BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — After rejoining the Bassmaster Elite Series during the 2023 season, Bradley Hallman of Edmond, Okla., has decided to step away from Elite competition. Every angler fishing the Elite Series understands how much time and effort it takes to be successful, and Hallman — citing among other things a desire to be more connected to his family — decided that this lifestyle was no longer a fit.
“I think it’s just a combination of a lot of different things to be honest,” said Hallman on why he’s decided to step away. “I knew in my heart on the way back from the New York tournaments that I had a lot to think about, and I just wanted to make this decision for myself and my family.
“I knew a few years ago when I jumped (into) the Opens that it would be something to help motivate me to have a goal and want to make the Elites, but I’ve realized that I just don’t burn like I used to in order to compete at the highest level.”
Hallman was part of the 2006 Elite Series rookie class and competed for six consecutive seasons, securing five Top 10 finishes in that stretch. Hallman is a two-time FLW Tour champion who requalified for the Elites via a first-place finish in the 2022 St. Croix Bassmaster Central Opens points standings. Throughout a pro fishing career spanning 16 years, Hallman amassed 38 Top 30 finishes in B.A.S.S. events.
Hallman mentioned that being away from his family, including four children, was a big part of the decision.
“My wife and I just had our 26th wedding anniversary not long ago, so she’s used to this lifestyle. But our life just isn’t built for my family to be able to travel with me all the time,” Hallman explained. “I just don’t feel like this lifestyle allows me to stay connected to my family all the time.
“I think I’m just ready for something else.”
Outside of fishing the Bassmaster Elite Series, Hallman stays busy with his YouTube channel, being a guest host on Bass Talk Live and many other things within the sport. While he plans to stay involved in the sport, Hallman currently has no concrete plans.
“I think I’m just going to feel around with the options and see what makes the most sense,” he said. “I’ve been really blessed with great friends and partners over the course of my career that made this decision difficult, and a lot of that doesn’t necessarily have to end, but I just feel like I want some time away from the competitive fishing at the highest level.”