Nacogdoches angler fulfills dream, earns Classic spot

acollinsAlbert Collins knew he had an advantage fishing his home waters of Sam Rayburn Reservoir on Nov. 7-10 at the Bassmaster Weekend Series National Championship.

Collins was throwing crankbaits and soft plastics to fish he knew were there. Luckily, the fish cooperated and Collins won the tournament, earning his first-ever trip to the 2013 Bassmaster Classic at Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees in Oklahoma.

“I know (Rayburn) pretty well,” he said, “but I also had a really good tournament. The weights were a couple of pounds higher than I thought they would be. The tournament was still tough, but not as tough as the lake had been fishing.

“We had the right weather conditions and the fish got into places they normally go.”

Covering a lot of water, Collins threw a deep-diving crankbait by 6th Sense Lures in threadfin shad pattern, alternating with a Zoom Ol’ Monster worm in plum apple color.

“I just had a really great tournament,” he said. “I was fortunate to be able to get the bites.”

Along with winning $100,000, Collins fulfilled his lifelong dream of competing against the bass anglers in the world at the Classic.

“It is going to be the experience of a lifetime,” he said. “It has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, and now I’m going.”

Collins fishes a lot of the local Texas tournaments, including Bass Champs, the ABA Weekend Series and Bass-N-Bucks Tournament Trail. He has never fished Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees, but has been hitting the lake since after Thanksgiving.

“I’m getting some information right now,” he said. “I just got some lake maps and I am going to go up and fish for several weeks, until they close it down.”

Collins was confident headed into the Classic, where he expects to do well.

“I want to win,” he said. “Obviously, everyone wants to win, but my plan is to go up there and compete for the win. I will be satisfied with a top five or even a top 10, but the goal is to win. I’d like to see all of the Texas boys do well.”

Collins will join the Texas contingent of Alton Jones, Todd Faircloth, Yusuke Miyazaki and Takahiro Omori at the Classic.