Rookie Przekurat, 22, starts impressively

Jay Przekurat set a high goal for his first two Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments. It was to make a check in both season-openers in Florida. The 22-year-old Stevens Point, Wis., angler did that and more.

Przekurat (pronounced “shuh-kur-at”) left the Harris Chain last weekend as not only the Falcon Rods Bassmaster Rookie of the Year points leader, he’s also ranked 16th in Bassmaster Angler of the Year points standings.

Most impressive was Przekurat’s Day 3 performance at the Harris Chain. He barely made the two-day cut, taking the final 47th-place spot. Then he nearly qualified to compete in the Top 10 final by catching 22 pounds, 5 ounces, and surging up to a 14th-place finish.

“I like to flip shallow,” he said. “I had a good practice, but I didn’t have a good first two days. I stayed in Lake Apopka every day. Saturday, they bit like they did in practice. I fished one rod all week, flipping a 1/2-ounce weight on a Texas-rigged Strike King Structure Bug.”

Przekurat set a season-long goal of winning the Rookie of the Year title. If he keeps making two-day cuts like he did in Florida, he’ll undoubtedly achieve that goal. Przekurat finished 33rd at the St. Johns River in the season opener. He’s earned 155 points after two events.

Masayuki Matsushita, who opened the season with a third-place finish at the St. Johns River, finished 83rd at the Harris Chain and is now second in ROY points with 116. 

After four of the 10-angler rookie class made the two-day cut at the St. Johns River, Przekurat was the only rookie to make it at the Harris Chain. Joseph Webster of Hamilton, Ala., was 56th, and he’s now third in ROY points with 98. 

Finally, one further note about Przekurat: While more and more young anglers are learning the pro bass fishing trade by competing on college teams, Przekurat took a different route. He fished Bassmaster Opens as a co-angler for two seasons, before competing in the Opens as a boater. As a co-angler he earned a check in five of eight events and won the co-angler title at Grand Lake in 2019 and Lay Lake in 2020.

“I learned so much from all of those guys,” he said. When asked to single out one or two who taught him the most, Przekurat mentioned the days he was paired as a co-angler with now fellow-Elite Series pros Brandon Cobb and Patrick Walters. “Those would be my top two.”

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