The final day of the 2022 Bassmaster Elite Series season begins with three Toyota pros in the Top 10 to begin Championship Monday in La Crosse, Wisconsin. 

Matt Arey left the dock in 5th, Gerald Swindle sits 8th, and Brandon Lester squeaked into the final spot in 10th, and each graciously shared their thoughts in the pre-dawn regarding what had gone right the past three days to grant them a place in the Top 10.

Arey: “Not getting mentally spun out on Day 1 when I arrived at my best spot from practice and saw another competitor on it. I stayed confident, went to my next best spot, and that has turned out to be a magical 50-yard X 50-yard area that’s produced fish on a Lunkerhunt swimjig, a vibrating jig, and a Texas rigged stick bait all three days so far.”

Swindle: “Staying focused on truly fishing to win. I already had the Classic made coming in here. So, there was no need to be conservative. For me, that meant getting away from the crowd, by making the longer run to Pool 9. It’s worked well. I haven’t seen another tournament angler around me all week.”

Lester: “My mindset has been the true secret to my success this week. I told myself if I made Monday’s Top 10 cut, then I’d really make Palaniuk earn the AOY title. And that’s exactly how it worked out. Congrats to “BP” – but I really feel good about knowing I set a goal and did my job this week.”

Perhaps most interesting about all three pros’ answers is the fact each cited mental focus as most important to their impressive success on the Upper Mississippi this weekend. 

Proving once again that what goes on between the ears is every bit as important as what’s tied on the end of your line.