Two weeks ago, Charlie Gantenbein, 29, of Temple, finished first with teammate Cody Randolph in the Bass Champs Tournament at Austin’s Lake LBJ. Gantenbein and Randolph split $25,500 in prize money.
Now, Gantenbein wants something bigger than money.
He’d like to be the best fisherman in Texas.
Gantenbein qualified for the Texas Bass Federation State Tournament at Lake Amistad.
The event began on Wednesday and concludes tomorrow.
“Everybody is talented that makes it to this tournament,” said Gantenbein on Tuesday.
“Anyone who is here deserves to be here. This tournament is so important to me because if you win it, it takes you to the next level of fishing.
“If you win this event, you go to the regionals. The top finishers in all 50 states compete in that event. I do want to say that I’m very proud to be representing the CenTex Basshunters Fishing Club in the North-Central region of Texas.”
On Tuesday, Gantenbein caught a 5½-pound largemouth bass on Lake Amistad.
“Strategically, you come down early before the event to spend the necessary hours on the water to be competitive,” he said.
“Do they feed in the morning? The afternoon? What are the water temperatures? It’s the whole nine yards you have to be thinking about.”
In the three-day tournament on Lake Amistad the top five fish caught per day by each angler get weighed.
“I think whoever does their homework best has the biggest edge,” Gantenbein said.
“I spent a lot of time on this lake last August when it was 55 feet low. Now it’s 35 feet low. The water temperatures now aren’t as high as they usually are. I have a gameplan in mind for the first two days and then on Friday I know I’ll need to make some adjustments. Strategically, you must have learned how to pattern those fish and then apply those techniques on game-day.
“I’d be very proud to win this Texas tournament. But I’d be even more proud knowing that I won while representing my region, my club.”
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