Alexandria’s Drake Herd said before the start of the Bass Pro Shops/Cabelas National Walleye Tour season this past spring that he wanted to be more consistent at each tournament in 2021 and make a run at the Angler of the Year Award.
Herd is 34-years-old and still a relatively young angler compared to many professionals. He has learned a lot in now his fifth season fishing this national tour, and he felt like he was capable of breaking through. Heading into the tour’s championship event Sept. 22-24, Herd is sitting in third place in the Angler of the Year point standings among 207 professional anglers who have fished at least one of the four tour stops during the regular season.
Herd has weighed in 34 fish at the four events he’s been at for a total weight of 130.09 pounds. That’s the top total weight in the entire field, with Mark Courts (32 fish, 116.19 total weight, 27.04 big day) and Chase Parsons (32 fish, 119.64 total weight, 22.82) in first and second place, respectively.
The point standings are not entirely based on total weight, with Herd sitting in third place due mostly to a tough tournament in Ohio on Lake Erie where he finished 82nd.
Around that, he’s been a model of consistency through the four tournaments. Herd finished third among 107 professional anglers at the stop in Mobridge, South Dakota July 29-30 with a 10-fish, two-day weight of 37.72 pounds.
The only two professional anglers to better him there also have Alexandria ties. Brothers Kent and Adam Andersen grew up in Alexandria and now live in Amery, Wisconsin.
Kent took first at the Mobridge tournament with a total weight of 40.75 pounds, while Adam was second with 38.05 pounds.
Herd added a ninth-place finish at the tour stop in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in late May. That’s after finishing third among the pros on the Missouri River near Chamberlain, South Dakota on the first tour stop of the season in late April.
Herd has all of his goals in front of him as he heads onto a familiar body of water in late September.
“I’m jacked. It will be good to sleep in my own bed, and actually try to win something on my home water,” Herd said of an Otter Tail Lake he has fished many times. “First and second place are brand new Ranger boats and some cash. First place is almost worth $100,000, and second is $80,000 some.
“It’s tough to fathom that, but it would be a good problem to have. Then there’s the Angler of the Year title, that’s definitely worth a lot of money. It would be awesome.”