As you probably know Mark runs with Jacob Wheeler, Dustin Connell and Adrian Avena. They're a fun group and of course real good at what they do – and some of the vids on their YT channels really show some great, interesting stuff about how they think and think about fishing when they're together on the road.
Anyhow, wanted to catch up with Mark so here's 5 with him – some real innerestin' stuff about the difference between every fish and the best 5:
1. What do you think about the change to 5 fish – you and Adrian got any plans to beat up on Jacob and Dustin?? 😁
> "I'm totally against the switch to 5. That's just my personal feelings about it. Of course we've all grown up fishing for 5. That's what's dearest to my heart...but 5 years ago we set out to do this every fish counts format – that was part of what made me change my career. And I just feel like it's a step in the wrong direction for the league [to go to 5]...personally.
> "That said I'm excited to go back to 5 because it changes the way I compete and fish. You can swing the bat a lot more...[like fish a] jig a lot of the time and not worry about getting too far behind.
> "I don't think a lot of fans out there realize how difficult the every fish counts format is...it made me a better angler. It constantly pushed me to be a better angler. You could never stop thinking over the course of the day....
> "I think [the change to 5] is going to be great because it will connect better with the fanbase...it's what they're used to as well. So there's a lot of positive to it as well.
> "As for as J-dub, he's a tough cookie no matter what – 1 fish, 5 fish, all fish, 1 and half fish, it don't matter bro, that dude is gonna catch 'em. I don't have any tricks up my sleeve just yet to slow him down, but I'm sure we're gonna come up with something. He and DC both.
> "The 4 of us are all super-competitive, but as close as we all are, when we launch those boats it's no more games man...."
2. You gonna fish any different?
> "Yes. You've got to. It starts at preparation – the preparation aspect is totally different. The bait selection aspect will be totally different at times. And you will increase the risk across the board.
> "What I mean is in the every fish format, you'd get in a situation where you had 2 bites at a place but it's 40 minutes away so there's no way you're running down there. Although there's a chance of them being big [there], too much fishing time is wasted. In 40 minutes time, you just went from 10th to 25th [on ScoreTracker]. Everything is very calculated....
> "But now, a scenario like that is heavily considered. If I make the 40-minute run I might not get a bite...but if I do the reward is humungous. That's a huge difference.
> "...many more options in a 5-fish format...after fishing in an every fish format, it really opened my eyes in what we used to do [5 fish]."
3. Anything about the schedule you're looking forward to – or dreading?
> "I'm definitely looking forward to going to Cayuga during the timeframe in which we're going. I feel like it's probably the best largemouth bass fishery in the nation right now. That place is unbelievable.
> "It's hard for people to [appreciate]...in the every fish format someone might catch 80 or 100 lbs in a day. Justin Lucas – here's a guy who caught 100 lbs in one day. That's like 35 good largemouth...his best 5 weighed 27 lbs. That's phenomenal.
> "That was at Cayuga in the summer – post-spawn offshore. We're not talking fat pre-spawn largemouth. That [tournament] has the potential to be through the roof.
> "Saginaw Bay is another one. I've never been there before and I love fishing new bodies of water...learning a lake as you go and then implementing that in the tournament.... And the situation there is you can catch big largemouth all day or can go offshore to find smallmouth deep on structure. So it's very fisherman-friendly, however you like to fish."
4. Can Crispin Powley shoot or does he just like to dress up in camo and sit in duck blinds? 😁
> [Laughs] "Crispin is one heck of a duck hunter. He's been doing it far longer than me – he's a really good duck-hunter man. He can blow a duck call great, he can shoot great, his knowledge of the game is high.
> "He impressed me – the dude is just absolutely eaten up with duck hunting."
[Crispin runs GSM Fishing and because he's a bud deserves an extra-special call-out lol.]