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Recently during one of those “fishing” conversations, the following question was presented to me: “Who are the top five bass fishermen in Wisconsin?” – a name near the top of that list that generated a lot of discussion is Jim Jones. Jim lives in Big Bend Wisconsin and has gained the reputation as being "One to Beat". More often than not he can be found waiting in the check line after the events he fishes. His career earnings in EverStart and BFL events alone total over twenty thousand dollars. His record boasts seven top ten finishes, with his best being a win in the 2004 BFL Great Lakes division on the Wolf River Chain, where he won by over a pound margin. During the time he has fished the BFL events he has qualified for the regional three times. In 2005 Jim stepped up to the EverStart Series, now known as the Stren Series and had immediate success. His success was not limited to FLW events alone, Jim had several other major accomplishments in 2005.
glance at Jim’s 2005 success:
place – ABC Bass National Championship – (Won a Bass Cat Boat)
place in the Everstart Tournament on the Mississippi River (Pro
Division – won $10,000.
place Everstart Tournament in Escanaba Michigan (Co-angler – won
the Wisconsin State Team (Wisconsin Bass Federation)
place Wisconsin FOM East division Wolf River Tournament
have known Jim for a few years now and his record speaks for itself
but last week I had a chance to talk to him about what the future
brings and what makes him tick. He is the type of man that is not only
a super fisherman, but also a great guy! Just ask anyone that has ever
fished with him as a co-angler – if they draw Jim, they get plenty
of water to fish, an excellent opportunity to learn and odds are they
will cash a check.
had a phenomenal 2005 - what was the highlight for you?
started out in June winning the ABC Bass National Championship which
was huge, I thought at the time winning a boat and that title would be
my highlight of the year, but then in July I finished 2nd
in the Everstart (Stren) Series Tournament in La Crosse. That
tournament was definitely the highlight of my season. I really was
amazed by the media coverage and the effect that coverage has for my
sponsors. It’s a really good feeling when your sponsors tell you
they saw a spike in sales during and after the tournament. It
also was exciting to have my family and friends at the weigh-ins and
following my success this year. My wife and kids surprised me
and came out to the weigh-in in La Crosse after I made the cut.
I didn’t know they were coming until they showed while I was waiting
in the weigh-in line. Having the support of your family is so
important to do well at tournament fishing.
are your plans for 2006?
plan to increase my focus on fishing the Stren Series Midwest Division
as a boater. This is where I’ll spend most of my time and
effort due to my long-term goals. I will also spend some time on the
Federation events, a few BFL’s, Fishers of Men’s, BASS Weekend
Series’ and some open tournaments.
I also hope to get my 6-year-old twins out fishing locally a lot more
this summer. My son never stops talking about summer coming so
he can go out with his “fishing buddy.”
are your long-term goals?
really want to make it to the FLW Tour, I hope through the Stren
Series this year I can qualify to do that in 2007.
do you consider your strength?
really consider myself a power fisherman, if I have to fish slow I
can, but I don’t like to do it. Fishing river systems is
real strengths are swimming Brovarney Jigs and pitching an ISG Dream
Tube. These 2 baits are responsible for 95% of the fish I caught in
advice would you give to a new bass fisherman?
think it is very important for new anglers to join a bass club or fish
a pro/am series, and read a lot of magazines to get a broad base of
knowledge. The most important thing is putting time on the water
and proving your skills over time. It is great to have big goals
and dreams, but a love for the sport and a dose of reality is more
important. I have seen too many new guys fish in a club for a
couple years thinking they are really great, expecting to go to Pro
and fish for a living right away. They get frustrated and quit
fishing all together in a couple years when that doesn’t happen.
If you are truly fishing for the love of fishing and the thrill of
competition, you will go a lot farther.
most important thing in fishing is confidence in what you do. I
believe everyone should figure out a technique or two that they enjoy
and perfect those techniques. If you get good at something you will
always catch some fish. I guess it really comes down to time on the
water, the more you fish the better you’ll get and the more
confidence you’ll have.