Palaniuk is looking for back-to-back victories

"This is a real-life Rocky story," said emcee Dave Mercer to Brandon Palaniuk on stage at the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Evan Williams Bourbon Showdown at St. Lawrence River.

Mercer was referring to Palaniuk blasting out of the gate on the St. Lawrence and leading the four-day tournament wire-to-wire, taking home a trophy after having just been disqualified in what looked like a sure win at the last Elite Series event.

Like Rocky Balboa, Palaniuk went the distance. He had a fire like he'd never had before, he said on stage, and he wanted to win — not just as a matter of personal redemption, but also for the coveted 2014 Bassmaster Classic berth he'd been looking for.

During a B.A.S.S. Twitter chat today, Palaniuk said he's looking forward to fishing on St. Clair next week for the final event of the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series tour. He'd be thrilled to take back-to-back victories.

Read the transcript of the chat below. You can see what other pros had to say during their own Twitter chats here.

Keep up with Bassmaster Elite Series pros, get breaking news and share your big bass catches by following @BASS_Nation on Twitter.

 

Bassmaster ‏@BASS_nation

Welcome to our Twitter chat with @BrandonPalaniuk! He's ready for your questions.

 

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

It's great to be here. I'm looking forward to answering your questions!

Joe Wiles ‏@JWiles151

What were you using to catch most of your fish and at what depth? I'm voting for you every day for all-stars!

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

20-35 feet. We need more people like you!

 

David Bell ‏@bellfishingspot

Congrats on the win and Classic berth. How did you narrow down onto your spot so far from takeoff? Did you have any closer spots?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

No closer spots. When I looked at all the maps, that area was the best looking map I had

 

ChamplainBass Series ‏@cbsofvermont

How long do you wait before you fizz fish you've pulled from deeper water? About how long do you fizz them for?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

I fizz them immediately if I'm keeping that fish. I fizz them until I quit hearing air.

 

David Bell ‏@bellfishingspot

Did any of the fish you weighted in come off a bait other than the drop shot?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

No, I caught every single fish on a drop shot.

 

David Bell ‏@bellfishingspot

The confidence has to be high coming off a win and going to another smallmouth lake. Have you fished St. Clair before?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Never been to St. Clair but I had never been to the St. Lawrence. Hope to use the momentum.

 

Kahre Lindsay ‏@kahrelindz

@BrandonPalaniuk on today and I dont know what to ask..... #thestruggle

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Follow your heart!

 

Dallas Schurg ‏@DallaSchurG

I saw on @TackleWarehouse that you're a fellow wrestler! Now I know where you earned your mental toughness!

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Yes, I carry of lot of wrestling over to my fishing.

 

Bass Fishing Tips ‏@BassFishnTips

If limited to 5 rod/reel combos to fish entire season, what would they be?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

two 7-6 med-heavy Abu Garcia Veritas, two Elite Tech drop shot, one 7 med Abu Garica Veracity

 

Bass Fishing Tips ‏@BassFishnTips

If limited to 5 baits/lures to fish entire season, what would they be?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Storm Arashi, Berkley Havoc Pit Boss, Bottom Hopper, 1/2 Terminator spinnerbait  and a 3/8 Terminator flipping jig

Bass Fishing Tips ‏@BassFishnTips

Thanks for the response!

 

Ian Fryers ‏@IFryers

What rod reel combination did you use and what lb test

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

6 foot, 10 inch Elite Tech drop shot rod and Revo Premier spinning 8-pound Berkley Fireline Crystal tied to 6-pound 100% fluorocarbon leader

 

Blake Bushong ‏@BlakeBushong

When you fished the federation how many days would you prefish leading up to the state/divisional tournaments?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Usually 3 days.

 

Jimmy Ellis ‏@J_Ellis27

How did you make it financially in the early part of your career with all the entry fees and traveling expenses?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Cutting costs where possible. Example: tomato soup with hot water and ketchup from McDonalds.

