Skeet Reese is the 2007 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year and three-time Bassmaster Tournament Trail winner. Over the past dozen years, Reese has established himself as one of the very best in the business. In 2009 he'll be fishing his 10th Bassmaster Classic and vying for a seventh straight Top 10 finish in the Angler of the Year race. Here's how he answered his 20 questions:
1. Where are you from, originally?
Rohnert Park, Calif.
2. How did you get started in bass fishing?
My parents took me when I was little. I grew up south of Clear Lake, and we went there. I caught my first bass when I was eight.
3. Who were some of your earliest fishing heroes?
Rick Clunn, without a doubt. He was the one who inspired me to become a professional bass fisherman.
4. When did you realize you had made it in the bass fishing industry?
I don't think I've made it 100 percent yet. I still want to win another Bassmaster Angler of the Year title and a few more events, then I'll think about considering myself accomplished.
5. What's the biggest bass you've ever caught?
Twelve pounds even. I got it in 1993 or 1994 on Clear Lake. I was just fishing for fun. I've got a few 11s in tournaments and a bunch of 10s, but that's my biggest.
6. What do you love most about bass fishing?
The competitive nature of it. I love being outdoors fishing, whether I'm out for crappie, steelhead or tuna. But as far as bass fishing goes, you're competing against the fish and the other anglers.
7. What is your greatest strength as a bass angler?
Versatility. If you look at tournament results, versatility equals consistency. To survive in this sport, you need to be versatile. It's what pays the bills and gets you titles.
8. What is your greatest weakness as a bass angler?
Throwing the Carolina rig. I hate it. It's a boring, pathetic technique. I'll drop shot, split shot, throw a jig before I'll Carolina rig.
9. Where is your favorite place to fish for bass and why?
Clear Lake. I grew up nearby and have lots of memories there. I've been fishing it for 25 years. It's full of big fish, too.
10. What question do you get asked most by fans and how do you answer it?
The thing I get asked most is "How do you become a professional angler?" My answer is always the same: If you're going to be a doctor, lawyer, dentist — anything professional — you put your time in school. Fishing is no different. You've got to put in the time, and nothing comes easy or fast.
11. What's the biggest mistake you see from casual anglers?
Well, even in my 25 years I still make stupid mistakes, but not as often as some. The No. 1 thing I see guys doing wrong is fishing for the past, not the present. They'll get stuck on one technique or spot too long and aren't very open-minded.
12. Do you have any fishing superstitions?
No bananas in the boat. That's a biggie. I have some other little ones, but that's the biggest.
13. How big a part does luck play in fishing?
Anywhere form zero to 10 percent. You can't control how big a fish is going to bite, so there is an element of luck. It may be a 3-pounder or it may be a 9-pounder. You can't control that, but you can find the fish, and knowing where they are isn't luck at all.
14. What has been your greatest accomplishment in the fishing industry?
Being Angler of the Year in 2007 is No. 1, but just being able to make a living out of being in the industry is an accomplishment in and of itself, and I'm proud that I can do it.
15. What goals have you yet to accomplish in your bass fishing career?
I want to get at least one more Angler of the Year title, and a few more tournament wins, including a Bassmaster Classic.
16. What keeps you motivated to reach those goals?
I'm a competition junkie. I love how much the ego is involved in the sport. You're playing to win. If I'm out there, I want to win.
17. What has been the greatest regret of your fishing career?
I don't have any.
18. When you're not bass fishing, how do you like to spend your time?
I'm either in Northern California steelhead fishing, in Mexico tuna fishing or at home playing daddy to my girls.
19. What profession (other than your own) would you like to have tried?
Nothing. I'm right where I have always wanted to be.
20. When it's all over, how do you want people to remember you?
I hope I'll be looked upon as one of the greats. That's why I want a few more titles and wins. I don't think I'm there yet. I don't think I've quite earned it. People remember winners and champions