Noah Schultz has been no stranger to success since stepping on to the Champions Tour scene. In three years, he’s amassed over six figures in cash and prizes, few can rival his track record.
But this year brought something different, a new goal, and a new mindset, and a new accomplishment.
“The biggest thing for me this year was consistency, I’ve always been that guy to swing for the fences and be a hero or zero. This year I really wanted to give myself a shot at angler of the year and just stay consistent,” said Noah.
So, what does consistency on the Champions Tour look like? How is it done? In a format unlike any other there is no easy path to stability and sustainability, but Schultz said it took an open mind and a few years of experience to make the necessary changes. “I think the key was learning to fish in the moment. In the past I was too hard-headed and would get stuck fishing a specific pattern or spot I found in practice, but this year I really paid attention to how the day was unfolding around me to adjust and adapt to what I was seeing.”
Being around a high level of competition elevates you as an angler, no doubt about it. Schutz laughed as he recalled his first event with the Reel LiveWell App and how it mentally spun him out. “It’s a totally different level of intensity from any other type of tournament I’ve fished in the past and now I’m to the point where I feel I can use it to my advantage rather than letting it overwhelm me.”
Schultz mentioned that prior to this tour he had never really fished outside his home range so most of the bodies of water were new to him and thanks to the lake splits he has had to cover more water in practice and his efficiency has skyrocketed because of it. “You have to be able to cover an entire lake, you can’t just hunker down in practice and pick apart one area.”
He credits his equipment to his increased confidence. Since winning his first Skeeter boat and not having mechanical issues like he did with his old boat, Schultz said he feels like he can go anywhere now and fish all day with the confidence his Skeeter-Yamaha combo will get him back without worry.
What’s on that boat is just as important, as he spoke highly of his Humminbird MEGA360 which he claims is the number one biggest reason to his success this year overall. He says the ability to pinpoint casts and precisely target specific structure allowed him to be more efficient and catch more fish. Without this, he said he never would have won the Championship on Mille Lacs or finished third at Pelican, and ultimately without it he wouldn’t have won Angler of the Year.
“In both of those tournaments everything I did was so specific and where I placed that Bagley B1 had to be absolutely perfect to get bit, on Mille Lacs I found two shallow boulders I never knew existed thanks to MEGA360 and I ended up alternating between the two at the end of the day to win.”
At the end of it all Noah says that fishing the Champions Tour has been the best decision of his fishing career, using it as a steppingstone to further his passion and gain the respect of anglers across the Midwest as a force to be reckoned with. Schultz plans to move forward with his fishing career both on the Champions Tour and on a national level, pursuing his dreams of making a living one cast at a time.