By John Johnson
BassFan Senior Editor
There are no tidal venues on next year’s Bassmaster Elite Series schedule, and that fact doesn’t disappoint Josh Bertrand. It also doesn’t lessen his desire to become more proficient on lunar-influenced fisheries, as plenty of them are bound to show up on future slates.
Three events were contested on tidal waters this year – the St. Johns River, Winyah Bay and the Potomac River. The best placement the 4th-year pro from Arizona managed in any of them was 60th, and that’s the primary reason he’ll be working the Expo at next year’s Classic.
“I knew this year was going to be a test,” he said. “I like to fish shallow, but I feel like I’m a better deep-water fisherman and the biggest weakness I’ve got is tidal fishing. I’ve struggled with it since I started.
“I was worried as soon as I saw three of them on the schedule, and those ended up being three of my four bad finishes.”
Rough Beginning and End
Bertrand opened the 2016 campaign with back-to-back tidal bombs (60th at the St. Johns and 85th at Winyah) to put himself in a big hole in the Angler of the Year (AOY) race. He climbed out of it with five consecutive money finishes through the middle portion of the season, but plummeted again with a 74th at the Potomac and an 82nd in the finale at the Mississippi River.
He was 34th on the points list with the last two derbies remaining – inside the Classic cutoff and comfortably within the parameters for making the AOY Championship (Top 50). But the Potomac’s tides were inhospitable toward him and the Mississippi was a disaster.