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.For angler’s fishing in the Great Lakes division of the BFL Rick Miller from Bettendorf, Iowa needs no introduction. Rick is a tool and die maker for Ken-Tronics and has been so for sixteen years. He is forty-nine years young and has won nearly seventy three thousand dollars fishing FLW events. All but forty five hundred of his earnings have been at the BFL level.
speaks volumes and proves him to be one of the most consistent and
dominate anglers in the region. His
resume boast seventeen top ten finishes and that is since 1995, all
Operation Bass records prior 1995 were lost due to fire.
In 1997 Rick won the BFL event at La Crosse, Wisconsin and in
2000 he won the BFL regional at Fort Madison, Iowa.
In 2005 he earned the points champion title for the Great Lakes
division with a twenty eight point cushion over second place angler
Randy Wieczorek. Rick has qualified for the BFL All American an impressive six
times. Keep in mind the
above is only what he has achieved in the BFL, his success has been
equivalent in the many open events he has fished throughout the
We mentioned that Rick had qualified for six All
American events and that he won the 2000 regional at Fort Madison.
In fact, three of the six All Americans that he has qualified
for have been through regional championships held at Fort Madison,
Iowa, also known as Lake Cooper. The regional has been to Fort Madison
three times and it has equaled three All American berths for Rick
Miller. In 2006 the BFL
Great Lakes division will once again fish the regional championship at
Fort Madison and needless to say Rick plans on being there.
Many consider Rick Miller to be one of the favorites, if not
the favorite to win this event as its hard to argue with history.
What is the key to your long time success and
consistency? “First of
all my father Marv Miller, was a top rated angler and fished the first
BassMaster Classic in 1971, so I had a really good teacher” says
Miller. “I’ve been an outdoorsman all my life and I believe that
hunting and fishing have many parallels.
Learning ambush points and how the game set up to feed in
hunting will help when your on the water,” advises Miller.
He went on to say one of the most important things is, “Time
on the water, not just being on the water but thinking and learning
while you’re on the water. Learning
where fish migrate and concentrate during different seasons and making
mental notes. Constantly
thinking about and analyzing what is happening in various situations.
Over time it becomes basic instinct to know where to go and
what to do in various seasons and situations,” Describes Miller.
“Today’s up and coming anglers have many more
sources of information than myself and my father had,” says Miller.
“With today’s internet you have the ability to check river
flows and water temps and even get historical data.
If I were an angler starting out now I would keep a journal and
log all of this information along with my time on the water” advises
Miller. Rick also stated,
“along with the internet there is a wealth of fishing
publications out there and a lot can be learned by just reading and
then applying what you have learned when your on the water”
When asked what his favorite style of fishing was, Rick
struggled a bit and wasn’t so quick to respond. “I try to be versatile,” he stated. “If I had to choose one style as a favorite it would be
flipping and pitching heavy cover such as weeds, grass mats and
laydowns.” I found the
way he struggled to answer the question to be quite impressive as
generally most are quick to respond when asked this question.
Most successful anglers make a true effort to be versatile but
always seem to have a favorite type or style of fishing.
Rick seemed to genuinely, not have a favorite style but chose
one to offer a response to the question.
When asked what his weakness was Rick had a definite
answer “My weakness is crankbaits,” stated Miller.
“Not because I don’t have confidence in them but the simple
fact that I don’t use them enough and believe I should.
I just feel more comfortable throwing other baits especially
when around heavy cover. I use rattle traps and other lipless
crankbaits quite a bit but don’t really consider these baits a
Rick concentrates his efforts at the local level,
although it is clear he has the ability to move to a higher level if
he chose to do so. His
sponsors include St. Croix Rods, Champion Boats and Mercury Motors.
FutureBass will keep track of Rick’s progress throughout
the 2006 season and his quest to qualify for a seventh BFL All
American via the regional championship at Fort Madison, Iowa (Lake