Two Elite Wins in One Year

bassmaster elite series wins

Winter 2021


Brandon Palaniuk has amassed nearly $1.5 million in B.A.S.S. career winnings, with five Elite Series victories and nine Bassmaster Classic qualifications.

page 34

are going to pay you a whole bunch of money and it’s going to be great, but the reality is that you add in the coronavirus and the fact that I’ve been doing it for 10 years and it’s just not that way. Everybody’s super-pumped up and excited, but nobody’s really thrown a bunch of money at me.

What it does do, is it concrete you in it. Every win you get validates what you’re doing more and more. At this point, I don’t do it for anybody else. I don’t do it for the money or any of that. I do it because I love it. I think when you win two like this, it just puts you in a special place. There is a very small group of people that have won two in a year and there’s only a small group of people that have ever won five Blue Trophies in their career. Now, I am one of them.

WB: So, what are you going do with the $200,000?

PALANIUK: I didn’t have a title deal this year. I took a hit on some sponsorships this year from companies changing. Some I was splitting ways with and some due to COVID, so the $200K helps offset that stuff. So, for me, it wasn’t like I just have an extra $200 grand. I got extra money, but it wasn’t like a $200 grand profit, because I’m also fishing all eight of the Opens, plus the Elites and all the entry fees and things like that add up pretty quick.

WB: So it all just goes back into the bankroll for tournament expenses?

PALANIUK: Well I’ll invest some. I try to be smart with my money knowing that it won’t just last forever.

WB: What were the must-have baits that caught your fish through the season and were instrumental in your wins?

PALANIUK: It wasn’t just one bait. We’ve been to so many different venues and it’s changed so much. Both of my wins were both very heavy on the X Zone side of things. I had four different X Zone baits that I weighed fish on. Key fish at Santee Cooper we’re on different X Zone products and at Champlain, I ended up weighing two largemouth on X Zone baits. One was on a Fat Finesse Worm from X Zone, the other one being on a glide bait and then all the others on the X Zone Slammer. I would say that has been a pretty big key for both of my wins, but I’ve also caught tons of fish throughout the year on Rapala crankbaits and Storm Arashi Top Walkers.

WB: Any one thing you couldn’t of lived without this year?

PALANIUK: My Skeeter – my new FXR helped me run through six-footers on Champlain, where I had to run 10 miles in 18 minutes. Also, my Humminbird MEGA 360 – I have won a lot of money on that. Not just this year, but over time.

WB: Is there anything about the season that you would like people to know that they may not?

PALANIUK: I said this once before, but I think it’s worth repeating. Nobody should ever get into this sport for the money or the fame or the sponsors. You should only want to do it because you cannot physically or mentally live without it. •