Getting to fish for nearly $400,000 in cash and prizes is a common occurrence for TBF Nebraska members and on February 28th Jordan Hirt and Scott Blaesi will have their chance at that prize pool when they travel to the TBF National Championship held on Lake Conroe, Texas. They both qualified for this no-entry event by winning the Nebraska division at the 2021 TBF Semi-finals held last fall on Lake Okoboji, IA. TBF Nebraska caught up with Hirt and Blaesi before they head south, and here’s what they had to say about the opportunity.
“First I would like to thank my wife and daughter and for allowing me the time away to chase my dreams and take care of everything while I am away from home.” Hirt said. He also credited his fishing partners for his success stating that they have been a key to allowing him to grow as an angler. He often times would bounce ideas off of them during the tournament and practice allowing him to help understand the fish and the conditions.
Hirt began researching Lake Conroe in late December, but for Blaesi, he has been preparing for even longer. “I’ve had stuff in my living room for months now. New line, cleaning reels, prepping tackle.”
Neither Hirt nor Blaesi have been to Lake Conroe before, which means they have to have a game plan going into practice if they want to be successful. The plan is to break the lake down into sections and fish a new section each day of practice, paying attention to the water color, structure and water temp within each section of the lake. “Everything will depend on weather, water temp and lake level”, Blaesi said. Hirt explained that the south Texas fishery’s water color is typically more stained, but that’s nothing new to him, “fishing our local dirty water lakes will help (me) pick apart Lake Conroe”.
Due to the timing of the tournament Hirt and Blaesi both believe that the spawn will be a major player in how good the fishing will be. This type of fishing plays right into the hand of Blaesi whose strength is targeting pre-spawn and spawning fish. Hirt feels that if someone can bring a five bass limit of 20 pounds each day, that person will take home the win on the boater side. Blaesi thinks that a co-angler will need to bring in 15 pounds per day to take home the trophy, maybe even a 20 pound bag on one of the days.
Hirt wanted to thank his friends at pure fishing, “…without them I would not be able to get last minute tackle orders that are needed for these events.” Blaesi wanted to thank his travel partner and longtime TBF Member Kent Priel, “He has always been there for me and made me the bass fisherman that I am today.”
Good luck boys and tight lines!