Can Skeet Reese Repeat?

Skeet Reese

2007 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year Skeet Reese is currently third in a field of 108 Elite Series anglers for the 2008 title. He's only 40 points behind current leader Mike McClelland and 10 points below second place contender Todd Faircloth.

 Can Reese repeat?

 "Obviously, that's my goal," says the 2007 Bassmaster Angler of the Year. "It would mean a lot to me. You know, it would prove last year wasn't a fluke. I think it would solidify my reputation to my sponsors and my fans ... and maybe to me as well."

 The foundation for that comment is the fact that Reese, like most of the other Bassmaster Elite Series pros, believes that Bassmaster Angler of the Year is the most prestigious title in all of bass fishing.

 Sure, it's nice to win the Classic. Who wouldn't want Bassmaster Classic Champion after their name? The AOY mantel, however, is something earned over the course of a season. It isn't about getting hot for three days, in one week, on one venue. It's about outfishing your competitors in 11 tournaments spanning six months at 11 different venues under all sorts of fishing conditions.

 "Let's face it. Angler of the Year is something special. It says you were the best of the best for an entire year with BASS. That's a big thing, not something to be taken lightly."

 All that said, Reese is realistic about his chances of a repeat. He knows the race is tight. There are at least half a dozen anglers — including Kevin VanDam and Alton Jones — who are in a position to win if they get hot.

 "Any number of guys are still in contention and can win it," he says. "It's really a matter of catching bass at every tournament, every day. That may sound simplistic or trite, but that's the way it is.

 I've had a quiet season. So far it hasn't been as good as last year, but I have been consistent. Looking at it realistically I've been one good bite away from making the final 12 in four of our tournaments this year. I think if I can continue to do that, I'll be in good shape at the end of the year. Things will break my way at some point."

 He goes on to say that his primary frustration with the 2008 season to date has been his failure to win a tournament. That was his goal and, through the first six events, it has eluded him.

 "That would help my career and my standing ... and it would also help my AOY quest. If I don't win one I still think I can stay in contention, if I'm able to finish in the Top 20 in each of the remaining events. That wouldn't guarantee the title, but it would put me in good shape.

 "I mean, winning one would give me bonus points and a lot of self confidence, but if I can stay competitive I'll be OK."

 "That's the most important thing, really — you know, to be competitive and to prove 2007 was no fluke. I want to prove that to everyone, especially to myself," he says, sounding very much like a man wanting to be considered one of the best of the best.

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