As a child, Scott Canterbury always spent his Saturday mornings watching The Bassmasters television program.
To him, the stars of that show — people like Bob Cobb, Ray Scott and Denny Brauer — are the true legends of professional bass fishing.
Now, he has forever claimed his own spot alongside them in B.A.S.S. history.
With five bass that weighed 19 pounds, 12 ounces during Tuesday’s final round, Canterbury pushed his three-day total to 59-4 and finished in 14th place for the week at the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship on Lake St. Clair.
More importantly, he finished at the top of the season points standings with 848 points, earning one of the most coveted titles in professional fishing and the $100,000 check that goes with it.
“My first goal coming into the season was to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic next year,” Canterbury said. “Angler of the Year is always there on the radar. It’s just way out there.
“You always set goals that you don’t think you can reach — because if they’re easy to reach, you didn’t set them high enough.”
Canterbury was faced with his share of hurdles throughout the year, but he always seemed to have just enough in his tank to clear them.
After a tough first day at the regular-season opener on the St. Johns River in Florida, he rebounded with a ninth-place finish. From there, he placed 11th at Georgia’s Lake Lanier, 22nd at South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell and finished just 10 ounces shy of a victory during a second-place finish at Winyah Bay.