 

TeaRex ‏@RWHargis

I needed a long-shot upset...should have listened to the masses that picked you! Awsome job BP

 

Zach Dunham ‏@zdunham777

Hi Brandon, congrats on the win! What length/power/action rod were you using for your drop shot?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

6-10 medium light Fenwick Elite Tech

 

Frank Myers ‏@BIGDUX2012

I’m going fishing next week and will be dropshoting for first time deep mountain lake. Any pointers?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Light line and small baits = more fish.

 

eric warren ‏@azpowerstroke

Congrats on the win! If you had to pick a place for the classic would it be CDA?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Surely not in February it's freezing there. Guntersville is looking pretty good.

 

Spotmonkey ‏@sptmnky

We shared one of your most defeating days in LaCrosse. Are u still replaying that day in your head?  

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

No, that one has been overshadowed by last week's trophy.

 

Peter(Bosco) ‏@greekbaz

Favorite dropshot bait?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Right now it's the Berkley PowerBait Twitch Tail Minnow

 

TheBassPunk ‏@TheBassPunk

Watch you fish Oneida guy in sight caught them dropshot, you threw swimbait. Big bite? Instinct? Marking them?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

I was just trying to get the big bites!

 

Cody Ustazewski ‏@codyustazewski

Do you switch out the stock trebles on the arashi square bill? If so what kind and size.

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

I will usually switch them to No. 2 or No. 4 EWG style treble hooks

 

Midwest Fish Hunters ‏@317FISHHUNTERS

job interview got rescheduled so I’m here lol.  what was your first big tournament before u turned pro?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

BFL All-American or the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship

 

Corby Coon ‏@corbycoon

when your drop shotting do you "dead stick" it or are you always bouncing your rod tip slightly?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

It varies on the mood of the fish. I usually have some type of rod movement.

 

Alex Frechette ‏@_BASSMASTER_

favorite softbait of all time? And when do u use it the most?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

It changes every year, but now it's a Berkley Havoc Pit Boss. It's one of the most versatile.

 

Brad Paradis ‏@UpstateAngler

Struggle on Ontario I do the opposite&run to the river from the lake Heard u were fishing flats near humps What should I look for?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Look for steep drops and long points adjacent to spawning flats

 

Connor Edmonds ‏@bassinNC

What rod were you using this past week for drop shotting?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

6-10 medium light Fenwick Elite Tech

 

Blake Bushong ‏@BlakeBushong

When you fished the federation how many days would you prefish leading up to the state/divisional tournaments?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Usually 3 days.

 

Dylan Smith ‏@dylansmith10G

Keep going after em! That classic is yours this year guaranteed!

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Nothing in fishing is guaranteed, but I'd like to think so!

 

Dominic Turcott ‏@Dturcott27

many anglers across the country are calling your the next big angler, how does that make u feel?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Makes my heart warm and fuzzy that I've got fan support.

 

Zach Dunham ‏@zdunham777

Hi Brandon, congrats on the win! What length/power/action rod were you using for your drop shot?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

6-10 medium light Fenwick Elite Tech

 

Brad Saldi ‏@Bradsaldi

Why were you using such a small drop shot hook ?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

It allows the bait to have more action without moving the rod

 

Midwest Fish Hunters ‏@317FISHHUNTERS

Job interview got rescheduled so im here lol  what was your first big tournament before u turned pro

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

BFL All-American or the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship

 

Corey Locker ‏@CoreyLocker

Hey BP, my ? is when are you going to come fish w/ me here in Ohio? i only live 45 mins from fletch!

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Whenever I get the invite!

Corey Locker ‏@CoreyLocker2h

invite is officially sent! You can pick the lake and day even up to Erie for some football smallies

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Erie is off limits right now!

Corey Locker ‏@CoreyLocker

Either when it isn't off limits, or you can pick another Lake, it would just be a great time to fish actually pick any lake any state. I'll come fish it with you!

