Mueller considers Classic a life-changer

SOUTHBURY, Conn. — Candlewood Bassmasters club member Paul Mueller is looking forward to the opportunity to win the 2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro.

“I know it is life changing if you can win it,” Mueller said.

The Candlewood Lake fishing guide is also looking forward to competing against the top pros from the Bassmasters tournament trail.

“It is really cool to be able to fish with them because I grew up watching some of these guys on TV and I am a big fan of the sport, too,” he said.

The Connecticut angler gained some experience on the Classic waters of Lake Guntersville when he fished it as a co-angler on the FLW Tour.

“Other than that, I have never had my boat on it,” said Mueller who practiced on Guntersville in December. “I got familiar with the lake and how to run it. So I feel pretty comfortable, but then again I have to find the fish and figure out what they are doing come tournament time, and that is a long time from when I was down there. But it was nice to see the lake and see what it has to offer.”

Mueller has been in the B.A.S.S. Nation for 10 years and has competed in five divisionals. He won the 2013 Eastern Divisional in Maine and qualified for his first Classic by finishing as the top Eastern Division angler at the 2013 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship in which he finished eighth overall.

Family members who will be at the Classic cheering on Mueller include his wife, Kimber, and his mom, dad and brother.

“They are all supportive, “he said. “They know I have wanted to make this for a while now.”

Mueller believes his faith in God has prevented him from feeling nervous about fishing the Classic.

“The only reason I am where I am at is that God has really blessed me,” he said. “I know I can win it, but I know God would have to be in control. So I am going to work as hard as I can and leave the results up to Him.”