Livingston Lures pro Byron Velvick is ready for the 2014 Bassmaster Elite Series. Byron has been absent from the Bassmaster Elite Series scene since 2012. He took a medical leave of absence to allow his body to recuperate from back damage due in part to returning to the Elites too soon.
After proper recuperation and rehabilitation, Velvick feels ready to go for the 2014 Elite Series season. "I will be fishing the Elites in 2014," said Velvick. "I've been keeping busy with a variety of things this year. My Guides' Eyes show on the Outdoor Channel has kept me busy. Recently we've been shooting on a week on and a week off schedule. Plus, I have been participating in Major League Fishing. There is an event coming up in a week. My fall is packed, plus I will also be doing something at the Bassmaster Classic, some sort of commentating."
Velvick is keen on physical fitness. "In 2014, I plan on taking it a lot easier on myself physically," said Velvick. "No more excessive practicing for tournaments, no more daylight to dark sessions. I will back off a lot more. "My best events in the past always came about after pretty poor practices. I usually found the right bite during the tournament days. There is no reason to beat myself up before an event. I suffered horribly. "I'm focusing on fitness now. I do P90X when I can. I ride my bike. I eat a lot healthier. I've lost weight and about two inches off my waist. I'm leading a healthier lifestyle in general. I am physically ready for the Elites."
In addition to a fitness focus, Velvick spends time working on lures. "I'm part of the Livingston Lures pro-staff," said Velvick. "I try and consult with them as much as possible. I stop in the headquarters at San Antonio, TX whenever I can. "They'll ask my opinions on products, names, colors, etc. I try to be as helpful as I can. The lures are remarkable. They have taken the sound concepts of things like the Hydrowave that puts sound out in the water in an effort to draw fish to the area near a lure and placed the sound in the lure so the fish can zero in on it for the kill. It is amazing.
"I am working with lure designer Jerry Rago and Livingston to develop a full-blown swimbait series. Pretty cool stuff."
The government shutdown was killing biz for Byron. "This government shutdown is destroying my business at Amistad Lake Resort," said Velvick. "Can't pay bills, can't employ my people. It's as if the dam broke and all the water has drained out of the lake. The lake is closed and I've lost all of my revenue for the month. A big tournament on Amistad was cancelled. The entire area depends on tourism and it is gone for now. "Hopefully whatever fix they decide on isn't temporary. Discussions of funding the government temporarily until February are scary. If it shuts down, then it will be during the B.A.S.S. Open on Amistad. It will destroy a lot of the local economy. Hopefully that won't happen and we can all get back to doing business."