Opens profile: Redwine feeling AOY pressure

Alex Redwine of Blue Ash, Ohio, didn’t feel overly stressed during the first two Bassmaster Northern Opens of 2021. That changed when he found himself holding fourth place in the Northern Opens Angler of the Year standings with one event to go. If he moves up one spot in the AOY race after the final Northern Open at Thousand Islands, New York, he will earn a berth to the 2022 Bassmaster Elite Series.

“I’m super happy where I’m sitting,” Redwine said. “It’s not expected at all. I’ve had a good year so far, but the pressure is on for the next one.”

From his own perspective, the 21-year-old is ahead of schedule for his dream of becoming an Elite angler and a bona fide bass pro. He began fishing with his father, Steve, at such a young age he can’t remember his earliest outings.

It all began at an 11-acre lake behind his house where he started fishing with his father. When he was old enough, he would cast into the lake every day after school. He fished from the bank and from a small johnboat powered by an electric motor.

“I got addicted to it,” Redwine said.

Although Redwine’s father regularly fished local and regional bass tournaments, they only competed as a team in a few of these events. However, they often fished together for pure enjoyment and took three or four trips a year to noted bass fisheries in other states, including Lake St. Clair and Lake Guntersville. There were also many outings to Lake Erie.

At age 11 Redwine joined the Cincinnati Youth Bass Club and began competing against other young anglers on Ohio Reservoirs and the Ohio River.

“Fishing in Ohio is definitely a grinder,” Redwine said. “You have to put your head down with the mentality of getting five bites a day, even if they’re only 12-inchers.”

He believes the tough fishing in those events helped him while competing in the Bassmaster Opens. They instilled humility and a "never quit" mentality.

When Rewine got his driver’s license at 16, his father allowed him to fish on his own with the family’s 20-foot Ranger. He launched the boat at every opportunity. The time he invested on the water helped him increase his fishing knowledge and skills.

He played baseball in high school but gave it up so he could spend more time fishing. He was already committed to becoming a professional angler.

“I have a competitive nature, and I love fishing,” Redwine said. “Putting the two together with tournaments is a perfect storm.”

Besides high school tournaments, Redwine fished local and regional money derbies. After graduating, he enrolled at the University of Cincinnati with the hope of starting a collegiate bass fishing team there. It proved challenging to get the university to back the sport. That finally happened late in Redwine’s sophomore year.

After fishing one collegiate tournament, Redwine dropped out of college so he could concentrate on qualifying for the Elite Series via the Bassmaster Opens. When not fishing, he works as a detailer at a Cadillac dealership.

Due to his experiences fishing Ohio’s stingy bass waters, Redwine is most comfortable fishing in shallow water. The Ohio River taught him how to cope with a current. This helped him nab 30th place at the 2021 Bassmaster Open on the James River. It was his first experience fishing tidal water.

He stated that his biggest weakness is fishing offshore on TVA lakes. Then again, he is well schooled on how to catch smallmouth bass from Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair. This bodes well for him at the final Northern Open at Thousand Islands.

As he has during the first Northern Opens of 2021, Redwine will be rooming with Texan Hugh Cosculluela, who is third in the Nothern Open AOY standings. They met at a tournament last year and hit it off.

“We’re always helping each other out,” Redwine said. “I would love to see us both qualify for the Elites.” 

Fans can follow Redwine’s fishing adventures on Instagram and Facebook @alexredwinefishing.