Week 25 ・Joe Thomas
Angler Not On Tour 6/20/2005
Photo: Cox Marketing Group
|Joe Thomas profiled other tour pros in his Angler on Tour show this season.
While some of his Team Lucky Craft partners were in the heat of battle at the final Bassmaster Elite 50 event at Lake Wissota, Wisc., Joe Thomas was on tour too. He just wasn't at a BASS event. He's heavily into the final phases of production on his television program Angler On Tour.
This popular show, which is aired on The Outdoor Channel, chronicles his ups and downs on the Bassmaster Tour, but this season there's a twist. Several of his companions on the Tour are profiled to give a broader feel for the life of a touring pro.
Thomas shares the television promotional pulpit with several of his Tour buddies.
"I can't say that I'm not disappointed with how my tour season finished this year," he said. "I'm a man. I can say it. I finished 109th overall in the points. That's not very good, but I'm certainly not down and out. I've turned my energies to my television show Angler On Tour.
"The new shows begin on June 27th on the Monday night block of fishing shows on the Outdoor Channel," he said. "The same format we've been successful with will be used this season. Most of the shows feature me and what I go through to stay on the Bassmaster Tour, and what I endure through the highs and lows of the season.
"This season, I decided to profile other anglers in addition to me," he noted. "I've featured a few well-known pros who have several wins to their credit like Tom Mann, Jr., Paul Elias and Tim Horton. There are also a couple of names many may not know, like Rich Tauber, a California pro who's quite well known out West, and Gerry Gostenik. Gostenik is a Bassmaster Tour pro who guides his tail off to make ends meet and to afford to be on tour.
"I profile the anglers on their home waters and show cutting-edge techniques," he said. "I dive into their backgrounds and learn about whom these anglers are and the highs and lows they go through on tour."
Pointer Murders Spots
Whenever Thomas gets a chance to toss Lucky Craft Pointers at spotted bass, he's ready. He slayed them recently in Georgia with a fellow tour pro.
"When I was out with Tom Mann, Jr. on Lake Lanier, we really had a great day with the spotted bass," he said. "We must've caught 15 to 20 spots in the 3- to 5-pound range. It was awesome.
"We caught a few on the Sammy 115, but the big Pointer 128 is what really worked the best.
"The primary baitfish at the time in Lanier was the blueback herring. I think the size of the Pointer 128 was ideal to mimic the natural forage. There was a twist to the retrieve, though. Instead of the typical jerkbait motion, we simply cast them out and retrieved them like a swimbait.
"We fished a variety of open-water cover to catch them," he said. "The fish were suspended over 30 feet of water. The spots would come up and just murder it."
After a rough Tour season, Thomas feels the BASS Northern Opens may be just what the fish doctors ordered.
"After the Tour season I had, I'm glad I get to fish the Northern Opens on the smallmouth waters," he said. "I love fishing for smallies and I don't get much of a chance on (the) Tour. The first stop is Lake Erie out of Sandusky in mid-July. After that, it's Champlain in August and Oneida in September. All of these bodies of water have loads of smallies.
"The other thing I like is that they're closer to home," he said. "I like less travel sometimes, and I also like to fish in the summer months. Next year, we'll have a good amount of that on the Tour."
> Thomas has more than one new show to premier. "Not only is the new season of Angler On Tour starting on June 27, but so is my new show Ultimate Match Fishing," he said. "This show is on at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time, followed by Angler On Tour. The concept is a head-to-head competition between two tour pros. It's really an excellent program and I think tournament fans will enjoy it."