How Brandon Palaniuk Won 2 Elite Series Events in 2020

How Brandon Palaniuk Won 2 Elite Series Events in 2020

Winter 2021


exactly where I am at right now. Or where I was in 2018. So then when I left that, I didn’t really have any closure or understanding of exactly why I did leave. For me, it just didn’t feel right. I would say the biggest thing that scared me was that it started to feel more like a job than something I was passionate about. And that is not why I started fishing.

WB: Besides the obvious, what makes the MLF-style format so different for you?

PALANIUK: If I’m not fishing a tournament, my deck lid is going to be filled with giant swimbaits and I’m just trying to get one or two bites. I make my living fishing tournaments, but my hobby is throwing big swimbaits and because I’ve always been that way, I think it’s easier for me to get attached or get excited about the five-fish limit format.

When I catch a five-pounder it equals five-pounds, which is exactly the same as five-pounds in the MLF format. Five pounds is five-pounds, but it’s a lot harder to catch a five- pounder than to catch three two-pounders. A five-pounder just gets overshadowed in MLF-style, because in a five-fish limit, I may have one five-pounder, which is five pounds

with four more

slots to fill,

but someone

with three two-

pounders has


with only two

more slots to fill.

So even if you

both have five

pounds, it isn’t

the same.

The reality

is targeting big

fish is a different

technique. The

biggest fish in

a body of water

just doesn’t live

the same as

the smaller fish.

The bigger fish tend to like the cooler water more and they are generally not in bigger groups. Those things kind of contradict the typical thoughts to fishing. Targeting big fish is more of a specialty, within a tournament and the Elites format is more tailored for that.

WB: Was there anything about MLF-format that you miss?

PALANIUK: Yes, there are some things that I really liked about the MLF format. It made you make decisions much quicker. You had to fish off instincts a lot more, because you had to constantly get bites to be competitive. If your bite changed or slowed down, you didn’t have time to wait it out. You just had to move on to the next thing and figure out how to go get a bite. I enjoyed that side of it, because it was super-intense and fast-paced. But the reality of it was, even if I was in contention to win in MLF, it was not the same

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