When big money is on the line, and the water is big, anglers will put their gear through some severe punishment to gain an edge.Brandon Lester
Bass tournaments are serious business. When big money is on the line, and the water is big, anglers will put their gear through some severe punishment to gain an edge. Long boat rides, waves, and natural elements can take a lot of equipment past the breaking point.
Railblaza fields a pro staff of two Major League Fishing pros (Ott DeFoe and Bradley Roy) and two Bassmaster Elite pros (Bill Lowen and Brandon Lester). Their input and experiences are vital to providing industry-leading boat accessories and mounts.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve observed first-hand the punishment these guys deal their gear, and one of the most exciting and challenging parts is the very first part of the event – blast off.
The Elite Series fields 100 boats take off in numerical order each morning with a delay of maybe 10-15 seconds in between. After the first couple of boats take off, the wave action can get intense.
According to Railblaza pro Brandon Lester, “Blast off is always an exciting time each morning. I drive a Phoenix, and, in my opinion, it’s the perfect balance of ride and speed. I pass a lot of other boats on the water down the lake, which is always satisfying, but I really like my boat at take-off. Once I drop the hammer on my Mercury (a 250hp ProXS), I typically don’t let off of it unless we hit some fog down the lake or something like that. My boat is built to take the bouncing, so I just hold on tight and run through it.
“I’ve been very pleased with the Railblaza Starport mounts and accessories on my boat. The Starport USB that I run with the Railblaza Boom for my GoPro camera is solid. It provides consistent power all day, so I can turn my camera on in the morning and know it’s going to run all day to capture the action.”
On Day Two of the recent Pickwick Lake Elite event, Lester’s GoPro recorded a prime example of blast-off hazards. He was boat 84 of 100 that day, and with the waves built up from 83 other boats ahead of him, he hit several solid waves coming from several directions.
True to form, Lester never let off the throttle, pushed through the spray and water, and continued heading west at 74 mph on the Tennessee River. He would go on to weigh 19 pounds, 11 ounces on the day, and ultimately finish 14th in the event.
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