Bass Rankings: Last week we spoke with Michael Simonton, who is going to step up to the BASS Elites this season. You’re doing the same thing, except with the FLW Tour. How excited are you for the season?
Charles Bebber: I’d say my excitement level is at an all-time high. I’ve wanted to compete on the FLW Tour or BASS Elite Series for a long time. I’m also anxious, in a good way. I’m ready to get started.
BR: How’s the offseason preparation been going?
CB: I’d say I’m about midway there. I still have some tackle to buy and some studying to do, but I’ll been done in a week or two, which is good because I’m heading to Florida to fish the first FLW EverStart tournament at Okeechobee before I fish the FLW Tour Open. I’ve never fished Okeechobee, so I figure the EverStart will be good practice.
BR: Do you have experience on any of the lakes on the schedule?
CB: I’ve fished four of them: Kentucky Lake, Table Rock, Beaver and Sam Rayburn, which is my home lake. I’m hoping that last one will be good for me.
I’m also really excited to fish the new lakes. I love going new places, learning different situations and trying to figure out the fish.
BR: What are your expectations for the season?
CB: I don’t want to come off as arrogant, but my expectations are high. I want to win Rookie of the Year, and my goal every year will always be to win Angler of the Year. I don’t believe in just getting by. I want to do well and establish myself as a threat out there on the water.
BR: Well, you’ve obviously accomplished that at the Minor level, considering you’re currently ranked No. 1.
CB: Yeah, that was pretty humbling when I saw that ranking. There are just so many guys fishing the Minors, with so many of them being great fishermen. I’m sure there are guys better than me. But that’s where it’s also exciting to see myself ranked like that. It makes me feel like all the hard work has paid off.
I really appreciate a Website like yours. I’m all about the expansion of the sport, and I think a site like yours, which is geared toward helping pros and Minor-level anglers is going to do that.
BR: That’s our hope as well. Now, when we talked to Simonton, he mentioned he used the site and his ranking to help him approach potential sponsors. How is your sponsor hunt going?
CB: I’m not going to act like I put forth a ton of effort in that regard. I have been super fortunate to gain a title sponsor in TIREMAX. I’ve known the family that owns it for years, and it’s a great organization.
I’ll be joining a great team, and our goal is to bring people to the sport. We’re going to be do blogs and video blogs on tiremaxfishing.com so people can see what it’s like being a pro and how much effort goes into it. We’ll recap tournaments and situations on the water. I’m really excited to be working with them and the rest of my sponsors.
I owned a construction company, but I gave it up to fish full time. Even before this year I fished full time, and I was blessed to gain some great sponsors in Power Pole, 6th Sense Custom Lures, Costa Del Mar, Seagaur, Humminbird, Minn Kota and Big Bite Baits. I like to represent companies where I really believe in their products. So I’m proud to have them all on my shirt.