(Editors Note: During Day 1 of the 2019 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament at Lake Guntersville, we caught up with Garrett Paquette and climbed into his boat while he was working on upgrading a solid limit of largemouth bass. During our visit, we learned more about the dedicated young angler, and why he loves this sport.)
Bass fishing has a way of humbling you. The minute you think you have it all figured out, a pattern will die for no reason, or worse the fish just quit biting altogether.
“There’s always something to learn, and I’ve committed to being the kind of angler who adapts rather than getting stuck on a few select techniques to catch bass,” Garrett Paquette of Canton, Mich., said. “I make it a goal to learn something new every time I hit the water, which is one of the things I love about bass fishing. I refuse to get stuck in my ways.”
After growing up near to legendary smallmouth factory Lake St. Clair in Detroit, Paquette said fishing big derbies on big water taught him a lot about northern smallmouth — and he loves to do that. But it was the smaller reservoirs near his home that were critical in helping him prepare to fish southern waters.
“Belleview Lake is not an easy fishery,” he said. “In fact, learning how to catch bass from a tough, dirty reservoir helped me realize that an open-minded approach is required on the same type of lakes the Elite Series visits every year. I love to catch bass as much as anyone, but I had to goal to become a professional and I loved the challenge offered by Belleview and Kent lakes.”
His goals were to master multiple techniques that he could use across a large spectrum of different fisheries. The 24-year-old competed in the Opens for three years before earning a spot on the Bassmaster Elite Series roster, and his theory in training seems to be paying off.