Bass Pro Sites Pro, Anthony "5oz" Hunt fulfilled his dream while staying true to his values. Anthony "5 oz." Hunt will be fishing the 2012 FLW Everstart Championship in Monroe, LA on The Ouchita River. However when asked about his accomplishment "5 oz." was not motivated to talk about patterns or baits, but rather the most important part of his game plan, his family. [story by Dave Rush]
Hard Work Pays Off For 5oz. - Tamarac, FL - While preparing to write this particular article about Anthony "5 oz." Hunt, a man whom I am proud to call a friend, I was reminded of a quote by the famous Indian Political and Spiritual leader Mohandas Karamachand Gandhi. The particular quote to which I refer, in my opinion, perfectly sums up the humbleness and integrity that Anthony Hunt approached his quest to succeed as a professional on the FLW Everstart Series this season. "I claim to be an average man of less than average ability. I have not the shadow of a doubt that any man or woman can achieve what I have, if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith," said Gandhi.You see the world of professional bass fishing can often be a slippery slope to navigate. Sacrificing your integrity, or compromising your beliefs often are the norm, as anglers pimp products that they have little to no confidence in just to make ends meet. Not Anthony Hunt, Hunt has maintained his co-angler mentality throughout this season, and has been very vocal about the fact that he refuses to let any success he may or may not have go to his head and interfere with the bigger picture. Along with that humbleness, also comes the integrity that Anthony has maintained by only aligning himself with sponsors and products that he truly believes in, rather than filling a tournament jersey with logos just to look the part.
Yes, Anthony Hunt fulfilled his dream while staying true to his values. Anthony "5 oz." Hunt will be fishing the 2012 FLW Everstart Championship in Monroe, LA on The Ouchita River. However when asked about his accomplishment "5 oz." was not motivated to talk about patterns or baits, but rather the most important part of his game plan, his family. "The hardest thing in making the transition to the front of the boat this year, and ultimately achieving my goal was spending so much time away from my family. I have a baby boy who is almost 17 months old, a 10 year old, and a 6 year old, who I had never been away from as long as I had this year. The determining factor in my success this year was the support of my entire family. Having that extra support really allowed me to focus on what I needed to do and get the job done," said Hunt.
Getting the job done wasn't easy by any stretch of the imagination. As the halfway mark of the season arrived, "5 oz." was faced with tackling the treacherous South Carolina bass factory Santee Cooper. A lake that is as notorious for claiming lower units as it is for giant bass, Santee is not an easy lake to conquer for those that aren't familiar with its idiosyncrasies. Approaching the fishery with an open mind was an important factor in Anthony's success. "I really wanted to come into Santee with a clean slate. It had been a long time since my previous event, so I knew it was really important to just let the past be the past and focus on the task at hand," Hunt said.
Choosing to spend an entire week breaking down the lake proved to be beneficial for Hunt, as he was able to put together a viable pattern in a few different areas of the two massive fisheries. "I spent an entire week at Santee trying to figure the place out, and it was an extremely difficult lake for me to get in sync with. The fish were really transitioning and I was just focused on trying to catch five a day so I could stay in the championship hunt."
5 oz. did more than stay in the hunt, as he logged his highest finish of the season by landing in 30th place after two days with a total of 24-9, and cashing a nice check in South Carolina. "Day one was supposed to have been a great day for me, I was on some really good fish but a front came in and really threw me a curve. I ran up north to my fish and nothing was happening at all, so I made a move down south and was able to put together a few fish and salvage the day with 8-4. I knew that I had to commit to this area on day two and it ended up paying off in a big way. I weighed in 16-5 on day two and barely missed fishing on the weekend," said Hunt.
Relying on downsizing his baits and slowing down his approach was the biggest key to Anthony's great finish at Santee Cooper. "When you come to a place that is known for big fish it is hard to make yourself downsize, but often times that is the best way to catch fish. It was really important for me to drop down my line size and use subtle baits and presentations to catch what I did. Most of my damage was done with ten pound test line and a senko. I'm telling you my Deuce rods once again made a huge difference. The design allowed me to make super long casts and precise presentations, which was a must when dealing with the highly pressured Santee bass." concluded Hunt.
Next up for "5 oz." was Alabama's Lake Guntersville. Rather than waste the time and gas heading back to Florida, Anthony decided to head straight to Alabama and get intimately familiar with the next stop. "It's very possible to over practice for an event, and I was really on the edge with that at Guntersville. I just took the approach that every bite was important in telling me something I needed to know in order to make the championship," said Hunt.
Spending a copious amount of time on Lake Guntersville ended up being just what the doctor ordered for "5 oz.", as he would need everything he could muster to make the Everstart Championship. "I didn't care at all about winning the tournament. My goal was to catch enough to make the championship that I had been working so hard for all year. I had so many patterns going on and they all ended up paying off for me. I was catching them all week on an Advantage Spinnerbait, a shallow running crankbait, a swim jig, and an Alabama Rig. On day one I ended up with 11-14, which was way out of contention but was still where I needed to be to get the points I needed."
Adversity struck in a big way during day one, as Anthony's lower unit went out and left him dead in the water. Fortunately for "5 oz." the incident happened right in front of the launch site and he was able to make it back in time without incurring any penalties. "When my lower unit went out I could either laugh or cry. I chose to laugh about it and not let it ruin my tournament. I mean it was meant to happen right in front of the weigh-in so I could make it back in time to put my fish on the scales. I had just made a forty mile run and it could have happened anywhere in between, but it happened in the perfect place," said Hunt.
With a limit on the scales and a blown lower unit, Hunt was left in a precarious position heading into day two. "I was almost ready to go home because I couldn't get my engine fixed in time for day two. I really didn't want to have worked so hard for something and have it slip away because of a mechanical issue. I asked the tournament director if I could fish day two on the trolling motor and he said I could. I knew it was going to be a huge challenge, but I was so relieved to still have a chance to fish. I was able to catch 10-13 just fishing around on the trolling motor and I was so proud to have caught that and get through that adversity and finish in 90th with 22-11, which was just good enough to get me into the Championship! It just seems like everything was meant to happen the way it did and I just feel blessed to have been able to accomplish my goal," Hunt said.
After some much needed rest and relaxation, and quality time with his family, Anthony "5 oz." Hunt will continue on his journey as he competes in the Everstart Championship on The Ouchita River. As he prepares for the next chapter in his story, "5 oz." will surely reflect on the experiences of the last few months and those that supported him along the way.