Long renowned as the one of the best sight-fishermen in the country, Shaw Grigsby is an 8-time BASS winner and 11-time Classic qualifier. But it's his first time answering our 20 questions.
1. Where are you from, originally?
2. How did you get started in bass fishing?
My dad took me fishing when I was young. We'd do all kinds of fishing, but the guy who really got me into bass fishing was Gerry Bevis. He came to my 8th grade class to talk fishing, and we became friends. He introduced me to tournament fishing as well.
3. Who were some of your earliest fishing heroes?
Rick Clunn and Roland Martin. Those guys made me realize it's not all luck. To see them consistently win proves that there's lots of skill involved.
4. When did you realize you had made it in the bass fishing industry?
I'd have to say in 1987 or so when I led four days in a Mega Bucks event at the Harris Chain. That let me know that I may have a career doing this.
5. What's the biggest bass you've ever caught?
13-5. I got it out of the Withlacoochee River in 1995 or so.
6. What do you love most about bass fishing?
The challenge. There's no way — no matter how good you are — that it isn't a challenge. You'll never beat them all the time or know everything 100 percent. It's just never the same.
7. What is your greatest strength as a bass angler?
If it's one technique, I'd have to say sight fishing. If it's overall, it's my love of fishing. I love it so much; it motivates me to get ready every day.
8. What is your greatest weakness as a bass angler?
Being able to switch presentations on the fly. I can't just drop one thing and pick up another like that. I have to get it beat over my head a few times.
9. Where is your favorite place to fish for bass and why?
There's so many, it's hard to say, but probably anywhere in the Northeast, like the Great Lakes. I love smallmouth fishing because I never had the chance to catch them growing up in Florida.
10. What question do you get asked most by fans and how do you answer it?
Along with 'what's you biggest fish,' I get asked 'how do you become a pro' a lot. The best answer I can come up with is to start small. Fish local and club tournaments, then move into regional, then national, and as long as you're successful, you'll keep moving up. BASS has it all set up so that's the way to do it, and at each step of the way you learn a lot.
11. What's the biggest mistake you see from casual anglers?
Not knowing where to present a bait. What I mean is, they don't know where bass will be holding. Pros struggle with that too, but I see it more in amateurs.
12. Do you have any fishing superstitions?
13. How big a part does luck play in fishing?
A very small one. At the Elite level, it's almost nothing. In a one day tournament, it could be everything. Getting one big fish could mean the difference between winning and losing.
14. What has been your greatest accomplishment in the fishing industry?
I think winning 8 BASS events, and the back-to-back wins (Bassmaster Top 150s in 2000) are pretty cool. I almost got three in a row, though.
15. What goals have you yet to accomplish in your bass fishing career?
Winning a Bassmaster Classic and Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year. That's what everyone wants to do.
16. What keeps you motivated to reach those goals?
The lack of accomplishing those goals.
17. What has been the greatest regret of your fishing career?
Letting the 1995 Angler of the Year award slip through my fingers. I was leading by 25 points or so, then blew it on the last day of the tournament.
18. When you're not bass fishing, how do you like to spend your time?
Hunting and saltwater fishing with my family. I'm passionate about bow hunting.
19. What profession (other than your own) would you like to have tried?
None. I love my job.
20. When it's all over, how do you want people to remember you?
I want to be remembered as a positive guy who tried to do everything right all the time.