Inside the bubble with Mullins

Tennessee pro David Mullins hasn’t had the best year ever, but he’s been slowly building stock in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings. And sometimes slow and steady wins the race.

By winning the race, I don’t mean he’ll win the AOY title this year, however, he’s inside the Classic cut of 42nd place by holding down the 35th-place slot. With today’s strong showing, you can bet Mullins will climb that leaderboard quite a bit — and that’s a win.

At the time of this writing, he was in fifth place unofficially according to BASSTrakk with over 19 pounds in his livewell. That’s a strong place to be. Of course, there are a number of anglers who don’t have a marshal today and are indicating 0 pounds currently, which will change at weigh-in. Plus, we also have three full days of competition to go yet.

That means Mullins will need to stay consistent, and he is certainly capable.

He started the 2019 Elite Series season with a 30th-place finish at St. Johns River, a solid fourth-place finish at Georgia’s Lake Lanier, 58th at Lake Hartwell, 36th at Winyah Bay, 46th at Lake Fork, 37th at Guntersville and 49th last week at St. Lawrence.

Not a perfect season by any means, but good enough to have him inside the current Classic cut with plenty of room and time to build on that.

A strong finish here at Cayuga could move him into the 20s or even better, which would add a comfortable cushion heading into the final regular-season event of the year at Ft. Gibson in Oklahoma.

At this point, Mullins is headed to the Classic next March at Lake Guntersville, but he’s still winless as an Elite Series pro. I know a championship title would feel really good, and take his confidence to new levels.

Mullins is definitely in the hunt …