When Day 1 of Bassmaster Elite Series competition on the St Johns River was called off this morning due to high and dangerous winds, most pro anglers took advantage of the “off-day” by resting. Some went fishing on non-tournament waters, others caught up on social media content, and plenty spent the day taking it easy. Not Chris Zaldain.
Around lunchtime I found last year’s Angler of the Year runner-up rocking a Carhartt t-shirt and a power drill in the boat yard. Fine-tuning his Humminbird electronics with service crewmembers before heading home to meticulously work on tackle.
“After nine years as a professional angler, I know my way around a toolbox,” Zaldain said with a laugh. “Equipment malfunctions are a reality of being a professional angler when you travel and push your equipment as much as we do. I’ve learned the best way to diagnose problems and give myself every possible minute of fishing time is to know my boat in and out; bow to stern.”
After watching Zaldain tinker for a few minutes, it was obvious he wasn’t embellishing. It turns out Zaldain has taken to rigging his own Skeeter Boat the past several years in order to be as knowledgeable as possible about his equipment. From his Yamaha Outboard to his Minn Kota trolling motor and every accessory in between, Zaldain is able to troubleshoot common issues so he can maximize his fishing time.