After nabbing second place at the 2020 Bassmaster Central Open on Sam Rayburn, Minnesota’s Josh Douglas still stands in the top 20 of the current Falcon Rods Bassmaster Opens Angler of the Year standings. As a guide on Minnesota’s Mille Lacs Lake, Douglas excels at putting his clients in touch with trophy smallmouth bass.
However, it isn’t surprising that he did well with largemouthbass at Rayburn. The event marked the 51st Bassmaster Open Douglashas fished since 2012, and he has competed in the Eastern, Southern, Northern and Central divisions. Over the past four years he has also fished the FLW Tour.
These events have taken Douglas across the country multiple times. He is truly a "been everywhere" kind of angler.
At a young age his father and stepfather introduced him to fishing for walleye and pike, which are, by far, the most popular species in Minnesota. His uncle Jeff was the outcast who introduced him to bass fishing while he was in junior high school.
“Bass fishing was his love,” Douglas said of his uncle. “He had a makeshift aluminum boat he put a platform on to make it a bass boat. Minnesota has 13,000 lakes. We fished different random lakes for smallmouth and largemouth.“
Douglas caught his first smallmouth while fishing with uncle Jeff, a 4-pounder that went for a Berkley Power Leech on a split shot rig. He has been an addicted bass nut ever since.
“My uncle passed away in 2007 from brain cancer,” Douglas said. “He was only in his 40s. If he was still alive, he would be traveling a bunch with me today.”
Douglas didn’t begin fishing tournaments until 2006 when he was in his mid 20s. He bought his first bass boat then and joined the Gopher Bassmasters. The club had “a ton of talent in it” and Douglas learned a great deal about bass tactics and how to compete from the club’s members.
From the club he went on to fish the Bassmaster weekend series and eventually to the Bassmaster Opens and the FLW Tour. He is most comfortable fishing grass lakes, because he learned the intricacies of plucking bass from grass in Minnesota.
Then again, his travels have taught him to fish whatever a given body of water has to offer. When Douglas finished second at the Central Open on Sam Rayburn, he targeted brushpiles that were 8 to 22 feet deep. He picked off his bass with a 10-inch Texas-rigged worm, a Roboworm rigged on a drop shot and a swimbait.
His wife, Bri, and their blue heeler, Lutsen, travel with him to all Bassmaster Opens and FLWevents.
“Bri does all my photography and video content,” Douglas said. “She left her corporate job four years ago to hit the road with me. She has been hired by B.A.S.S. in the past to take photos at their tournaments.”
Incidentally, Douglas is good friends with Bassmaster Elite Series pro Seth Feider. They are from the same area and fish and hunt together when they can. You can learn more about Douglas at joshdouglasfishing.com.
Douglas' sponsors include Scheels, Navionics, Shimano, Hercules Tires, Simms, Lowrance, Phoenix Boats, Power-Pole, OutKast Tackle, BioSpawn Lures, T-H Marine, Engel Coolers, G-Loomis, Power Pro, All-In+Charge, Lance Campers, Woo Tungsten, Owner Hooks, Warner’s Dock Inc., Costa, Farm to Med, Bassman Spinnerbaits and Gemini Jerseys.