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How to catch bass outside of your region

Photo by Thomas Allen

Paul Mueller is one of the Bassmaster Elite Series’ most technically proficient anglers, but he openly admits he’s faced a significant challenge: learning to transform a New Englander into a nationally competitive angler.

All Elites face the same diverse array of fisheries, but what do you do when you’ve never seen a tournament venue?

“For a guy who lives in Connecticut, this is a major learning curve,” Mueller said. “The main goal is to make the Bassmaster Classic. The second goal is to win an event. To make the Classic, you have to be consistent. I think consistency is harder than winning an Elite tournament.”

Definitely a daunting task, but Mueller owns two Elite trophies, and the one he earned at last year’s AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at Florida’s St. Johns River proved he has the skill and versatility to win on completely unfamiliar waters. Following that victory, Mueller said he entered the tournament aware of how far outside of his wheelhouse it stood. The results proved what’s possible when you refuse to accept such limitations. To this point, Mueller and a couple of other Elites shared their insights into confronting the uncertainties of unfamiliar waters and replacing question marks with exclamation points.