You’re going to run an aluminum boat in the Elites this year. What’s the story behind your rig?
One of my good friends, he had an Xpress X19, and he ran it a long time. I had never set foot in an X21 until I bought my boat ... I bought that boat because I knew the capabilities of the X19. The first real big test for me with the X21 was at a regional at Lake of the Ozarks. It’s well known for big waves, and the first day of the tournament, the wind was blowing like a sustained 37 mph. We had some really rough water we had to cross to get back to the boat ramp that day. I told my co-angler to hang on because I really couldn’t afford to slow down. After running through those waves at about 50 miles per hour, it proved to me that I had chosen the right boat. Xpress is a long-lived, family-owned company, and I couldn’t have asked for a better combination of components. For me to do what I like to do, and that’s get up where other guys can’t go, it’s perfect … I fished a 17-foot aluminum boat when I started in smaller tournaments 12 years ago, and I learned then I could get a boat like that into those tight, small places. The bigger aluminum boat lets me run big water while still having shallow-water capability.