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JoeLo_Bassfishing

Millionaire Bass Angler

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Hello to All, 

I am new to this forum and I just wanted to start out by asking what it really takes to become a bass professional. It has been my dream to become one and I know for sure I won't rest until I get there. I would love to work in the industry but all I really want to do is fish every day I possibly can. I am going to NY for the summer and my plans are going to be dormant until I move back to Florida, specifically South Florida. I know in order to start, I have to co-angle the main tournaments and then work up the chain. I know the process is extensive and long, which I am looking forward to. What do you do at the age of 21 in order to be financially satisfied and also fish as much as possible? I know that fishing isn't necessarily going to make me extremely rich but I also have aspirations to have a wrapped boat and truck, specifically by Bass Pro Shops. If anyone can give me advice for securing a job or gaining sponsorship with them please let me know. I think promoting companies by either writing/freelancing about different baits and tackle is an avenue that might work. Does anyone have any experience with this and give me advice within this spectrum. Using YouTube, Medium, or other major sites I feel I can gain me the success I need. 

 

If anyone can give me the essential advice I need it would be greatly appreciated. 

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Welcome aboard!

Can't help with your ambitions, I just fish for
the love of the sport, not tourneys or $$ :) 

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Hello Joe and Welcome to Bass Resource ~

I have no information or advice for you but Good Luck.

A-Jay

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Just to clarify, I do fish for the love of the sport. It is firstly, my passion and love. I just know that in this world, you can't fish or live without money. I just want the best of both worlds. Thank you for your replies, Darren and A-Jay 

 

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Millionaire Bass Angler.
 

There's an article/thread specifically for this I've seen here before - but can't seem to locate it. Perhaps a search will wield the answers you're looking for. My advice, don't worry about it, just do you. If it's truly a passion, the action(s) in which you take will lead you down the path you're striving for. Ulterior motives, however, will not. 

 

Doing what you love, is freedom. Loving what you do, is happiness.

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56 minutes ago, JoeLo said:

Hello to All, 

I am new to this forum and I just wanted to start out by asking what it really takes to become a bass professional. It has been my dream to become one and I know for sure I won't rest until I get there. I would love to work in the industry but all I really want to do is fish every day I possibly can. I am going to NY for the summer and my plans are going to be dormant until I move back to Florida, specifically South Florida. I know in order to start, I have to co-angle the main tournaments and then work up the chain. I know the process is extensive and long, which I am looking forward to. What do you do at the age of 21 in order to be financially satisfied and also fish as much as possible? I know that fishing isn't necessarily going to make me extremely rich but I also have aspirations to have a wrapped boat and truck, specifically by Bass Pro Shops. If anyone can give me advice for securing a job or gaining sponsorship with them please let me know. I think promoting companies by either writing/freelancing about different baits and tackle is an avenue that might work. Does anyone have any experience with this and give me advice within this spectrum. Using YouTube, Medium, or other major sites I feel I can gain me the success I need. 

 

If anyone can give me the essential advice I need it would be greatly appreciated. 

Sorry, when I saw your title, "Millionaire Bass Angler."  I thought you were a millionaire and bass angler who wanted some advice on how to spend your money.  :D

Welcome to Bass Resource!

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I can't give much advice, however I can tell you that far more people probably started fishing as millionaires than finished as one. Considering KVD is the all time money leader with only 6 million, and Greg Hackney is no slouch, but has less than 2 million in winnings, even becoming a top pro won't make you completely rich. Combined with the fact I've always heard 1 year in the elites will run you around $100,000 after expenses, I'm imagining most those guys aren't all that financially set from tournament fishing alone. With that being said, if you have the money/sponsorships to afford to compete at that level with the assumption you won't win anything from tournaments, I know I would love to give it a go.

From a sponsorship standpoint, I'm imagining investing in a decent camera and film editing software, mixed with maximizing your exposure on social media with professional photos and videos will go a long way. And you've got to consistently finish well in tournaments.

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Joe, how y'all are! ;)

Here a little tip!

First ya gotta be good at catching bass!

If ya ain't nobody gonna listen to what ya got offer!

 

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This is my first summer doing tournaments. I have yet to do a single tournament, but now that I just bought a boat, I am saying **** it and jumping in head first. My buddy is my co-angler and we're just gonna see where this season takes us. If we are good enough to place in the money, or close, we'll continue. If we come up short, we gave it our best shot and will return when we think we have the skills. 

 

You can prepare all you want, but if you don't just do it, you'll never know.

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2 hours ago, Darren. said:

Welcome aboard!

Can't help with your ambitions, I just fish for
the love of the sport, not tourneys or $$ :) 

^^^ same sentiment 

1 hour ago, Catt said:

First ya gotta be good at catching bass!

