By John Johnson
BassFan Senior Editor
As a very young boy living in New Hampshire, Josh Bertrand developed a great love for trout fishing. Bass became his passion after his family moved to Arizona when he was 8, and just 4 years later he caught a 12-pounder that was three times the size of any of any largemouth he’d fooled to that point.
“That’s what really got me going,” he said. “Before that, I didn’t even think fish like that existed. It was absolutely shocking. I couldn’t believe my eyes when my dad netted it.”
From that day on, he’s thought of little besides forging a career for himself in fishing. He began guiding on Phoenix-area lakes immediately after high school and fished every local and regional event he could get into.
In 2011 he tried his hand on the Bassmaster Central Opens, but found little success. Undeterred, he competed on that circuit again this year and captured the points title, which opened the door for him to advance to the Elite Series in 2013.
He wasn’t about to turn down the invitation.
“It’s been totally surreal, but it’s starting to sink in that I’m going to get a chance to go out and fish at that level. I’ve wanted to fish professionally for a long time.
“I’m not necessarily nervous about it, but I’d say I’m excited and anxious at the same time.”