We have all heard of or
read about famous rock and roll bands that seem
to be overnight sensations. They burst onto the
scene with the latest hit tune, and they are all
the rage. Some become one hit wonders while
others go on to enjoy a long successful career
in the spot light. What most people don’t
realize is the countless hours and sometimes
years of practice that the band puts in to
finally achieve some recognition. Most of the
time they are practicing in a cramped space such
as a garage or basement until that magic moment
when they are “discovered” and become
“overnight” mega stars.
Photo Credit: Bassmaster
Sometimes anglers go
through a similar process. Take for example
Caleb Kuphall the 35 year old Mukwonago Wisconsin
angler who recently won the 2019 Basspro.com
Bassmaster Central Open on Lewis Smith Lake.
Caleb purportedly wasn’t even on anybody’s radar
to be a serious contender in this event.
Somebody forgot to let Caleb know that. He
walked away with a three day total weight of 43
pounds and 2 ounces. It earned him $37,200 plus
a berth in the 2020 Bassmaster Classic. Caleb
put together a one two punch in two separate
areas of Lewis Smith Lake, where he was able to
capitalize on schooling spotted bass in one
area, and then upgrade with largemouth by
flipping buck brush with a jig in another area.
Caleb seemed to come from
nowhere to win this event, but if we take a
closer look at the “practice” years, Caleb has
proven himself, a force to be reckoned with. The
FLW angler has logged one win and twelve top ten
finishes. He also has qualified for the Forrest
Wood Cup twice as a co-angler.
Caleb also has fished
Angler's Choice out of the Southeast Wisconsin
division since 2010. Now comes the impressive
part, out of 54 events fished he won 20 of them
and finished in the top ten 42 times! He also
was points champion in that division three years
in a row! I know you are probably thinking that
the Southeast Wisconsin division probably only has a
handful of anglers making it easy for Caleb to
be a big fish in a small pond, but it happens to
be one of the largest of the U.S. Angler's
Choice divisions. If you don’t believe Southeast
Wisconsin guys know how to catch them, search
the Angler's Choice website for names like Dan Hight, Rick Fry and Travis Alcock and of course
Caleb Kuphall to name just a few, and prepare to
be humbled. (I apologize to the guys whom I
failed to mention.)
I recently had the
opportunity to speak with Caleb on the phone and
he was gracious enough to field a few questions.
AC: First of all can we get
some general information about Caleb Kuphall?
CK: Sure I’m thirty-five years old from
Mukwonago Wis. I’m not married and I work part
time as a fishing guide and part time in a local
AC: Congratulations on your
recent win on Lewis Smith Lake.
CK: Thank you. I appreciate that.
AC: What was your strategy
for fishing Lewis Smith Lake? Especially since
you only fished the lake once before in a 2008
FLW event as a co-angler.
CK: I found an area with spotted bass that I
could get a limit on, but I really wanted to
fish for Largemouth, and cull the spots. So I
looked for dirtier water to find the largemouth.
I did most of my damage on northeast side of the
AC: Going in to this event,
against some of the best spotted bass fishermen
out there, did you think you were on the winning
CK: Not really because I was only able to cull a
couple of the spotted bass with bigger
largemouth the first two days. The last day I
did cull them all and had the bigger bag. Most
of my fish were post spawn, but there were a few
fish still coming in to spawn too so I always
had more fish coming to me.
AC: Early August Bassmaster
Central Opens comes to your home waters at La
Crosse, Wis. to fish the upper Mississippi
River. Will you put extra pressure on yourself
to do well on your home waters?
CK: I always give 110% in every tourney. I will
continue to do that in the August event.
AC: What do you do better
than everybody else? What is your edge?
CK: I would have to say experience. I’ve been
doing this since I was five years old. It just
comes down to putting time in on the water.
Also, I think it’s probably trusting my gut. I
have pretty good instinct and usually make good
decisions on the water.
AC: How did fishing
Angler's Choice help you develop your skills?
CK: Again fishing Angler's Choice meant putting
time in on the water which equates to
AC: Any sponsors you would
like to mention?
Caleb was the consummate
professional on the phone. I have a feeling
that it won’t be too long before he wins the
next “big tournament.” He may have won the Lewis
Smith tournament but I can assure you Caleb
Kuphall will not be a one hit wonder. One of the
most enjoyable interviews I’ve ever done. Thank
Good Fishing and God Bless.