Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum is in 11th place out of 50 anglers today after the first day of fishing at the Bassmaster Classic near New Orleans .
The three-day “Super Bowl” of bass fishing runs through Sunday at the Louisiana Delta.
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Palaniuk, the only angler to qualify from the west, caught five fish totaling 14 pounds 10 ounces in the first day of competition.
The leader, Alabama angler Aaron Martens came in with five fish totaling 20 pounds 7 ounces.
Palaniuk might have no western peers in the competition at the Classic, but he’s not alone. Here is a post from this morning by Bassmaster Classic blogger Dave Precht
“Most Classic anglers have supportive families, but few can top B.A.S.S. Federation Nation qualifier Brandon Palaniuk. At least 15 family members and friends made the trek to New Orleans, several driving from his hometown of Rathdrum, Idaho.
“That’s only 2,392 miles from Bayou Segnette State Park, or one day, 15 hours of driving at the speed limit. His mother, Tonya, and stepfather, Dan Lyden, along with his grandmother and aunts, stood in the bleachers and cheered him on. Palaniuk, the 23-year-old winner of the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation championship last fall, has been sleeping in his truck to be able to afford his foray into professional fishing.
“He’s also signed up for the Bassmaster Elite Series, which kicks off in March. Family members held up a banner in the bleachers imploring Palaniuk to ‘Do Work.’ That’s the code phrase he uses to tell his mother when he’s faring well in a tournament — ‘I do work,’ he tells her.”
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