His close-knit brother, 30-year old Chris Johnston, won Rookie of the Year (ROY) as a newcomer to the FLW in 2017 and has raked in over $650K in U.S. earnings. (Smells like sibling.) Chris, too, will be competing in the 2020 Bassmaster Classic.
Older brother Cory credits their undeniable skills on the water to growing up on Canadian waters. “The fisheries here are so diverse. You have to be able to fish for both smallmouth and largemouth bass to be successful,” said Cory. “In 2020, I will be continuing my journey in the Bassmaster Elite Series, looking for the coveted blue trophy, AOY (Angler of the Year), and a Classic win.”
Over his relatively young career, Cory has also amassed three Forrest Wood Cup qualifications, five Canadian Open Championships, three Canadian Classic Championships and is a two-time AOY in the FLW.
Chris Johnston also believes that his countryside Canadian upbringing helped make him who he is today. “I was born and raised in the country and could not imagine my life anywhere else. I actually live just down the road from my childhood home and can’t wait to watch my son grow and discover all the things country living has to offer. “I cannot recall the precise moment that I fell in love with fishing, and that may be because my love for it was innate. My father was a fisherman and my older brother, Cory, had already mastered a baitcaster before I came along. I do recall having impatient moments watching the two of them,” Johnston continued.
“I watched my brother and dad enter tournaments and wondered when I was going to be old enough to do the same. Around my 11th birthday, I fished my first tournament with my dad…and we won. The rest is history.”
Between the age of 11 and 18, Chris and Cory Johnston gained a lot of experience, skill and success in local Canadian fishing circuits. By 18, Chris decided to take a gamble and fish his first U.S tournament, the FLW Costa Series on 1000 Islands, where he earned a second place finish and went on to win AOY. After three years fishing the FLW Tour, he was offered a spot in the Bassmaster Elite Series.
“Now, a year later, I have completed my first season in the Elites and qualified for the Bassmaster Classic. This is something I have dreamt about since that first tournament 19 years ago.”
“I am really excited to have the Johnston brothers come on board and join our team,” said Daiwa U.S. Marketing Manager, Curt Arakawa. “They are excellent fisherman and have done really well in both Canada and the U.S. They will help strengthen our Bassmaster Elite Series staff, which includes Seth Feider and Patrick Walters. We will also get Brandon Palaniuk back this year competing in the Elites.”