So You Want To Turn Pro And Be The Best Legendary Bass Angler

Many people would like to compete on the tournament trails and would do very well even win large sums of money.

What about you?

The first thing you have to ask yourself is, "do I have what it takes"?

I will try to outline below some of the roadblocks and requirements to answer your questions.

Well to start with you need angling know-how.

A good understanding of the lifestyle and habitat of the fish you want to catch, including feeding and mating habits.

Then, you have to think like a fish!

These are just a few of the prerequisites you will need before "stepping up to the plate".

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My Early Bass Fishing Exploits

I began fishing in London, England at the age of six on the banks of the river Thames.

Ten years later I was competing in local tournaments or matches against some of the best in the country.

Using the oldest cliché of all "I was hooked".

By the age of twenty, I was fishing in championship competition in different lakes, rivers and streams, all over Europe.

When I arrived in the United States thirteen years ago, I fished European style and kept catching these unusual fish called largemouth bass(they are not native to Europe, however some have been found in Italy and Spain).

Join A Local Bass Fishing Club To Expand Your Knowledge

Five years ago I joined a local Long Island bass club and it was there that I laid down the foundation for what I do today.

I began watching the club's senior members catch bass consistently.

I learned and used their styles combining them with my own and formed a set of techniques that I use today.

Bass fishing clubs provide an actual experience where you can learn from someone the things you may not have thought of.

At bass fishing clubs you will form friendships that last and learn how to keep the fun in the sport.

One of the things I see often when anglers turn pro is their attitude changes from having fun to overthinking things due to being too serious.

Money has a way of changing how you approach the task at hand instead of just relaxing and applying what you know.

Remember, don't let failure destroy your confidence or ability to learn.

After all, every success comes from failure at some pont in your career.

Failure is how you learn and should be something you look at positively.

Bass fishing clubs provide you with a way to deal with failure by learning from others without the added pressure of a tournament

Before you join a club attend some meetings to see if it is the right fit for you.

Get a feel for the attitudes of the club members and how they react to your questions.

Once you have established a track record in tournaments at a local level, sponsorship is a great way to start.

Sponsorship Is Essential To Fishing Professional Tournaments

When selecting a sponsor use their product because if you like it and it works for you, you will have no trouble whatsoever promoting its benefits on the road.

Remember if you have no confidence in a product you will never successfully convince others to use it.

Always contact the marketing division of the company and get a name to whom you can write a letter, attaching your resume and relevant information about your fishing capabilities.

Most sponsorship in the beginning will be in the form of product.

Once you have established a professional track record, then dollars become part of the bargaining process.

This can be a lump sum per annum or a "salary" based on sales and seminar or trade show appearances.

A fact worth remembering is that there is more sponsorship dollars in fishing today than golf and tennis combined!

While on the subject of dollars, this sport, like so many others is not inexpensive.

A typical tour of four, one-week tournaments will cost you $2400.00 (Year 2000 dollars) just to enter.

Next comes food, lodging, fuel and equipment, plus "on the road" vehicle and vessel repairs.

The amounts can vary, but a general rule of thumb is between $6000.00 and $8000.00 per annum for this one tournament trail.

One-day tournaments are cheaper, but still require overnight accommodations, entry fees and all the other items previously mentioned.

A weekend tournament(typically Saturday and Sunday) will average between $300.00 and $600.00 dependent upon location.

Travel and vacation time play an important role in your decision to turn pro.

You will need a minimum 6 weeks vacation per year if you hold down a full time job.

That can be tough and you will need an understanding boss.

Virtually every weekend you will be on the water, fishing or practicing.

I was once told while fishing with the legendary angler Woo Daves, "there is no substitute for time on the water".

How right he was.

When you begin fishing from the back of another angler's boat, you must have the basic skills to catch fish from various locations regardless of who is in control of the boat.

The "back seat" angler who does his or her homework has won many tournaments.

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Always Find Time For Those Who Can Influence Your Career

As if all that was not enough, you should be prepared to address large crowds and speak to the press or television crews who will come to you for comment and information.

The spectator and weekend angler is the bread and butter of this $70 billion per annum industry.

Without him or her, there would be no tournaments, no new lures, rods, reels or equipment, simply because there would be no one to buy the goods or watch the shows on the weekend!

Some of the touring anglers can sometimes become aloof when dealing with the public.

Their success is usually short lived and they pay the price for forgetting their beginnings.

When dealing with the press, they can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

Personally, I prefer the first of the two choices.

Always make time for them, tell them what they need to know and make sure you use the name of your sponsors in your conversations with them.

Well if that has not scared you away from the tournament trail then feel free to contact me for further information and hints on getting started.

Tight Lines!
Charles - Contact me with your questions and I'll be happy to reply!

Look for other articles written by Charles "The Bass Doctor" Stuart in Charles's Pro Staff Angler Profile

Special Thanks To All Of Charles "The Bass Doctor" Stuart's Sponsors


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