If you follow competitive bass fishing, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the name John Garrett. At only twenty-six years old, the Bassmaster Opens EQ competitor has an impressive tournament resume, which includes holding the leader position of the 2023 St. Croix Opens EQ points standings.
In 2016, Garrett won the Bassmaster® College Series Classic Bracket, earning a spot in the 2017 Bassmaster Classic® as a sophomore in college. After a solid showing in the Classic, Garrett went on to lead the points race in the Central division of the Bassmaster Opens until the final tournament of the season.
Ultimately, he finished one spot out of achieving his dream of qualifying for the Bassmaster Elite Series that year, and then took 2018-19 off from Opens competition to focus on his education and graduate from Bethel University.
Garrett came back to the Opens with a vengeance in 2020, finishing in fifth place overall in the points standings. However, only the top four received Elite invites. In 2021, the Skeeter-Yamaha pro heartbreakingly fell one single point short of qualifying for the Elite Series.
Last year Garrett once again finished in the top ten in the Opens points race, but not high enough to take the next step in his professional fishing career. Garrett has proven his fishing prowess repeatedly at the college and Opens level. Now three tournaments in to the 2023 Opens EQ season, it looks as though he’ll have a chance to knock at the door of Elite Series qualification once again.
The Tennessee native started his 2023 Opens EQ campaign with back-to-back fourth place finishes before ending the Buggs Island tournament in 18th place. In the process, Garrett earned $3,000 of bonus money from Yamaha’s popular Power Pay program.
“That money goes a long way for a guy like me at the Opens level,” explained Garrett. “It’s hard to get a lot of sponsorship support fishing the Opens, and I have a wife with a child on the way, so every single dollar I can earn means the world to our family.”
Garrett was the highest finishing Power Pay eligible angler at the Lake Eufaula Open and the second highest finisher running a 2019 or newer Yamaha Outboard at Toledo Bend, collecting a Power Pay check at each tournament.
“I’ve been a big proponent of the Power Pay program since it was announced, but I’ve had a Yamaha on the back of every boat I’ve owned because of the quality and reliability,” said Garrett. “The first boat I bought my senior year of high school was a used Skeeter powered by a Yamaha. I’ve run a 250-horsepower Yamaha V MAX SHO® on a Skeeter in the Opens competitions since 2020, and I have Yamahas on both of my G3 aluminum boats for my duck guiding business.”
Garrett’s fondness of the Yamaha brand runs deep, beginning in his youth when he would help at his grandpa’s boat dealership, Union City Marine in northwest Tennessee. It’s hard to not wish for continued success for Garrett, who remains humble and steady throughout the peaks and valleys of his young career.
Ideally, he’ll continue to cash in a few more Power Pay bonuses as he continues to work toward achieving his ultimate goal of qualifying for the Elite Series at the end of the 2023 season.
Yamaha Power Pay supports hundreds of tournaments from the high school level to team tournament trails, and all the way up to the professional ranks. For a full list of events and payouts or for more information head to www.yamahapowerpay.com/