North Carolina native Jeff Coble has amassed around $1.2 million in tournament prizes since 1996 with the help of his buddy David Wright. He has earned a ticket to bass fishing's big dance, the Bassmaster Classic, three times, but would rather cancel this February's date at Shreveport if invited.
"I'm not too crazy about going to the Classic when it's in Shreveport; I'd be out of my element," Coble said. "I'm no good at rivers, but I guess I wouldn't mind going with $200,000 (from the Weekend Series Championship) in my pocket."
Coble isn't thrilled about the upcoming Weekend Series Championship at Lake Norman in his home state of North Carolina, either.
"I haven't been there in a few years, but while I haven't looked extensively at the list of who's going, I think the lack of many locals will level the playing field," he said. "David (Wright) will know about as much about Norman as anyone."
Coble's unfamiliarity with spotted bass fishing reveals another chink in the weekend champ's armor. He'd rather stick to largemouth bass. He also believes the fishing will be tough.
"I know you've got to fish deeper with shaky heads and stuff to get the spots, but I haven't done too much of that. There won't be too many big bags, probably 10 pounds a day will be alright. It may be pretty inconsistent, too. You may get nine pounds one day, then thirteen the next."
Coble and Wright's unique relationship started when they got together and decided to split their money right down the middle.
"When you get two guys who just share tactics, someone will always withhold something, and that right there creates a rift between them. But when money is involved, all the cards are on the table."
They will be fishing against each other, but at the same time, together. Both men scout different areas of a lake, report back to each other then devise a game plan for the event, each fishing his strengths.
"Well, of course I want to win, but even if David wins I'll get some money, but he'll go to the Classic. Really, I can't lose."