Arey’s Only Missing One Trophy

March 20, 2024
B.A.S.S. News

If Matt Arey’s boat number at this year’s Bassmaster Classic is any indication of good things to come, then #22 might just lead to first place. Arey is the ultimate ‘girl dad,’ and his two young daughters love Taylor Swift’s hit song “22”.

Arey admits his soul’s still not over dancing as a bridesmaid following his second-place finish to buddy, Hank Cherry at the Bassmaster Classic in Fort Worth three years ago. But the North Carolina angler’s track record of Top 5 finishes on Grand Lake are astonishing enough to make him a strong favorite to finally touch the first-place trophy that’s eluded him thus far. 

In FLW Costa series events on Grand Lake, he bagged a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finish between 2015 and 2017, but much like the Bassmaster Classic, never quite secured a victory.

“Those three finishes were a mix of mostly bed fishing but also moving slowly with a jig in the pre-spawn. I just feel at home in Ozark area lakes because you can visually read the shoreline transitions without depending on forward-facing sonar. Grand Lake, much like Beaver Lake, is a pattern-oriented lake, and I like that. Emily and I built our home using my winnings on Beaver Lake,” smiles the Team Toyota angler. 

Arey’s track record as a pro is tough to rival, with 15 straight end-of-the-year championships, including five straight Classics since joining the Elite Series, but still, a win has escaped him like a blackjack oak leaf being blown by the March winds that come sweeping down the Oklahoma plains. 

“I’ve had some very, very, special weeks on Grand Lake, but not quite special enough,” laments Arey hours before the start of the 54th Bassmaster Classic.

A consummate professional and fantastic family man, Arey is hard not to root for to finally put his hands on pro bass fishing’s most coveted trophy. If he does, count on Taylor Swift’s song “22” to be part of the music played at the Champion’s Toast party Sunday night in Tulsa.