No ‘Off Season’ for Brandon Palaniuk


No ‘Off Season’ for Brandon Palaniuk

By Craig Lamb


Professional bass fishermen relish the “off-season” that follows a non-stop grind of tournament travel from January through September. The boat stays in the garage, and the fishing tackle is stowed. Out comes the hunting gear with days spent relaxing in the great outdoors.

Normally, that is the plan for Brandon Palaniuk of Hayden, Idaho. He is an avid archery hunter and enjoys stalking elk in the western states.

This year is different. There is no “off season”, but you won’t find him complaining.

Palaniuk, 30, recently became the Toyota® Bassmaster® Angler of the Year. It is the most coveted of all titles in professional bass fishing because it is the most challenging to earn. Winning requires coming out on top in a points race after nine qualifying events in the Bassmaster® Elite Series.

Palaniuk won the title at the AOY championship held in September in Minnesota. On Sept. 18, Palaniuk and his girlfriend Tiffanie McCall, along with their dog Bella, packed up their RV and headed back to Idaho. Their arrival home a few days later marked one of the few times the couple had been home since they set out on the circuit in January.

“I didn’t get much time to go hunting this season because I haven’t been home,” said Palaniuk in late October. “I have also only slept in my own bed seven nights since returning from the AOY championship.”

Palaniuk likes to wind down by going fun fishing on some of his favorite lakes that he never gets to see during the tournament season. So far, only a few days have been spent fishing on his own.

He’s flown around the country to meetings, more photo shoots, and wedging in time for every form of media there is, from podcasts to radio interviews and more.

“Things will slow down in mid-November, but not much, because it will be time to get ready for 2018.” That includes ordering his new Skeeter.

Brandon attributes much of his success on the tournament trail to his choice of a Skeeter FX series rig.

“What I really like is single live-well with dual capabilities,” he explained. “What that means is you have a live-well that is fully connected.”

“It has a removable divider in the center that is easy to take out with thumbscrews. The benefit of that is when I’m not fishing a partner or team tournament I can remove it for more fish space. Big fish have more room to prevent stress.”

Reliability of the Skeeter live-well system is important to pros like Brandon. Costly ounces are subtracted from the weight of a daily catch. Those ounces can cost a win or being cut from an elimination-style event, like the Elite Series. Runs across big water are a given, and some can span 100 miles or more. Reliable fish care is essential and Skeeter delivers.

“Really important for me is that if a pump goes out the live-well remains fully functional,” he explained. “I can use the functioning pumps without worrying about fish care. Plus, I can use both sides of the pumps for even better fish care when big bass are inside.”

Paying attention to such detail is a hallmark attribute of Skeeter. Brandon also appreciates his boat’s reputation and reliability for performance.

“I also like the hull design and ride of the Skeeter. It rides practically the same in rough and calm water. Boat control is amazing. So is response time in rough water. The hull responds fast and that really is important in rough water.”

The holidays will be spent with friends and family, maybe some hunting, and then ramping back up for the season.

That will come soon enough. Palaniuk is booked for personal appearances at outdoor shows for every weekend in January and February.

Brandon, Tiffanie, and Bella will load the RV sometime in mid-January and head East. They will make stops along the way, sometimes at shows and otherwise to park the RV, board Bella, and fly to an appearance. Eventually, they will end up at Lake Martin, where Palaniuk hopes to kick off another championship year.

“Thankfully, with the RV it’s not such a big deal because we basically take home with us on the road.”

That is a good thing. The year begins in February and concludes in October. Maybe then Palaniuk will have the traditional down time he’s enjoyed in the past.

“I hope not,” he said with a laugh, hoping for another AOY trophy.

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This document contains many of Skeeter’s valuable trademarks. It may also contain trademarks belonging to other companies. Any references to other companies or their products are for identification purposes only, and are not intended to be an endorsement.


Original Source:  Sportsmans


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