You’d be hard-pressed to find two top pros who live life with a stronger sense of faith and family than Team Toyota’s Matt Arey and Brandon Lester. And they’re indisputably two of the world’s top pro anglers too.
They graciously shared their thoughts on what fans can expect when the 52nd Bassmaster Classic begins Thursday on Lake Hartwell, and also talked a bit about their shared love of country music too.
What percentage of the 55 Classic anglers will bring a 5-bass limit to the scales on Day 1, and how much weight will you need for a Top 5 on Day 1?
Arey: 95% will catch their limit, and you’ll need 17 pounds to land in the Top 5 after Day 1.
Lester: I agree, 95% will catch their limit, and you’d better have at least 17 pounds.
Show us one lure you won’t leave the dock without.
Arey: 6” Hog Father Junior swimbait
Lester: A wacky-rigged Senko on a size 2 Mustad Titan X hook, on a spinning rod.
What percentage of the fish weighed in at this Classic will be spotted bass?
What concerns you most going into this tournament?
Arey: Keeping up with the fast-moving changes now that we’ve got all this really warm weather.
Lester: The changing conditions. We started practice with late winter to early spring conditions, and by this Saturday we may very well see fish on beds.
Name two anglers fans should have on their Rapala Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing team
Arey: Brandon Cobb and Brandon Lester
Lester: Brandon Cobb knows Hartwell extremely well, and he understands blueback herring. And also, Jacob Powroznik, because he’s so good during that late pre-spawn to spawning period with a wacky worm tied on.
What are your two favorite qualities of the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra?
Arey: It rides so comfortable, and that 14” touch screen on the dash makes life on the road so much easier and safer.
Lester: The ride is amazing! It floats like a big luxury car! And the twin-turbo V6 is loaded with horsepower and torque.
What have you been listening to on your drive to the ramp?
Arey: Chris Stapleton and Morgan Wallen
Lester: A ton of Jason Isbell, specifically a song called “Cigarettes and Wine” – it actually played last night at the Champions Night banquet, and I was stoked!