ASK THE PROS: Fisherman Skeet Reese Shares His Most-Memorable Catch

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Whether you’re an avid angler or a newbie to the sport, you’d likely love to spend a day trying to catch some fish with a guy like Skeet Reese. And no, it’s not because he’s a bass market legend, and you’d probably end up nailing a few monsters. But rather, he’s a genuine guy who seems chock full of wisdom beyond his years. Heck, his unique name alone would have you interested from the get-go.

When asked how his day is going, he cheerfully replies, “Everyday’s a good day!” in a chill, west coast tone with just a hint of twang. Born and raised in northern California, Reese started fishing with his parents when he was just five years old. He caught his first bass at the age of eight, and it wasn’t long after that he decided he wanted to make a living out of doing what he loved most: fishing.

“By the time I was 12, I read a story about another angler named Rick Clunn being a professional bass fisherman. That’s when the dream was started,” says Reese. “I thought, ‘This guy fishes for a living? That’s the coolest job I ever heard about!’ I wanted to do that. I had no idea what the heck that meant, but it sounded cool to me.”

From that point on, Reese set his sights on going pro. In 1997, he did just that and has made quite the name for himself in the bass fishing world over the years.

An angler like Reese catches countless fish during his career, but one in particular stands out as his most-memorable catch of all time: his fifth fish in the 2007 Elite Series Finale at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Florida. This little fish helped Reese capture his first major title, Angler of the Year.

“That was the last tournament of the season,” explains Reese. “I was leading the points going into that event. On day three, I knew all I needed to do was catch five bass, and I would have enough points that no one could beat me. I was fishing with one of my signature Fiberglass Crankbait Rods and a little Lucky Craft S.K.T. Signature Crank Bait, casting along the edge of the canal. When I caught it, I realized I achieved the number one goal in my fishing career,” he says.

Capturing the AOY title was the win Reese needed to validate a career that was 20 years in the making, and it hit him like an emotional ton of bricks.

“I was a mess,” recalls Reese. “I started crying. I was shaking. I don’t remember much after that. It became a blur, but I remember at that moment, I was emotionally overwhelmed. When you have a dream and a goal and you set it that high—to be able to achieve it—it doesn’t get better than that.”

That goal he set came true in a big way, and funny enough, it wasn’t with a big fish. While some anglers might boast about their biggest largemouth prizes, the catch that pushed Reese to victory was just a two-pound bass. His most-memorable catch has more sentimental value than size, which is a perfect example of what makes this guy—with golden boy looks to match his sunny disposition—so naturally likable.