a different season or the water level was much different. They try to catch them the same way they did before, even though everything has changed. They need to experiment and try new things.
12. How big a part does luck play in fishing?
I've had a lot of second place finishes, so I think luck plays a big part in fishing. I've got a lot of bad luck and need more good luck (laughs)!
13. What has been your greatest accomplishment in the fishing industry?
Just to "make it" has been my biggest accomplishment. I've got a great sponsor in Evan Williams, and working with that terrific company has been a great accomplishment in my mind.
14. What goals have you yet to accomplish in your bass fishing career?
I want to win the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year award and the Bassmaster Classic ... just like everyone else.
15. What keeps you motivated to reach those goals?
I enjoy the competition, and I've always loved fishing. There's always that next cast and the endless possibilities.
16. When you're not bass fishing, how do you like to spend your time?
I love fishing and hunting, and I try to do that just about every day I can.
17. When it's all over, how do you want people to remember you?
I'd like to be remembered as an ambassador for the sport, as someone who helped to get our youth involved and as someone who was able to build a loyal brand.
18. What's the biggest challenge you've faced in your career?
My biggest challenge has always been the competition. I fish against the very best in the world. They catch them every day, even if I don't. In the Elite Series, you can't expect to go out, catch a little limit and then get a check. It's a real challenge out there every time.
19. What's the biggest lesson you've learned in your career?
That the unexpected always happens. In a Major event on Dardanelle in 2007, I was really on the fish, and I fully expected to win. Boyd Duckett, who was leading going into the final day, was struggling, and I just knew I was going to win. Then, on just about the last cast, Boyd caught a good one and won.
20. What's the biggest misconception that people have about you?
That I'm a weird dude (laughs)! Anyone who's ever met me knows that I'm just as down-home and approachable as anyone you'll ever meet.