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Palaniuk works his magic to lead tight field – Cayuga Lake – Union Springs, NY, Aug 21 – 24, 2014

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Palaniuk works his magic to lead tight field

Seigo Saito
Palaniuk brought in 20 pounds, 10 ounces, enough to stay 3 ounces ahead of the pack in the first of four rounds.

By Deb Johnson

UNION SPRINGS, N.Y. — August is Brandon Palaniuk’s charmed time of year. New York is his state of magic.

Last August, the pro angler from Rathdrum, Idaho, won a Bassmaster Elite Series event on the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York. At age 25, he pocketed the $100,000 prize and achieved his goal of qualifying for the 2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro.

Thursday, just as focused on ensuring he’ll get into the 2015 Classic, Palaniuk led the 106-angler Elite field in the A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake out of Union Springs, N.Y., where, once again, the first prize is $100,000 and an automatic qualification for the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing.

Palaniuk brought in 20 pounds, 10 ounces, enough to stay 3 ounces ahead of the pack in the first of four rounds.

“It was a magical day,” Palaniuk said. “I caught fish pretty early. I think I had a limit within the first 45 minutes, and slowly culled up from there. Every move I made, I seemed to catch a good one.”

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