UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

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The Timing is Right for Weisenburger

The Timing is Right for Weisenburger
Kyle Weisenburger

He knew he wanted it, but he wisely waited for the right timing. Now, Kyle Weisenburger is gearing up to make his FLW Tour debut with the confidence of a man fueled by experience and steadied by a firm foundation.

“I’m very blessed that some doors opened up to make this possible, so I want to capitalize this first year out,” says Weisenburger, of Ottawa, Ohio. “I was able to bring on a few more sponsors this year that will help take care of a little bit of the tab.

“My family is behind me, and I’m just in a good place in my life. We’re in this as a team, and we felt that this was as good a time as any to give this a shot.”

Weisenburger’s family support group includes his wife, Kari, and daughters Karlee (6) and Kenzie (2). He also points to the flexibility afforded him by Riverdale Local Schools in Mt. Blanchard, Ohio, where he works as an intervention specialist, helping students with mild disabilities succeed in general curriculum.

“They were willing to let me take the necessary time to compete in the spring tournaments and still allow me to teach,” he says. “I’m giving up some pay, but I still have a job to come back to when I’m not fishing. I can’t thank them [the administrators] enough, because if that didn’t happen, I may not be in the position I am to be able to fish the Tour this year.”

 

Kyle Weisenburger of Ottawa, Ohio, weighed four bass totaling 6 pounds, 5 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division Super Tournament on Indian Lake with a two-day total of eight bass weighing 12 pounds, 11 ounces. For his victory, Weisenburger earned $3,971.

A solid track record

Born and raised in Continental, Ohio, about 20 minutes from his present home in Ottawa, Weisenburger has competed in the Costa FLW Series Central and Northern divisions at times over the last few years and placed 85th at the 2016 Costa FLW Series Championship. Since 2008, most of his experience has come through the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League, primarily via the Hoosier and Buckeye divisions.

He claimed Angler of the Year honors in the Buckeye Division in 2012, 2014 and 2016 and notched 26 top-10 BFL finishes with three wins in his career. Weisenburger placed fifth in the 2016 BFL All-American.

Weisenburger says that after he won his first Buckeye Division AOY, he considered stepping up to the Tour, but eventually decided against it.

“I don’t think I was ready at that point, but I knew it was something I wanted to pursue and see how good I could become,” he says. “So, five years ago was when the thought of stepping up to the Tour first popped into my head, but since last year’s All-American was when I really started to think, ‘I need a couple of things to fall in place for me, and if the opportunity comes, I really feel like I can test my skills at this level.’”

Essential to Weisenburger’s optimism is his proven ability to deliver in stingy scenarios.

“Coming from the Buckeye and Hoosier divisions, we fish really pressured waters and tough fisheries,” he says. “You really have to be mentally focused every time you’re on the water because the smallest detail can be the difference between getting a bite or two versus a limit.

“I want to take that focus I’ve been able to develop day in and day out at the BFL level and carry that over to the Tour level. I want to apply that to some of these bigger bodies of water for multi-day tournaments and keep that same approach I’ve always kept.”

 

Season outlook

Weisenburger says he’s pumped that his rookie Tour season includes several events that fit his preference for shallow-water fishing. He’s particularly intrigued by the legendary Lake Guntersville, while the Harris Chain produced his personal best, a 7-pound, 13-ounce toad that ate a buzzbait last July.

A former pro golfer, Weisenburger has spent a lot of time on a central Florida mini tour, and during that stint he devoted most of his off days to fishing the Harris Chain.

“Another reason I thought that this was the year for [me to fish] the Tour is that I’ve been to several of the lakes on the schedule, and I have some knowledge of the water,” he adds. “So I’m not going to be starting completely fresh. I’ll at least have something to start with at three or four of those lakes.

“I’m also excited to get back to the Potomac River because that’s where I was able to qualify for last year’s All-American. And then the Mississippi River event, I fished a Costa FLW Series tournament there five years ago and felt right at home with that type of shallow-water river system. It fits how I like to fish.”

 

Kyle Weisenburger

Goals and game plan

Not surprisingly, Weisenburger says he’s set his sights on a Forrest Wood Cup berth and the Rookie of the Year title. However, these are no idle fancies. He’ll draw upon a tried-and-true strategy for his goal pursuits.

“I look back at my past BFL events, and I’ve tended to be a grinder. I never give up, and I always find a way to put something together to get some points and salvage a day,” he says. “I feel I can take that consistency and make the right decisions on a daily basis on Tour. I’d like to see myself get in the top 50 maybe four or five times, and if I’m able to do that, I feel it would give me a really good shot to be in contention for Rookie of the Year.”

Summarily, Weisenburger says he’s approaching 2017 with a healthy blend of emotions.

“I’m super excited. I’ve had this in the back of my mind for a few years, and I finally have the opportunity to do it,” he says. “There are a lot of unknowns, so there’s still some anxiety and indecision. But that’s what makes it fun — all those challenges. I’m a person that likes challenges, and I look forward to taking my skills to the next level.”

Tags: kyle-weisenburger  flw-tour  david-a-brown  angler-features 

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