Southern Open: Canterbury aims for long shot

Scott Canterbury has been an established FLW pro for the past eight years, but he still hopes to someday fish the Bassmaster Classic. The Alabamian aims to accomplish this via the Bassmaster Opens’ “win and you’re in” portal to the Classic.

“The biggest thing I’d like to do is win one of the Opens to get in,” Canterbury said. “I’d love to qualify for Elites. I don’t know if I would or could fish them. I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get there.”

Canterbury has competed in five Southern Opens and three Northern Opens, earning checks four times. His 13th place finish at the 2015 Southern Open #1 and a 28th place finish in the Southern Open #2 have him at 12th in the current standings, so he may be standing at the bridge to the Bassmaster Elite Series at season’s end.

The mix of lakes within an hour of where Canterbury grew up and still lives provided him with a master’s degree in bass fishing. Short drives put Canterbury at Logan Martin, Neely Henry and Lay Lake.

He also has Guntersville and other Tennessee River reservoirs within easy striking distance to the north and the Coosa River reservoirs to the south.

 “I’ve got the best of everything,” Canterbury said. “The diversity of water and the quality of the anglers I’ve grown up fishing against have really honed my skills. I can compete anywhere.”

Fishing the Coosa River is in Canterbury’s blood. When he was a tad, his father Danny or his uncle Clyde Crumpton would take him fishing every Saturday below one of the dams on the Coosa River.

After Canterbury turned 10 they occasionally fished bass tournaments on local lakes. Those events took a firm grip on him. When Canterbury was 16 he got a driver’s license and began fishing tournaments nearly every weekend.

“When I was 18 I fished 87 tournaments in one year,” Canterbury said. “I needed something to feed my competitive side.”

He eventually began fishing lower tier FLW tournaments. In 2008 Canterbury qualified for the FLW Tour. He took advantage of the opportunity and never looked back.

Prior to turning pro, Canterbury did construction work such as remodeling and framing houses and building decks. He also put in time as a plumber. Today, fishing is his only occupation.

“My whole family supports me,” Canterbury said. “I feel blessed to be able to do this every day.”

Canterbury has also been blessed with Dixie, his wife of 13 years, and Taylor, his 12-year-old daughter.

As for his fishing techniques, Canterbury is happy to catch bass using any lures and methods that will make them bite. However, he prefers skinny water whenever possible.

“My strongest suit is shallow water fishing on instinct, following my gut and scrambling to put something together,” Canterbury said. “Sight fishing is absolutely my favorite thing to do.”