BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Chris Zaldain has had an amazing season, and he capped it off with an incredible win on Sturgeon Bay.
After he caught a huge 12-pound bass on the Sacramento River earlier this year, Zaldain has had success after success, ending with a sixth-place finish in Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points. His victory on tough Sturgeon Bay firmed up his berth in his second Bassmaster Classic.
Before the Classic, though, Zaldain has another important date: He's heading to Las Vegas early next month to get married to Opens pro Trait Crist. So we guess you could call this a big year for Zaldain.
Zaldain created a Periscope account today for his first-ever B.A.S.S. Twitter Chat and Periscope Chat. Below is the transcript of the dual-platform chat. You can read transcripts of chats with other pros here.
Congratulations, @ChrisZaldain, on your great season and your Classic qualification!
Thanks for all of the support. Looking forward to your questions!
Do you think @traitfishing will be the 1st female Elite athlete?? Because my daughter is practicing!
I think so! After fishing with her for a few years it opened my eyes to what women are capable of. There are women everywhere who love to bass fish! She's taking the initiative to step up & fish the Opens.
I think every Elite angler should have a dog with them during the entire tournament. #teamNebo
That's awesome! A lot of guys on tour have dogs & we're all dog lovers. #teamNebo
Have you bought Trait flowers lately? Congrats on a great year the West Side is proud of you.
Thanks for calling me out buddy! I bought @traitfishing flowers last week!
Abbreviated summary of Periscope questions and answers:
What is your go-to lure for docks?
I don’t really like fishing docks. But when I do, I use a swimbait.
What is your favorite lake in Oklahoma?
I really like the Arkansas River. I hold it dear to my heart.
What is your favorite color crankbait?
Chartreuse with blue back.
Who is the No. 1 guy on the Elite Series tour to beat?
Aaron Martens, definitely. He is absolutely amazing at what he does. He doesn’t care what anyone else around him is doing, at all.
What are your goals for next year?
Trait and I are getting married in November. We’re going to work more as a team next year, like a husband and wife team, all year.
I’m fishing a tournament in New Hampshire this weekend. The air temp in 42 degrees, and it’s for smalliesin a big, clear lake. What should I look for?
Look for flats and balls of bait. Throw anything that’s a shad imitation.
Will moving the Classic back a couple of weeks help?
Definitely. Even just a change of three days or so could be huge. It could be 10 degrees warmer and the fish would be hopping.
Did you have any idea you were going to win on the last day at Sturgeon Bay?
No, but I felt really good. The only person I was really afraid of was Greg Hackney, but he was sharing an area with others in the Top 10, and I had my area all to myself.
What’s your personal best largemouth?
14-1! I caught it in Coyote Lake in California in the early 2000s.
What are the best jerkbait colors for a clear water bite?
I like the Pro Blue and the Pro Blue 2 from Megabass.
If you had to choose between Table Rock, Toledo Bend and Okeechobee to fish in the next couple of weeks, which one would you go to?
I just can’t seem to cash a check in Florida, so I would choose Florida just for the experience. It is so backwards. I would go just to learn it.
If you could choose any lake to live on, which would you choose?
Toledo Bend, maybe, or Clear Lake.
When you and Trait pre-fish together, do you fish different patterns?
Yes. We fish in separate boats, and at the end of the day, we compare notes, just like the Lee brothers or Lane brothers would do. Finesse and flipping are her strengths, and I fill in the gaps.
Who would you most like to see win the Classic, besides yourself?
Brandon Palaniuk. I also like to see the other guys from the other tours, like Opens or Nation, win it. I’d like to see a name you’ve never heard of win the Classic.
Have you ever gotten a ticket from a game warden?
I don’t think so, but maybe a ranger back in California.
Of the Elite Series pros, who would win in a bar brawl?
Jacob Powroznik and Chris Lane, with Bobby Lane behind him. Those three could walk into any bar and clean up.
How do you think Adrian Avena will do in the Elite Series?
Probably well! He seems like a cool guy and a hard worker.
Have you ever fished Beaver Lake?
No. I’ve been all over the White River, but not on Norfork or Beaver.
How did you become a bass pro?
I was 15 and in high school, and I had an inflatable boat I’d strap to the top of the station wagon. I worked my way up, and then I won a boat in 2005. I used it as a stepping stone to the pros.
What kind of reels do you use?
I’m a Shimano guy, and I’m not even sponsored by them. I use the Shimano Core, and I rarely dip below 6.2:1. I use 7:1 and 8:1, too.
Have you fished Champlain?
Yes, and I love it. I like to go to Ticonderoga, about an hour and 15 minutes away, and flip big ones out of there.
Thanks for joining us, @ChrisZaldain, and good luck in the Classic!
Thanks everyone for tuning in, and we'll see you out there soon!