Scott Rook hasn't fished a Bassmaster Classic since 2011 when he finished 7th at the Louisiana Delta. He's in the midst of the first three-year Classic drought of his career and he's very much focused on making sure he's part of the field at Lake Hartwell next February.
He narrowly missed the money cut at the Lake Seminole season-opener, but has rebounded with two straight Top-25s and currently sits 16th in the Toyota Tundra B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year (AOY) standings.
"It's been a pretty good start," he said. "Any time you're in the Top 25, I consider that a good tournament."
Two years ago, he missed the Classic by one point. Last season, he went into the final event of the year in 40th place in points, well within reach of a Classic berth. He finished 77th at Lake St. Clair and slid to 55th.
"To me, the Classic is the only tournament I've ever wanted to win," he said. "It's always been my number one goal. It's the world championship and that's what I want to win.
"Missing it 3 years in a row, I've never done that before so I've set my goals a little higher and put more effort into it. It's all about using your head and making right decisions. So far, I've been pretty good at those."
Despite a mixed bag of results at Toledo Bend Reservoir, site of next week's Elite Series event, he's going into it with a glass-half-full outlook.
"It's been hit or miss for me, but the last two times we were there, I caught lots of fish," he said. "I'm going there with a lot of confidence."
Another place he'll have plenty of confidence at is Lake Dardanelle, which welcomes the Elite Series 2 weeks after Toledo Bend.
"I've done really well there, but I've never won there," he said. "I've probably won on every other pool but there and I think I've finished everywhere but first at Dardanelle. I'm not saying I'll win, but I feel can do okay there."