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Road To The Pros

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I know i have a lot of more important things ahead me since i'm only 13. But a kids gotta dream right? Winning tournaments and getting sponsors has always been a goal since i first picked up a rod. I remember sitting in my 1st grade class and the teacher was asking students what they wanted to be when they grow up. My answer was a fisherman. Maybe in a couple years this could be a reasonable goal. I'm kinda worried though. There are no fishing clubs near me and no tournaments. So i'm just another kid who seemingly catches tiny bluegill on spincasts all day. It's not that i don't have confidence. I believe that if i ever got into a tournament i would win no doubt. So right now i realize that i need to build my résumé. But how exactly do i do that?

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Are you sure there's no tournaments or clubs near you? In Central Florida? I found 35 scheduled tournaments between now and the 31st in a Google search for "Bass tournaments in Central Florida". That was on the first page that I clicked on. You're in one of the best possible locations to be a bass fisherman and try to start a career since you can fish year round. I think you may need to search a little more for a local club. Maybe find out if your school has any interest in starting a club/team? Highschool fishing seems to really be a thing anymore. Getting things done like starting a fishing club at your school would be a great thing to add to a resume. 

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Winning tournaments and getting sponsors has always been a goal since i first picked up a rod.

 

Why?

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Being that you're only 13 it might be hard for you to get in tournaments unless you have a youth fishing club. Most have a 16 year old minimum, but if you find a smaller club, they will most likely be willing to let you fish anyway. Like blue said, you're probably in one of the best places to try to become a pro. Look a little harder though, I'm sure you can find something around there. With sponsors you'll have to work your way up the ladder. Try to get in with someone. Write them a letter letting you want to know you want to help promote them and let them know what you can do for them. 

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Are you sure there's no tournaments or clubs near you? In Central Florida? I found 35 scheduled tournaments between now and the 31st in a Google search for "Bass tournaments in Central Florida". That was on the first page that I clicked on. You're in one of the best possible locations to be a bass fisherman and try to start a career since you can fish year round. I think you may need to search a little more for a local club. Maybe find out if your school has any interest in starting a club/team? Highschool fishing seems to really be a thing anymore. Getting things done like starting a fishing club at your school would be a great thing to add to a resume.

I'm homeschooled... Anyway i will keep looking for clubs. Im actually closer to Daytona Beach than i am Orlando although it is still considered central florida. So places around Orlando are at least an hour drive. Thats a bit too far D:

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I should also mention that i don't have a boat. About 99% of tournaments i find are on the water and not next to it.

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Learn how to fish successfully and get a BA in Marketing

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Learn how to fish successfully and get a BA in Marketing

I'd say i have step 1 down fairly well XD

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As a younger fisherman myself (24), I feel that I can give you a good picture:

 

1. Your goal and priorities are a bit skewed from what I believe your intentions actually are. You should be focusing on learning the most you can from yourself, people around you, and what ever resources are at your disposal to put yourself in position to do the best you can as an angler. You will never reach perfection in this sport, there will always be something to learn, never be content.

 

2. If you don't want to be "just another kid", heed the advice we are giving you. Some of it is likely not what you want to hear, but it comes from our experience.

 

3. Give it time. Be patient. You are young and actually a bit too young for most adult (16+) tournaments. It's not the end of the world though, you can take the time between now and then to get a head start on most people your age so that when you do get the opportunity, you may have quite an advantage.

 

Before all else though, check for any youth fishing clubs as this will be your best bet. If this is not the case, high school, and college will be your next club opportunity. If the high school doesn't have one, start one when you enroll there.

 

4. Your youthfulness is showing a bit here. Take a step back and think about what you have said. If you were in a tournament you would win it. How many participants? Are they your age? Are they amateurs, pros? What lake? What rules?

 

Confidence is critical in both recreational and tournament fishing, but being grounded with a sense of practicality and humility are just as important. If you would like to call KVD the best bass tournament fisherman in the world, even he has only won 7.14% of his tournaments with BASS. And during the other ~93% he has finished decently but also very very poorly. That is the sport though, even the best lose much more than they win.

 

The picture you posted is actually pretty cool, but also irrelevant. While a nice feat, it is not indicative of how skillful of angler you are, especially at the tournament level. The best skill you can possibly have right now, is the ability to understand that you have a LOT to learn and the discipline to put in the work to do so.

 

5. Get sponsorships out of your head for now. High school and college clubs will typically have sponsors to help you out once a part of them, but a personal sponsor is both difficult to attain and a lot of work to retain.

 

But let us get your resume on the right track:

 

           1. Do well in school.

           2. Get a job when you are of age to show that you can work for/with people, and can work hard.

           3. Go to college, work hard. Get a degree in something you enjoy and will support yourself as an adult.

           4. Be a genuinely nice person and develop good social skills.

 

           After you prioritize practical life, THEN you can focus on the fishing. It is okay to dream about fishing at a high tournament level, but you have to have the income to get there and support it. Most big name                    professionals still have jobs and many own their own businesses, but my point is that you can't just expect to get by on fishing alone.

 

           5. Become familiar with most social media and create your own content, whether it be commentary, pictures, video, etc. Do this the right way, or don't do it at all, because you risk making a bad name for                            yourself.

           6. Fish. Fish. Fish. Have purpose, have goals; EVERY experience is a learning experience. Once you get your feet wet at a lower tournament level, push yourself to improve and start expanding the level at                     which you compete.

 

6. Tournament fishing is quite different from catching bass from your local pond. Tournament fishing is pressure, preparedness, versatility, execution, decision making, confidence, and so many other things. For years I had imagined myself tournament fishing and do enjoy it, but there were times I had my doubts even after knowing I wanted to get into it. Your feelings may change after you spend $15, $100, $500, $1500, only to go out and not get a single bite in 8 hours, or have a great day of fishing only to come back to 50 people who had a greater day of fishing. And that's okay. The key here is that you must still have fun and enjoy yourself. Tournament fishing isn't for everyone.

 

Most clubs run a boater/non-boater format in which for every boater, someone who does not have a boat fishes from the back of a boat. The remaining few are then likely buddy tournament format in which two people work together from the same boat to catch a shared limit. You do not need a boat to compete.

 

If you put in the time and effort (ask for help if you need to), I guarantee there is a club near enough to you. You may have to wait (just like everyone else) until you are 16 to fish in one, but once you can drive, honestly an hour away isn't so bad if it is your only option.

 

 

Go to the article section of this site and start taking advantage of it. We are here to help you.

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