ORLANDO, Fl.— A new threat is bursting into the Bassmaster Elite Series field in 2017. Hailing from Florida, with a history on the West Coast, Jesse Tacoronte has won nearly every major championship in bass fishing. Now, he’s got his eyes set on the top spot in bass fishing’s most competitive field.
“I’m humbled to be able to fish against the caliber of fishermen that are in the Elites,” Tacoronte says.
Tacoronte, who qualified for the 2017 Bassmaster Elite Series through the Opens, throws his name into a field stacked with legendary names like Clunn, Van Dam and Martens. And he joins the Elite Series at a time when some of the sport’s up-and-coming anglers are blazing their own trails straight to the top. “Nobody is a slacker in there,” he says. “Nobody. I’ve been to the All-American, I’ve been to the Tournament of Champions. Those are competitive fields, but at the end of the day, this year’s Elite Series is the toughest field in history of fishing, period.”
In such a highly contested field, finding even the slightest edge can make a difference. To help him find one, he’s partnered with three sponsors in his inaugural season in the Elites— Power-pole, Bob’s Machine Shop, Blazer Boats.
“The Blazer 625 is the only boat of its kind in the field,” he says. “They’ve made a bunch of changes to it for 2017 like a larger casting platform that gives you more of a flipping deck. The front deck is a foot wider, there’s an awesome day box right up front and, let me tell you, that boat is fast.”
“We haven’t had anyone bass fishing on that level in a while,” says Blazer Boats owner Keith Craft. “We met Jesse through Joe Clements at Toho Marine, and we’ve added some stuff that he specifically asked for in a boat. It’s already a fast boat—we’re talking high 70’s, 80 miles per hour with a 250 on it—I think he’s going to do great in the 625. Jesse’s a high-level, quality fisherman.”
To harness all that speed, Tacoronte paired the Blazer with a custom jack plate from Bob’s Machine Shop. “I got to tell you, in my mind Bob’s has the absolute best hydraulic jack plate on the market period. It’s the fastest under power, and I can ride skinny water or five foot waves, changing the dynamics of the boat as the water changes.”
“He’s using our Action Series jack plate with a carbon fiber coating,” adds Bob’s Machine V.P. of Sales Steve Pelini. “It’s the fastest jack plate on the market, and it’ll go up and down at full speed without any problem, so he can get up into the shallows quickly. We’ve been building jack plates in Tampa, Florida since 1978, and we’re thrilled to be working with someone like Jesse who understands Florida fishing and supports Florida manufacturers like us.”
Tacoronte is pairing his new-to-the-Elites ride with some of the most potent fishing tools on the planet thanks to Bob’s and fellow sponsor Power-Pole. “I can’t even imagine having a boat without Power-poles anymore. In 2012, when I got my very first set, I bet it helped me win at least another six or seven tournaments. In Florida, in particular, they are so silent and so secure that you can literally switch off your electronics and you can act as if you are not there. Not only that, but when you dock your boat, when you’re loading and unloading by yourself, they’re invaluable. Power-poles have become like my right arm, and I can’t wait to take them out with me in the Elites.”
For Tacoronte, fishing the Elite Series is a dream come true, but, he warns, it’s not a fantasy. “It’s a business,” he says. “This isn’t a fantasy. I’m treating this like a business and going after it with everything I’ve got. I want to win tournaments and build new relationships going forward, and I can’t thank Power-pole, Bob’s Machine Shop and Blazer Boats enough for believing in me from the beginning.”
The Bassmaster Elite Series opens at Tennessee’s Lake Cherokee Feb. 9-12, 2017.