 

hunter alexander ‏@hunteralexandrr

Whats ur bread and butter tackle to use on tough days?btw nice win bp

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Drop shot and a @BerkleyFishing Havoc Bottom Hopper

 

Dominic Turcott ‏@Dturcott27

All time favorite rapala crank bait?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

My favorite is a DT6

 

Justin Warriner ‏@jbass48

How long did it take you to get to the elites? And how did you do it?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

I fished the Federation for seven years before I won the Federation Championship

 

Troy Hullett ‏@06Troy

How did u feel when made your 100 mile run in New York?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

It was over 100 miles one way! I was nervous and sore.

 

Dominic Turcott ‏@Dturcott27

Least favorite way to fish a softbait?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Carolina rig

Dominic Turcott ‏@Dturcott27

Favorite body of water, and why?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Lake Coeur D'Alene at home because I've got lots of good memories there!

 

Nick Morse ‏@morse_nick

What is your favorite technique to us to catch bass

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Giant swimbaits.

Dominic Turcott ‏@Dturcott27

Can you follow me? :D

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Follow you to which lake?

 

Corey Locker ‏@CoreyLocker

On a serious note, how does it feel when you come to the scales, and every pro is shaking your hand?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Equally as good as winning.

 

Justin Lundborg ‏@JustinLundborg

how often do you retie your drop-shot setup when you're catching them consistently?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

In the Great Lakes, every other fish because of the zebra mussels

 

Justin Warriner ‏@jbass48

For a younger guy like me who would like to go pro how would you suggest me on doing it?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Federation Nation.

Dominic Turcott ‏@Dturcott27

Any way you will be launching your own design of Havoc softbaits?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

It's a possibilty.

 

Dallas Schurg ‏@DallaSchurG

I want to be the 1st ever college National Champ in both wrestling and bass fishing. Any words of encouragement?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Take the mental and physical side of wrestling into fishing and make it happen!

 

David Bell ‏@bellfishingspot

Planning any trips to Guntersville now before Feb?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

That's a good possibility!

David Bell ‏@bellfishingspot

Once again congrats on the win and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Thanks for asking them!

 

Dominic Turcott ‏@Dturcott27

What style hook do you use and why when you are wacky rigging? And what worm? I'm writing an article

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

No. 1 octopus hook and a @BerkleyFishing Havoc Flat Dawg

Dominic Turcott ‏@Dturcott27

What is the difference between the new trilene braid and fireline?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

It's built with different fibers.

 

Brad Saldi ‏@Bradsaldi

The last fish you caught, did it follow the jerkbait in or did u see it on the bottom ?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

It followed the jerkbait and I caught it on a drop shot

Brad Saldi ‏@Bradsaldi

I saw that well done !

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Thank you!

 

Tom Frink ‏@tommyfrink

Have u ever thrown the #fleshweasel?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Yes, I have thrown the #fleshweasel. I am one with the #fleshweasel.

 

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

My bassmaster twitter chat partner. GoPro pic.  pic.twitter.com/Ry9FBzoqTE

 

Brandon Johnson ‏@Johnsonfishing

how did u learn to pattern fish living in a colder climate state?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

In the 9 months that we got to fish, we saw almost every situation possible.

 

Emily Hand ‏@ejhand

Do you have any special nicknames for your fav baits like @tommyfrink's el raton that he calls #fleshweasel?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

I don't have anything nearly that creative!

 

Nate Mabry ‏@BigNatesgrill

Hey Brandon I am 13 and looking into getting into tournament fishing. When and how deep do you fish a shaky head?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

High pressured fishing and slowly

 

Michael Griffin ‏@MichaelGriff10

what is the biggest you caught on St Lawrence??

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

A 5-12 smallie. Steve Kennedy beat me out by an ounce.

Michael Griffin ‏@MichaelGriff10

nice job on the win

 

David Bell ‏@bellfishingspot

Besides fishing, what is your favorite part of working with the media or your sponsors?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

The fan connection!

