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Crossed Pro Staff

Freshwater Fishing

Jay Brainard - was raised Enid, OK. Jay’s free time was spent catching bass at his grandfather’s lake 1/4 mile from home, where he happened to catch a bass that weighed just shy of 8lbs before he was 8 years old.

Jay led successful career in rodeo. As a pro cowboy he set the standard for stunts over bulls by being the first bullfighter to successfully backflip a Mexican fighting bull. He was Reserve Champion in the Federation of Freestyle bull fighters competition Other accomplishments include winning the Ultimate Bullfighter freestyle bullfights in NC, SC, GA, & two top 10 finishes in the International Finals Rodeo Cowboy Protection Competition.

Jay spent every day during the rodeo off season fishing. He began fishing every tournament he could in North Eastern OK & MO. His 1st year he finished 5th in the Nichols/Triton standings with a 300 boat field. Jay placed 2nd during his 1st Bassmaster Open, and that was only the beginning. He continued on to become Bassmaster Central Opens 2015 Angler of the Year & qualify for the 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series. Stay tuned for more as Jay takes his fishing to the next level.

Brandon Palaniuk - From successfully competing in club competition, to earning a spot on the Idaho State Team, to making it to the federation championship, and finally securing a tour card by winning the whole thing, Brandon Palaniuk is all in on the professional bass fishing tournament trail. At the age of 28, he has done more than most fishermen have done in a lifetime. After winning the Federation Nation National Championship which gave him a berth into both the Elite Series and the 2011 Bassmaster Classic, there was no looking back. And after missing only 2 cuts in the 2011 Elite season, he returned to the Bassmaster Classic in 2012 and made it three in a row with the 2013 invite.

Adrian Avena - Nicknamed the “Jersey Boy”, Avena is one the FLW’s rising young stars to come out of the FLW College Fishing series. Fishing for Chestnut Hill College, Avena quickly found success fishing competitively and after graduating with a B.A. in Business Administration decided to pursue this career even further. 2012 marked Avena’s rookie season in the Tour Majors Division and he thrived in the environment, nudging himself all the way into 23rd place in the Angler of the Year race. When not on Tour, Avena enjoys saltwater fishing and hunting. At FLW events, Adrian’s “Pit Crew” consisting of his father Danny, mother Lori, girlfriend Samantha, good pals Dom, Rich and Andrew and his loyal chocolate lab Triton can often be seen rooting him on. The 2016 season will be Jersey Boy’s first year on the Bassmaster Elite Series after qualifying through the opens.

Stetson Blaylock - After an extremely successful co-angler career in which he climbed his way up the tournament circuit ladder, Blaylock moved to the front of the boat as a pro in 2009. It did not take long for Blaylock to show off his fishing talent, taking him only three tries in 2009 before winning his first Tour event (Lake Norman). Since joining the Tour as a boater, he has finished in the top-10 several times and Blaylock’s highest finish as a pro in the Angler of the Year race came in 2013, when he finished runner-up to Andy Morgan.

Brad Knight - has fished at nearly every level of FLW competition on his way to the top. After first qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup in 2014, Knight qualified again in 2015 and earned the biggest win of his career on Lake Ouachita. Born and raised in east Tennessee, Knight enjoys following the Vols and college football in the offseason. Though it hasn't been huge for his success in on Tour, Knight's favorite bait is probably a big swimbait and he's know for his interest and skill in that area.

Chad Pipkens - Is a professional bass tournament and Bassmaster Elite Series Angler from Holt, Michigan. With 31 top 10 finishes in FWL and B.A.S.S. combined Chad is an up and coming angler with a 2014 and 2015 Bass Northern Open Champion Title as well as2016 Bassmaster Classic Qualifier, and FLW Tour Beaver Lake Champion (Co-Angler) Title in 2012.

Saltwater Fishing Team

Liquid Fire Fishing Team - Our team consists of my sons, Joshua (22) and Crockett (17), my wife Audrey (47) and me Mark Henderson(48). Periodically, we have some guest members; Rob Ferris and John Molfetto.

When we moved to the coast of North Carolina in May 2002, it just fit. My children and all of the family members gravitated to the lure of the saltwater immediately. We spent a lot of time pier and surf fishing for the first two and a half years. Our children learned how to cast, tie knots, rig baits, clean fish, and all of the essentials while learning how to respect the resources that we’ve been given. In 2004, a friend of mine, Ben Beasley, bought a 23-foot Sea Pro with a 200 Johnson. He asked us to fish the Raleigh Saltwater KMT with him. It was our first event, and I really don’t even remember if we got a strike. But, we were hooked!! We squeaked into the National Championship in Biloxi and ran to the West Delta both days in that boat! I purchased my first boat in October 2004. It was a 25’ Contender with twin Yamaha 200s, and we began fishing the SKA as the Liquid Fire Fishing Team in 2005.