|Photo: Darren Jacobson B.A.S.S.|
Qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic is a dream come true for most bass anglers. So what do you do once you reach the goal? For Josh Wagy, the win at last week's Bassmaster Northern Open on the James River hasn't changed him at all. He was still at work today and said "it hasn't really sunk in yet, I haven't even had the chance to relax and think about the Classic yet," stated Wagy.
He is a local with years of experience fishing on the James River and this victory was especially sweet since it was in front of the home crowd. Even though he is just 23 years old, he has been dreaming of winning an event like this for his entire life. "This could be the break I have been waiting for, the push to get me closer to being a Pro," said Wagy.
His victory shouldn't come as a surprise to those who know him, he is a solid stick in the Virginia area and won the BFL Angler of the Year last year and is contention again this year after two events. He's also had more solid events with the BFL circuit and has qualified for the prestigious BFL All-American. Josh has also been the National Guard Junior World Champion. Needless to say, he can fish and has a big future.
At the James he relied on some old school lures and a simple approach in what he called "community holes". The key was knowing the intricacies of the tidal water and knowing when to make a move. His 19lb 11oz weight from Day 2 was amazing, even to someone with as much experience on James as he has. This was what sealed the victory for him.
He fished the tournament with two main baits, a Lobina Lures Rico and a 7" Berkley Powerworm in Blue Fleck. He fished the Rico on a prototype custom 6ft 3inch rod by JB Custom rods. The shorter design allowed him to skip the topwater bait under laydowns and other wood. He fished the bait on 30lb braid and this was key as he caught several big fish in the thick cover. When fishing the Power Worm, he rigged it with a 3/16oz Eco Pro Tungsten weight and 14 and 16lb Gamma Edge Fluorocarbon. One of the biggest keys was using a JB Custom Rods that was 7ft long and was very sensitive for feeling the bait in the current.
Now that he won this event he must fish the rest of the series in order to qualify for the Classic, with the next event on the Detroit River in Michigan and the final event at Cayuga Lake in New York. This may be the momentum he needs to qualifying for the Elite Series to go with his Classic Berth.