The Bassmaster Elite Series puzzle – or puzzles — is made up of many pieces. First, an angler must figure out how to qualify for the Elite Series. Next, the pro has to learn how to be consistent on the water and ultimately survive when an Elite spot is earned. These are all challenging, humbling steps.
For Destin DeMarion, a pro who calls Lake Erie – Presque Isle Bay – home, the plan to tackle the first puzzle piece began back in his college days. He derived a plan to fish the Bassmaster Opens as a co-angler to learn new lakes and network. Step one.
“I tried to fish the bodies of water that we would end up fishing on the Elites to prepare, especially when I was a co-angler and had a good amount of success. I had never really fished in the South for bass until I fished the Southern Opens in 2013. I had little to no experience in the Central part of the country until the 2014 Central Opens, either.”
Step two – fish the Bassmaster Opens as a pro and qualify for the Elites. Sounds easy, right? Fresh off four years as a co-angler, DeMarion made the jump to the pro side to continue trying to put the puzzle together. For most anglers making the move to fish as a pro, there are common challenges. The biggest of them: money.
“I feel like anglers know when it's time to move up, and for me, like most guys, money was a big factor. I was fortunate enough at the end of 2014 to start working with DuraEdge Products, my title sponsor and current employer when I am not fishing. DuraEdge manufactures infield soils and products for baseball and softball fields. Funny enough, I connected with the owner after my good friend Kurt Dove ran over his lawn. Things definitely happen for a reason.”