Tuesday Tour Update: Brasher braces for junior season

Chris Brasher works the river early on day one at Lake Eufaula.

Chris Brasher of Longview, Texas, will be starting his third year as a pro on the Walmart FLW Tour in just a few weeks. For Brasher, this is part of a dream he has had since he could remember. "I was raised by my grandparents so my grandpa was who took me fishing all the time," said Brasher. "We would go for crappie, catfish and perch or whatever we could get and I loved it. That was when I started watching a lot of fishing shows that helped light the fire for me. BioBor EB Pro Christopher Brasher of Spring, Texas, won the Snickers Big Bass award after landing a whopping 9-pound, 4-ounce largemouth. Brasher, who finished the day in 21st place, won $214 for his catch."Then when I was in sixth grade I asked my math teacher what we would ever need math for when we grew up. She responded by asking me what I wanted to be when I got older. I told her I wanted to be a professional fisherman and she looked at me funny. Then I said that pros made a whole lot more money than her. Obviously, that didn't go over too well with her," laughed the 32-year-old pro. Brasher would go on to pass his math class and after high school set his sights on college. He elected to attend Texas State to pursue a business management degree. While hitting the books, Brasher couldn't help but focus on fishing. "I got my degree but I had something else on my mind in school," described Brasher. "I told myself that I had five years after graduating to make it pro. I fished as much as I could while trying to achieve my goal and just about at the five-year mark I got a sponsor big enough to help cover a lot of my costs. I had done well in the Stren Series (now the Rayovac FLW Series) in Texas and thought 2012 would be the time to try the Tour full time." In his first year as a pro on the FLW Tour Brasher experienced the ups and downs that many do. The Tour schedule took him to lakes he had never seen before and yet Brasher did surprisingly well. He posted finishes ranging from 121st in the first event on Lake Hartwell to 18th in the final event on Lake Champlain. He finished the Angler of the Year race in 48th - ultimately missing the Forrest Wood Cup by a few places. As he entered in the 2013 season Brasher not only had confidence from experience but extra weight lifted from his shoulders as well. "I was working full time and fishing in my first year. It was pretty tough to stay focused. It's really hard to concentrate when people keep calling you about work while you are practicing for the tournament. Last year was the first time I could 100 percent focus on just fishing and I think that helped out a lot." Chris Brasher posted a 16-6 catch after day one on Beaver Lake. With a clearer mind Brasher improved in his second year fishing as a pro. He started the year slow on Okeechobee with an 80th-place finish to barely cash a check. From there, however, he went on to take a check in all but one event (Lake Chickamauga) settling 25th in the AOY standings. That was good enough to punch his Forrest Wood Cup ticket where he wound up placing 27th. Qualifying for the Cup last year was a big accomplishment for the Texas pro and as he makes final preparations to head to Okeechobee he focuses on his goals for 2014. "I have played sports my whole life and I think that goals are really important to have. I always want to improve from the year before. There were some things that happened last season that I couldn't control that may have prevented me from finishing higher in the points, but you can't let that bother you. "Of course I want to qualify for the Cup again but I also really want a top 10. I have been doing pretty well at making the top 20 and I figure if I keep at it I'm bound to crack the top 10 sooner or later." Being that the Big O gave Brasher the biggest headache last season he seems confident that things will go a lot smoother this time around. "It was my first time to Okeechobee last year and that is a lot of lake to cover in three days of practice. Okeechobee fishes to my strengths of flipping and fishing grass so I like it in that sense. Last year was just a weird year for that lake in general. I probably finesse fished more there (Okeechobee) than I did anywhere else in the season. But I feel like I will have a better idea of what to look for in a few weeks. "I'm just excited to get the season started. I have at least seen every lake on the schedule for this year so that should help. I have a better idea of what to look for in practice and feel more confident. Honestly though, I'm just excited to be able to put some shorts on in a few weeks." Notes: When on the road Brasher travels with fellow FLW Tour pro and seasoned angler Cody Bird. "Traveling with Cody is nice because he knows the right places to stay and the best ways to get where we are going and we have a good time. It really does help having an old fart with you because he keeps me straight," Brasher jokingly stated. Brasher guides around Longview, Texas, in his free time. You can visit his website (chrisbrasherfishing.com) for more information or just to keep up with him. Brasher's sponsors for the 2014 season include: RWDY Inc. Oil Field Consultants and Services, BP Custom Rods, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha, Power-Poles, Lew's Reels, Lowrance, 6th Sense Custom Lure Company, Yank-Um Jigs, Kicker Fish Bait Company and Huffman Oil&Gas.

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