Table Rock Lake is big, and anglers in this week’s Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open can spread out. It’s the kind of elbow room Chris Franks of Petaluma, Calif., is used to.
When he’s not competing in bass tournaments, Franks, 26, works on a commercial boat out of Sausalito, Calif., that fishes for Pacific Ocean crab and salmon.
TV reality shows may portray commercial fishing as romantic, but Franks wouldn’t mind trading it for a Bassmaster Elite Series career. He’s trying to qualify through the 2012 Central Open circuit and turn full-time pro. The top five Open pros in points at the end of their season earn invites to move up.
Franks first signed up for the Central Open last year. He was at the circuit’s initial stop of 2011, and practiced for the next, the April 2011 event on Table Rock. When it was flooded out, he was done for the year. He wasn’t able to return to Table Rock in October for the rescheduled tournament.