 

Jimmy Ellis ‏@J_Ellis27

You gonna take it easy after your win or you gunning for the impossible to win back to back at St. Clair?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

I wouldn't say it's impossible. Since I wasn't able to win back-to-back from Miss River to St Lawrence, I'm going to try it from St Lawrence to St Clair.

 

ColoradoBassin ‏@KapsTats

Hey Brandon, ever fished Lake Powell? If so how was it?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

I have not been able to fish Powell yet.

 

Brad Saldi ‏@Bradsaldi

Do you use a swivel on your drop shot ?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

No, you need to use a uni knot.

 

Midwest Fish Hunters ‏@317FISHHUNTERS

Do u ever wonder what it would be like to go back to land angling like us common folk lol.

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

During the off-season I fish for all species

 

Dominic Turcott ‏@Dturcott27

All time favorite rapala crank bait?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

My favorite is a DT6

 

Duke Bevard ‏@mizmoman

What was your biggest challenge to realizing the dream to go pro besides being a good fisherman?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

The financial struggle was tough.

 

Troy Hullett ‏@06Troy

What is your favorite lake to fish on?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Couer d'Alene, Idaho

 

Lane Kindle ‏@LaneKindle

How long was the ride back on Sunday? Had to be nerve wrecking.

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

It took me 2 1/2 hours. My @SkeeterTeam boat took a beating!

 

Troy Coney ‏@TroyConey

Favorite technique. Not just to catch fish but what do you enjoy the most.  @BASS_nation

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Throwing a giant swimbait.

 

Dominic Turcott ‏@Dturcott27

How do you like the veritas rods? I'm about to buy one

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

I think it's the best rod for your money, about $100.

 

Justin Warriner ‏@jbass48

What's your favorite drop shoting bait?  and when are you fishing Erie in buffalo again?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Twitch Tail Minnow. I guess next week.

 

 

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Wojtilas Bakery in Euclid, OH for breakfast/lunch/dinner lol  pic.twitter.com/L573zd8Lim

 

Alton Jones ‏@BaylorBass

Do you do all of your own #gopro edits? And if so what platform do you use?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Yes, I do all my own #gopro edits and I use Final Cut Pro.

 

Chris Roberts ‏@ChrisRobertsc42

With pressure going into last weeks tourney how did you focus on your fishing with your back against the wall?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

I become more focused under pressure when I need to reach a goal

 

Jacob Moore ‏@jacobmoor

if you could bring back 1 discontinued lure what would it be

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

An old-school #fleshweasel.

 

Jennifer Dome ‏@BhamJen

Are you doing anything special with your winnings?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Invest them!

 

Colt Ketcher ‏@CKetcher

Is your sister single?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Negative, ghost rider.

 

Brad Saldi ‏@Bradsaldi

Do the smallies actually hear the pinging noise from the sonars ?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

I believe in excess amounts they can hear it.

 

Freak Finder Fishing ‏@FreakFinderFish

Wondering how BP got to where he is today in the Elites at such a young age...

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

I started young and joined the B.A.S.S. Nation

 

Dave ‏@pennstater07

In your opinion, what's your biggest weakness and how do you try to overcome that?

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Gambling when fishing when I shouldn't & I try to be smarter about those decisions

 

Dave Mercer ‏@FactsofFishing

Wanted to jump on and say congrats once again. You are an amazing angler and an even more amazing person.

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

You just want more of my fishing spots after we smashed 'em this week.

Dave Mercer ‏@FactsofFishing

OK, ok maybe you’re right lol.

 

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

The stare down!  pic.twitter.com/Zhw0FjxaQi

 

Bassmaster ‏@BASS_nation

Thank you, everyone, for your questions! We appreciate you taking the time, @BrandonPalaniuk

Brandon Palaniuk@BrandonPalaniuk

Thanks for joining in our @BASS_nation Twitter Chat. Hope to do it again in two weeks!