I know I’m not going to be an Aaron Martens or Kevin VanDam; but I felt like I could make a living in the sport. So, I gave myself, my mom, and my stepdad a goal of year or two and said if I couldn’t make money at it, I wouldn’t continue. Luckily, I was able to make money. I didn’t win any events; but I was still able to pay my bills at the time and I thought as long as I continue to do the right thing financially, I could continue.
WB: What was the route that you took to get your Classic qualification?
KERR: I fished the B.A.S.S. Nation. It is kind of a long process. For instance, a person would fish 2021 to qualify for the 2023 Classic.
I finished the Nevada Region, which of course is the area closest to where I live. To qualify for the Classic, you have to make it to Regionals and be the top guy in your state at the Regionals to go to the Nationals.
The Nationals are really big, because it’s the best guy from each state and those guys are generally pretty good. I had to fish three qualifying tournaments to get to the Regionals. I got lucky because the Regionals we’re at Lake Mead. All of the Nevada guys are good at Mead, but at that time of the year, which was spring, I thought I had a pretty good chance.
I didn’t think I was doing that good at all, until the last day. That’s when I kind of figured it out and it put me into second for the tournament and second for the state. I was the highest Nevada finisher, so I went to the Nationals.
The Nationals were at Pickwick and that was in November 2020. I had to be in the top-three to make the Classic. I got really lucky there, because it got hot and I’m not really good in the cold. It had been about 20° for a couple of weeks and then they had a heat wave. It went to 85°, the whole time we were there and that was a lot better for me. I was able to catch them shallow and ended up third place. So pretty much, I had to fish five tournaments to get into the Classic; but it took a long time to get there.
WB: How did it feel when you knew you got the Classic nod?
KERR: I would say that you can’t anticipate that you will make it. You just try and do the best you can during the tournament.
But it has always been a goal to make it to one Classic and at least have a shot at trying to win; so, it was more like a relief than anything else. It was a relief that I was able to achieve one of my goals. I am a person who always wants to make goals for myself. I always want to try and achieve the goals as fast as I can; but sometimes, it doesn’t work like that. The Classic qualification was one of my goals. I wanted to at least go once, before I got too old and couldn’t fish anymore or something else happened. You just never know in life.
I would love to go again and there’s always that chance; but it’s very hard to get there through the Nation.
WB: What was it like getting and staying mentally prepared, once you knew you qualified in November 2020