Scott Canterbury wins Bassmaster


Scott Canterbury wins Bassmaster Angler of the Year


By Craig Lamb

Consistently finishing near the top of the tournament scoreboard for an entire Bassmaster® Elite Series season is how you win the Bassmaster® Angler of the Year title. Scott Canterbury did just that, but only after overcoming setbacks that could take anyone but the most persistent angler out of the race.

Scott Canterbury wins Bassmaster Angler of the Year

Scott Canterbury wins Bassmaster Angler of the Year

Canterbury, 43, of Odenville, Ala., won the coveted title and it’s $100,000 reward after the conclusion of a nine-event schedule that played out from February until September, on the nation’s top trophy bass fisheries. To win Bassmaster® Angler of the Year, there are no shortcuts, no easy way to the top. Points are accrued not by the number of fish you catch, but by the overall weight of bass that cross the scales.

Ironically, winning the sport’s most respected title was not a priority for Canterbury, a veteran pro fishing from a Skeeter® FX21 powered by a Yamaha VMAX SHO® 250 h.p. outboard.

“My goal coming into the season was to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic® next year,” he said. “Angler of the Year is always there on the radar. It’s just way out there.”

Tough Road to Angler of the Year

Angler of the Year is never easy to reach, and it didn’t come easy for Canterbury. He overcame a tough start at the season opener on the St. Johns River and finished ninth. He kept the momentum going, finishing 11th at the next event on Georgia’s Lake Lanier, 22nd at South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell, and second place at nearby Winyah Bay.

Scott Canterbury wins Bassmaster Angler of the Year

The first setback came at Lake Fork, Texas, where he finished 49th out of 75 anglers. He rebounded with a 22nd place at Lake Guntersville, then finished third and 11th, respectively, in New York events at the St. Lawrence River and Cayuga Lake.

Then came the biggest setback yet at the Bassmaster® Angler of the Year Championship, held on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Canterbury was locked in a tight race for the finish with Arkansas pro-Stetson Blaylock, Canadian Cory Johnston, and Texas pro-Chris Zaldain. Canterbury was forced to fish the entire first day without the use of depth finders on the front of his boat. With an offshore bite, he was unable to see bass and the bottom cover in which they related to using his underwater eyes. Even so, persistence paid off, and he weighed a remarkable 18 pounds. It was just enough to hold off the challengers and earn him the title.

“You always set goals that you don’t think you can reach—because they’re easy to reach, you didn’t set them high enough.”

Mission accomplished on both goals. Canterbury won the title and will compete in the history-making 50th Classic set for next March, and ironically, on Lake Guntersville near his hometown.

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