Bassmaster Elites Story from the Toowoomba Chronicle
CARL Jocumsen has already made history this year as the first Australian to compete in America’s Bassmaster Elite Series.
And the Toowoomba angler proved he’s not just making up the numbers with a top-six finish in the second round at Lake Guntersville, Alabama.
Jocumsen finished with a total competition weight of 81lb 15oz over the four-day largemouth bass event, making the final day’s top 12 cut against the world’s top 100 bass fishermen.
He broke his personal-best tournament bag limit with 19lb 14oz on the first day before bettering that mark again with 26lb 10oz on day two – which was also the best five-bass bag limit of the top 10.
Jocumsen’s success at Lake Guntersville is even more impressive given he caught just one bass and finished 105th of 113 anglers at his first Elite event on the Sabine River in Orange, Texas a fortnight ago.
The 30-year-old said it was an incredible experience to not just compete against his heroes, but stand alongside them on the final weigh-in stage.
“It was a huge week in my life. It was a life-changing week,” Jocumsen told Fox Sports News.
“For Australian fishing and for Australian sport and everything – it was massive.
“I’m the first Australian to ever compete on the Bassmaster Elite series which is the top 100 guys in the world.
“Just being here was a huge thing for me and then this week I made it to the fourth day which is the top 12 guys.
“I competed for 100 grand and versed guys that were my heroes from 15 years old and guys that have won five, six million dollars in prize money.”
Despite making the final cut in just his second Elite event, success hasn’t come easy for Jocumsen who spent three years in the US trying to break into the series.
He had never fished for largemouth bass – a species native to North America – before his move and Jocumsen said the local anglers were definitely taking notice of his efforts.
“They really can’t believe it because we don’t have largemouth in Australia,” he said.
“These guys have been fishing for this species for 30 or 40 years and this is my fourth year. I’d never caught a largemouth until I moved over here.
“For them, it’s kind of unbelievable but they’ve been a great help. They’re loving it.”
The Elite Series heads to the Sacramento River in California from April 30 where Jocumsen was confident he could land more big bass.
“It’s going to be a big one but I’ve fished that system before. (I’m) excited about that one,” he said