Week 47 – Joe Thomas
Many tour pros carry the stigma of being one-dimensional. Fans think of them as simply flippers or pitchers of jigs or chunkers of crankbaits. Some anglers fit that stereotype, but not Team Lucky Craft member Joe Thomas.
Thomas has spent the last several months in pursuit of big deer. His travels have taken him, bow in hand, from Montana to Illinois and back to his home state of Ohio in search of a trophy buck.
Thomas’ regional television show, Reel in the Outdoors, is broadcast in several markets in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. The show focuses on the current hot bite or hunt.
“My regional program is very fun to produce,” he said. “It allows me to film some of the things I really like to do besides bass fishing. Right now, I’ve been doing a lot of filming in the Midwest. I just returned from a trip to Salem, Ill. I didn’t get one of those huge corn -ed bucks, but we saw some beauties.
“I also spent some time in Broadus, Mont. in September,” he said. “We attempted to film a trophy mule-deer hunt. We got close several times, but never sealed the deal. I’ll be there again this month to try and take down a trophy mule deer. It’s very exciting.”
His focus is to bring timely information to the viewers.
“The bow hunts we’re filming now will be on the air next season when it’s time to go on a bow hunt,” he said. “I also try and make sure that bass shows are out in the spring and summer along with some muskie and striper shows. We really try to keep the shows relevant to the time frame.”
Although Thomas has gained his notoriety from green fish, he’s put his Lucky Craft plugs to work in pursuit of chunky trout.
“I had a chance to film an episode of my regional show on the Cumberland River in Kentucky,” he said. “The stretch below the dam has some very cool water and is a great habitat for brown trout and some rainbows.
“The fella I went out with is an avid trout angler,” he said. “He used several of his tried and true trout approaches with little success. I used a Lucky Craft Pointer 65 on 6-pound fluorocarbon line and really caught them. In fact, I outfished him 41 to 1 using that little Lucky Craft in the rainbow trout pattern. It was awesome.”
Thomas feels the variety of outdoor experiences he's had with his television productions have made him a better pro angler. “I truly feel that, thanks to all of the things I do, like fish for muskie, stripers, trout, etc., all really improve my abilities as a bass pro,” he said. “We always get caught up with fishing out of our big bass boats, but thanks to my show, I end up in a jet boat from time to time and in other situations that a bass-only mentality wouldn’t allow me. All of my experiences really help out on tour.”