Bassmaster Elite Pro Chad Morgenthaler has a shot at winning the Elites Series Angler and Rookie of the Year titles.
Plano pro Chad Morgenthaler is in a very unique position this season on the Bassmaster Elite Series. Morgenthaler is just 30 points behind Angler of the Year (AOY) points leader Mark Davis and leading the Rookie of the Year race as well.
Morgenthaler is in the admirable position of being able to win both titles in the same season. Still, 30 points is a large margin to overcome, but it is doable for the veteran pro (ok, well, he's a veteran bass angler, but a rookie on the Bassmaster Elite Series).
Experience paying off in the Elites.
"I know my experience is what is carrying me through so far this season," said Morgenthaler. "I know I am in position to win the AOY title if a few things go my way. This is due to the years fishing professionally I have under my belt
"When I first came on tour with B.A.S.S. years ago, I was fortunate to have some early success. The anglers at this level are so diversified and talented. By fishing the previous B.A.S.S. tour, the FLW and other events for many years, I have become a much more diversified angler myself. Much more efficient at my profession. The experience has allowed me to become proficient at a wider variety of techniques using different baits. Plus, I feel I understand the fish better than when I started out."
During down time Morgenthaler keeps honing his skills.
"My strength is power-fishing shallow," said Morgenthaler. "I believe that is why I have done so well this year. I have found plenty of shallow fish.
"However, I know my deep-water skills need to improve. I'm spending time at Lake Guntersville working with sponsor trips and also fishing deep. I'm honing my mastery of my electronics and the techniques necessary to catch fish in deeper water. It's really fun to learn and become more efficient at different techniques."
Morgenthaler ain't no rookie.
"Take a look at the "rookie" race," said Morgenthaler. "There are no rookies on that list. A lot of those guys are my friends. It is like a mini AOY competition between us. It's pretty cool, but there are no rookies. In name only, certainly not skill level."
With age and experience come acceptance.
"I've experienced a lot over the years," said Morgenthaler. "In my years as a pro, I've finished almost dead last. I've won. I've been knocked out of winning at the last second. I've finished in the middle of the pack. With those experiences, I've been able to accept the outcomes. I'm not afraid of what might happen during a tournament.
"I've learned to weather through it. I've learned my lessons. They've been very expensive lessons, but they've paid off. I've learned how to handle my emotions and now understand this is a gigantic mental challenge. The anglers who handle the mental aspect the best are the most successful."