G m E ee T t T Br I y N an G t S P m A it I h D
ryant Smith of Castro Valley, has been fishing
since he was 7-years-old and competitively
fishing as a western pro in FLW since 2012. Getting serious about the endeavor, Bryant went to work
on the water.
From 2016 to present, Smith has pocketed more than
a quarter million from two major bass angling circuits –
the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) and the Wild West
Bass Trail (WWBT). His career highlights being victories in
the 2016 WWBT Lucas Oil Championship on Lake Mead
and the 2017 Costa FLW Series Western Division at Clear
Lake. Smith claimed plus-or-minus $70K for each of
these wins, alone.
Success on such varied bodies of water underline
Smith’s angling prowess. WesternBass checked in with
Smith to get to know more about the 27-year-old angler.
We started with the cash.
WB: WWBT only came on to the scene in 2016 and you’ve already racked up $100,000 in winnings from the circuit. What’s that feel like?
SMITH: It’s crazy. It’s a lot of money to win in a short amount of time and I couldn’t have done it without Wild West. Their payback, their contingency money – it’s all something really special to have available to us out west and a great opportunity.
WB: You got about $68,000 from the first-ever WWBT year-end championship presented by Lucas Oil at Lake Mead. Where did the rest of the winnings come from?
SMITH: I’ve had a handful of top-10’s and probably $30,000 in contingency money too. The contingencies really add up over time. I cannot say enough about the WWBT, their sponsors and the contingencies. If you support them, they support you. Evinrude alone gives away $10,000 at every event. You don’t see that type of support very often. You have a few good events and run the right product and it adds up.
WB: That much money that fast, can be life- changing. What are you going to do with yours?
SMITH: The past few years, I’ve been fortunate to win a few and it’s going for a down payment on a house.
WB: You are the reigning FLW Western Division Clear Lake champion. How do you go from a win at Mead one year, to one at Clear Lake the next? They are such different fisheries.
SMITH: No matter where I go, I try to keep an open mind. I go into each event with the same mindset and fish in the moment. I don’t rely on history or dock talk. I like to see the lake, see the water and fish what feels right at the time. I fish by instinct a lot and when I do, I do my best.
WB: I remember a couple of years ago, you won the Triton Owners, an ABA TOC and were runner-up in another team TOC all within several weeks at Clear Lake; so you’re experience there is obvious; but had you spent much time at Mead, or other desert lakes, prior to your WWBT win?
SMITH: I had fished Havasu before; but Mead and Havasu are two different animals. Havasu is more of a “spot” lake, where one spot is better than the other. Mead is more of a pattern lake. It’s like if you get a bite in one area, you can almost run it around the whole lake with that pattern. Patterns are the way I like to fish, and I did that when I was at Mead. I think that is why I had a victory there.
WB: What type of fisherman would you say you are?
SMITH: In general, I like power fishing. I like to throw a crankbait, or ChatterBait or flip. I like anything that I can move quickly and fish for the aggressive fish. I don’t like to sit in one area and wait fish out. I would rather hit 10 areas and pick off the aggressive ones. I like to run around a lot.
WB: After interviewing several times for your successful finishes, it seems like they have been