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By Dave Landahl - Photo by Phoenix Moore - It was 1980-something. The Who was on their first farewell tour, Ronald Reagan was the President of the USA, Cheers was a smash hit on television, and Paul Elias was on top of the bass fishing world. 

The Mississippi pro was not only one of the first public figures since Abraham Lincoln to rock a full, bushy hipster beard, he had also staked a claim to the top of the bass-fishing world with a victory in the 1982 Bassmaster Classic on the Arkansas River. For the foreseeable future, Paul Elias was positioned to be the king of the hill in professional bass fishing.

And then it all came crashing down.

Dear Paul: Get your priorities straight, trust your gut

Chatting with a writer from his home in the small southern Mississippi town of Luarel, Elias speaks frankly about that era of his life – painfully frankly sometimes – and without an abundance of joy. He’s rightfully proud of his tournament-fishing accomplishments: in addition to his Classic win, he accumulated 12 Top 10s in a four-year period in the early 1980s. 

But decisions Elias made during that time in his life and the turmoil that followed shook him to his core; so much so that the 67-year-old legend admits that he’s still recovering.

“When I look back at my early career, I realize I made a lot of mistakes,” Elias admits. “If I could send a letter to myself back then, I’d let myself know that I did a good job sticking to my style of fishing, and that it would pay off with wins and a Bassmaster Classic championship. But, I’d also tell myself to change my personal life around. I was all about my career back then. I should’ve put God and my family first, but instead I put my fishing career above everything.”

 

Complete Story

Jake Lands 7.7 Largemouth Fishing with Paul

Testimonial

Paul, Wanted to drop you a line and again thank you for the great time Lance and I had. The time spent with you on the electronics was amazing,but the real deal was when we put that knowledge and applied it out on the water on Friday.We guessed our best 5 would of been in the 42 lb range, with both of us catching our personal best fish of our lifes.We had 2 over 10 and 1 around 9 from your lake. We are getting ready to start into the Everstart series this year and your class will definitely help us out.

Thanks again, Frank

In Depth Fishing Lessons Click Here

Just a quick email to let you know how much I enjoyed my trip to Pachuta. As an avid angler I found In-Depth Fishing to be a master's level course in the sport of bass fishing.  I learned a great deal and it was fun to apply the lessons while catching lunker bass (see photos).  Lake Eddins is an extraordinary fishery! Click Here

David McLarnon
Natick, MA

Fisherman – What a remarkable opportunity to fish and learn from a legend in bass fishing! Fellow bass fishing enthusiasts my name is Robert Chandler who works as an engineer day to day down in southwest Louisiana and I am just your average weekend angler aspiring to locate and put more fish in the livewell more consistently. Recently, I read an article in the Bassmaster magazine that Paul Elias who when I was a teenager had just started his fishing career Click Here