Bass Angler Headquarters catches up with Charlie Weyer just before he heads to Smith Lake, the second stop on the FLW Tour. This West Coast pro’s accomplishments include 1st Place, FLW Series 2007, Columbia River, Kennewick, WA; 1st Place, Bassmaster Tour 2004, Smith Lake, Jasper, AL along with several top ten finishes. Let’s find out whats new with Charlie Weyer back on tour!
Who are your sponsors for 2013?
They also call me “Hollywood,” but they started calling me “Big Fish” when I kept bringing big ones to the scales. I have a swing for the fences mentality, so that leaves me either at the very top or down towards the bottom most of the time. I’m working on being more consistent, but I’ve always been one to go for the win.
You fished at the Elite Level with B.A.S.S. a handful of years back. Then you left the national stage and started fishing exclusively on the west coast for the last six or seven years. With the success you were having at the top-level, what made you take a break?
The last year I was on the road back east was 2007, I got an eye infection and was losing my sight. A lot of tournaments that year involved sight fishing and everyone was wondering why I was getting beat so badly. I managed to make it into the money the last four events of the season, but I had to have my wife come back and drive for me. My sight had gotten that bad. It turned out to be a bacterial infection, but I decided after that year to stay back on the west coast. A lot of the bigger tournaments were coming out west and I figured if I could fish for $100,000 at home, why travel cross-country. I also was able to build my business and it ended up working out really well for me.
Now you’re back fishing the Walmart FLW Tour. What made you decide to head back east?
I got some sponsor incentives to start fishing the bigger tournaments again, so that was my primary push. My buddy, Kevin Stewart, decided to try his luck back east fishing the FLW and in the process of helping him with his preparation, I was convinced by him and my wife to go back and give it another shot. I was itching to go I just needed a little more encouragement to dive in again.
First tournament of the year at Okeechobee didn’t end up how you were hoping, I’m sure. What things do you take away from a less than stellar tournament?
Motivation. Don’t let it happen again. Okeechobee threw me for a loop. I didn’t realize how fast those fish would come up on the beds. I learned a lesson to not give up on those bed fish so soon. Keep looking for them. Another problem that came up, Kevin and I had a great area that was producing really well for us, but they came through there on the off days and sprayed chemicals with the air boats and it just destroyed our spot. Muddied up water that had been crystal clear in practice.
You’ve got Lewis Smith coming up. How is the tournament prep going?
I’ve got great memories at Lewis Smith, having won there in 2004 on the BASSMASTER tour. I’m definitely confident and I’ve had some good practice days. I was able to find fish on a pattern that I don’t think anyone else was doing. Of course the water is a lot higher than it was back when I won, so the spots I fished are in over 100 feet of water, so that won’t help much. I think most of the field is gonna fish shallow for largemouth in the backs of creeks and I’ve got some different plans. I’m very excited about going back.
How does the rest of the schedule fit your style? Any events that stand out as particularly challenging?
Okeechobee was the one event that I was the most nervous about. The fish change so much from day-to-day out there and it’s just hard to figure out. I’ve cashed a check at Beaver Lake and I feel pretty confident there. I’m comfortable at Eufala. I’m really looking forward to Grand Lake. During the Classic, I sat and watched the BassTrak very closely. Those fish don’t move very far, so I paid close attention to what the leaders were doing.
You’ve had a lot of success on the west coast. Are you planning on fishing any events out west this year?
I’m gonna fish the FLW Everstart at Clear Lake in October. I will probably fish the US Open at Lake Mead, as well as some of the Delta tournaments, like the Snag-Proof or the River2Sea.
What does the future have in store for Charlie Weyer? Can we expect to see you fishing at the top-level for the foreseeable future?
I plan on moving my business back to Georgia. That will keep me fishing back east. I will still be based out of California, but I will be able to spend a significant amount of time back there. My wife came down with cancer a few years ago, but she is in full remission now and has encouraged me to keep pushing myself at the next level.
If you had one piece of advice to give to an aspiring tournament pro, what would it be?
Make sure your family is taken care of first. There are so many variables to fishing at the highest level, with the travel and preparation. You have to make sure every little detail is covered, so that nothing is left to chance. It takes months and months to properly prepare to fish these tournaments. You need to have help and support. The guys who succeed are the ones who prepare properly before they leave home. Make good friends with everyone. You will need the support.