Pro Staff Question - Do You Believe That An Education In Biology Helps A Pro Angler
Charles "The Bass Doctor" Stuart's Answer
Hi Jonathan, at your age I would say that a university degree in Fisheries Biology would not be wasted!
Fact is, professional fishing is not the ultimate fishing dream it used to be and the cost to you both financially and emotionally can take its toll, so you need to have a career in the background if you don't make the "big time".
You Need To Catch Fish Consistantly Or You Will Struggle To Compete
Taking a look at the best of the best, the top 20 anglers in America are the guys who are making big money and getting all the media attention.
The rest are men and women who have nearly all used their own money and abilities to get to their current position.
However they will never attain the lofty heights of my good friends Jay Yelas, Shaw Grigsby or Woo Daves, because guys like you and I do not have the FISH CATCHING CONSISTANCY required to make top ranking.
So a career related to the fishing world is the best thing you can have, just in case you don't make it to the top.
Of course sponsorship will help you, but again the myth that large companies are going to thrust huge sums of money into your hand is ludicrous and needs to be nipped in the bud before others waste time and effort with letters and phone calls to these already deluged companies who receive 100 plus resumes a day from prospective pro staffers!
Big Business Has Taken Over The Pro Bass Circuits
I do not want this reply to sound like doom and gloom, but I do want to emphasize that the professional world of bass fishing has changed forever since the two largest organizations took over the sport and now run it like NASCAR and other sports that command large spectator participation either in person or via the media and generate advertizing dollars.
Fact: The FLW has a serious problem with advertising and will not allow anglers to display their hard earned sponsors, however an angler can wear a shirt with VISA or FUJI film and of course he or she can ONLY run a Ranger boat!
A story of anglers wearing their favorite baseball cap while fishing, winning the tournament and then having their pictures removed from magazines etc is just the tip of the iceberg.
Fact: ESPN have made the former B.A.S.S. trail all but impossible for most anglers to compete unless you are independently wealthy or win the lottery!
The selection criteria to compete at the highest level has been made by business men who have no concept of what the sport entails, but rather view the whole concept as a business venture, with massive audience participation and advertisers dollars waiting to be picked up!
To Sum Up Becoming A Successful Bass Pro
Jonathan, Fish your local level tours.
Go onto the FLW or B.A.S.S. tours as a non boater for the experience, but do not think that based just on your fishing abilities you can pay the bills and give yourself and a spouse a life of luxury.
Sadly it's a myth and one that too many men and women have fallen prey to.
As a result, they have lost their careers, family and friends in the wake of following the dream!
Charles "The Bass Doctor" Stuart
BassonHook Pro Staff