Greg Vinson reveals what it's like to be a professional bass angler!
Glenn: Hi, I'm Glenn May with BassResource.com, and with me today is Greg Vinson. Greg, it's great to have you here today.
Greg Vinson: Good to be here, Glenn.
Glenn: Greg, when you're getting ready for a tournament, how far in advance do you start prepping for it and what types of things are you doing?
Greg: Well, Glenn, I qualified for the Classic in June last year with the Elite Series. So, I immediately began preparing. I started looking at the conditions, gathering maps, doing research on the Internet because I knew I was going to have to do a lot of preparation, spend a lot of time for this tournament. This is a huge waterway, and so there was a lot to learn and I wanted to be ready when I got down here and got those three to four days of practice to be real specific in what I wanted to look at. I start as soon as I know the tournament is on the schedule.
Glenn: What types of things are you looking for?
Greg: This tournament, I knew by looking at the timing, obviously we could tell there was going to be a full moon. We knew it would either be a late pre-spawn or possibly a spawning tournament. Looking at it now, it stayed pretty cold, so a pre-spawn type deal. Looking for areas where those fish are going to move in to spawn. If they're not already in there, then you're looking to the places where they're going to stage. For down here, that's areas that are cut off from main river flow current and areas that are going to be a little bit warmer because they're away from that main river flow.
Glenn: When you get on a body of water and it may not be here, let's just say you've prepped for a tournament, you've done your research, you get to a body of water for the first time, what do you do? Do you spend more time looking on your graph and looking at areas, or do you actually start fishing in the area. What's your game plan?
Greg: First and foremost is understand the period that you'll be fishing in, the pre-spawn, spawn, post-spawn, summer, winter, spring type deal. You want to know what situation the fish are going to be in when you get there and that will help you determine by looking at a map where the fish are more likely to set up. So, that's the first thing I do is I go over a lot of maps, pick out areas that match up, that have potential, and then I don't fish when I first get there.
I do a lot of riding and getting a feel for the types of cover that are available and the types of areas that have potential to produce when the tournament comes around, not when I'm there for practice.
Glenn: During the tournament, let's just say things don't pan out the way you thought they would, what's some of the first things you do?
Greg: Typically, especially in the springtime tournament, more often than not that's due to weather, and experience will teach you how to adjust to changing conditions in the weather. The spring is probably the most vulnerable time of the year when that can catch up with you. Over time I kept a log for seven years. When I first started fishing I kept a fishing log. I kept every detail I could possibly imagine in that fishing log, and that helped me a lot when I got into lakes that I didn't know as much about. And it helped me change conditions a lot better.
Glenn: Well, this is your second year as an Elite pro, and this is your first Classic you've been in. Do you feel any added pressure to win the Classic this early in your career?
Greg: No. I just want to give myself every opportunity I could to win, and I didn't want to look back on this tournament and say I didn't do as well as I wanted to because of lack of effort. So, I put every effort into this tournament to be as prepared as I possibly can, use every resource I possibly can to do well. I think I have a pretty good game plan, and the rest of it hopefully I'm doing the best to control the variables that I can. There's a lot of things in this tournament that could happen that are totally out of our control, but I'm definitely going to do my part.
Glenn: Excellent. Awesome. When you hit the Elite Series, what was one of the most surprising things to you that you weren't expecting?
Greg: Wow. It's pretty surprising to look up and see I was fishing against my heroes at the time. It wasn't too long ago that I was watching the guys on ESPN. I had fished bass as a co-angler in 2004, and I was totally blown away that I was getting to fish with people like Shaw Grigsby and Skeet Reese and so many other guys. Just a few short years later, essentially I am one of those guys.
As the season went along, I realized that it really comes down to fishing. They're guys and they're putting their game plans together, and they're having to execute just like I am. The more I'm prepared, the less I'm overcome by my surroundings and these big names around me.
Glenn: What's the best part of being a pro?
Greg: The best part is I get to fish for a living. I grew up fishing since I was four years old. I would catch anything that would bite, and I'm getting to do something that I love to do for a living. It's certainly hard work, but it's work I absolutely enjoy, and I hope to do this for a very long time.
Glenn: What I'm going to do right now is called the shameless plug moment, and that is, you can talk about your sponsors all you want to or if you want to say something to your family, your friends, or maybe to your fan base out there. If you want to say anything at all, what's on your mind, the floor's yours.
Greg: I've got to say a big hello to the guy that I call the Magic Man. Some of you may know him. This is J.J. Pollack of JJ's Magic. He's a big fan, a big supporter and a big sponsor of mine. An absolutely great guy, right up there in Georgia just outside of Atlanta and all my friends and family that are coming down for the tournament. I've repeatedly been getting texts, e-mails, phone calls with everybody providing a lot of support and that really means a lot.
Glenn: Absolutely. J.J. is a great guy. He's a lot of fun to be around.
Greg: He's a card. He works hard. He makes a great product, and it really has helped me do well in some tournaments. It definitely helped me get here.
Glenn: Fantastic. Well, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Greg Vinson. I'm Glenn May with BassResource.com.