Prosperity, S.C. (August 11, 2006)
- Anthony Gagliardi is the newest member of Team Lucky Craft and, with many accomplishments already under his belt, believes it will be a great partnership.
The 2006 FLW Angler of the Year isn’t the new kid on the block when it comes to throwing Lucky Craft baits. He’s been using them since the very beginning.
“I’ve been familiar with Lucky Craft since they first started showing up here in the United States,” Gagliardi began. “It started off with the topwaters, as I was first exposed to the Lucky Craft Sammys. Basically, I fell in love with the Lucky Craft brand back then and I still love them today. Each time they come out with something new, I always make sure I try it out right away. I’ve caught a lot of fish throughout my career with Lucky Craft and I’m very excited to be a part of the team now.”
The Lucky Craft pro staff is one of the most highly acclaimed teams in professional fishing. It consists of BASS Elite Series anglers, Gerald Swindle, Skeet Reese, Takahiro Omori, Kelly Jordon and Joe Thomas and FLW anglers, Brent Ehrler and Mike Auten. Gagliardi, along with the other members of Team Lucky Craft, knows what it means to have confidence in the bait you have tied on.
“One of the first things that comes to mind in regard to Lucky Craft baits is the cast ability,” Gagliardi said. “I don’t think there are many baits on the market today that throw as well as Lucky Craft baits. Across the board, from topwater to crankbait, all the baits throw a long way and that is very important to me. Also, all the baits have tremendous action. Every bait I’ve ever used seems to have the right action for a certain particular situation. I’ve always been impressed with everything they’ve done.”
The South Carolina native has been using Lucky Craft baits for years and knows the power behind them. However, it wasn’t just the ‘lure’ of the product that attracted Gagliardi to Lucky Craft.
“I really like the way Lucky Craft promotes their anglers,” Gagliardi said. “They are very involved and you see a lot of things throughout the industry they are doing for their pro staff. That’s another main reason I wanted to be a part of the team.”
Having fished 91 tournaments since 1998, both as a co-angler and professional, Gagliardi has a long list of accomplishments. The most obvious success was winning the title of 2006 FLW Angler of the Year, achieving a goal he had set for himself earlier in the season.
“It was amazing. It had been a goal of mine for the whole season,” Gagliardi explained. “I had high expectations before I even started this year and, after I won on my home lake (Lake Murray), the angler of the year race really became a center of focus for me. I was really excited to finish out the year and achieve my goal.”
In addition to the angler of the year title, Gagliardi just completed his fifth FLW Championship, meaning he has qualified for it every year he has been a professional angler. It had a new meaning this year, however, as it was his first tournament as a member of Team Lucky Craft.
Gagliardi thought he was on a winning pattern, and was leading after the first two days of competition. Having done well two years ago, on the same lake (Logan Martin), he believed a win could be in the cards.
“I had a good practice and I really thought I had a good shot to win it this year. But the fish I was targeting on the offshore locations just stopped biting. I don’t know if they moved up in the water column or what, because the last two days of the tournament, I just didn’t catch them very well. I never quite figured out what happened or where they went.
“I am pleased overall though, because I was really on some good fish I thought could have won the tournament, but it just didn’t work out. I am very happy for my new teammate, Brent (Ehrler), who did win the tournament.”
A dropshot was Gagliardi’s key to success the first two days of the championship, but he fondly remembers a tournament where a Lucky Craft Flat CB D-20 had him hoisting the trophy.
“I won on Kentucky Lake in 2004 and the Flat CB was fairly new on the market,” Gagliardi explained. “Practice in Kentucky was probably the first time I’d fished one of the Lucky Craft Flat CBs and the fish really bit it hard. The fish hadn’t seen it before and it had the right action for the conditions that week. It definitely out-fished other crankbaits in that tournament, which is why I stuck with it throughout.”
With all the successes, titles and victories, Gagliardi is making a name for himself in the professional bass fishing world and Lucky Craft is proud to have him as part of the team.