If ya ain't nobody gonna listen to what ya got offer!

A little tip that means everything. ^^^

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It's not cheap to buy/maintain a boat and pay for gas/expenses/entry fees to tournaments to make a name for yourself.  If you didn't fish for a high school or college team, and you don't have someone with deep pockets to pay for your expenses, you might be better off finding the best job you can and save up as much as you can so when you get to the age where you can afford to retire from your job you have the means to enter as many tournaments as you can.  I believe anyone can enter the local/regional BASS and FLW tournaments, it's just a matter of paying the fees.  If you're expecting a sponsor to pick you up and pay for your expenses, that will not happen.

Not to be an jerk but realistically a very very small percentage of people who love to fish have what it takes to fish in BASS or FLW and do well enough to make a living.  Don't confuse your passion for fishing with a career - there's a lot of people who spend hundreds of hours playing video games because they love video games, but only a tiny percentage can make it as a professional.

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http://www.bassresource.com/fishing/tournament_fisherman.html

 

The saying goes that fishing can make you a millionaire, as long as you start out a billionaire. 

Chase your dreams man, but do a lot of research so you know when to pull the plug if it's not happening. Lots and lots of guys bury themselves in debt chasing the dream that so few will ever attain. 

If you really want to fish for a living and spend as much time as possible on the water, I'd look into becoming a guide. 

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There are many really good to great anglers out there who are not tournament competitors - becoming a successful pro is more than being a great "stick"  - it takes a certain mental toughness and dedication to swim in the pool with the greats.

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9 hours ago, T-Rick said:

Sorry, when I saw your title, "Millionaire Bass Angler."  I thought you were a millionaire and bass angler who wanted some advice on how to spend your money.  :D

Welcome to Bass Resource!

Yeah I am definitely not a millionaire, sorry to mislead you 

9 hours ago, bigbassin' said:

I can't give much advice, however I can tell you that far more people probably started fishing as millionaires than finished as one. Considering KVD is the all time money leader with only 6 million, and Greg Hackney is no slouch, but has less than 2 million in winnings, even becoming a top pro won't make you completely rich. Combined with the fact I've always heard 1 year in the elites will run you around $100,000 after expenses, I'm imagining most those guys aren't all that financially set from tournament fishing alone. With that being said, if you have the money/sponsorships to afford to compete at that level with the assumption you won't win anything from tournaments, I know I would love to give it a go.

From a sponsorship standpoint, I'm imagining investing in a decent camera and film editing software, mixed with maximizing your exposure on social media with professional photos and videos will go a long way. And you've got to consistently finish well in tournaments.

Thank you for helping me realize further that becoming a millionaire through the sport is incredibly difficult. The last piece of advice is most crucial. I do believe that capturing great footage is the way to go in order to gain traction in this field. I am banking my personable skills and work ethic to get me to the level I want to achieve within this sport. I don't necessarily know for sure what is going to happen but I am open to see where it takes me/. 

8 hours ago, Brew City Bass said:

This is my first summer doing tournaments. I have yet to do a single tournament, but now that I just bought a boat, I am saying **** it and jumping in head first. My buddy is my co-angler and we're just gonna see where this season takes us. If we are good enough to place in the money, or close, we'll continue. If we come up short, we gave it our best shot and will return when we think we have the skills. 

 

You can prepare all you want, but if you don't just do it, you'll never know.

Yeah but preparation is the key to further success. Having a defined route to get there will help keep you focused but I completely understand that I just have to get myself out there first and see where it goes. I am probably going to co-angle first and then see how I do because if like Catt said, if I can't catch them, it doesn't matter either way. My small, yet nice track record so far, has led me to believe I have a slight edge to take myself somewhere. 

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6 hours ago, blckshirt98 said:

It's not cheap to buy/maintain a boat and pay for gas/expenses/entry fees to tournaments to make a name for yourself.  If you didn't fish for a high school or college team, and you don't have someone with deep pockets to pay for your expenses, you might be better off finding the best job you can and save up as much as you can so when you get to the age where you can afford to retire from your job you have the means to enter as many tournaments as you can.  I believe anyone can enter the local/regional BASS and FLW tournaments, it's just a matter of paying the fees.  If you're expecting a sponsor to pick you up and pay for your expenses, that will not happen.

Not to be an jerk but realistically a very very small percentage of people who love to fish have what it takes to fish in BASS or FLW and do well enough to make a living.  Don't confuse your passion for fishing with a career - there's a lot of people who spend hundreds of hours playing video games because they love video games, but only a tiny percentage can make it as a professional.

I completely agree. Today, you have to be creative in how you go about everything. I understand the price and work I have to put into the sport in order to get out what I want. There is a reason why millions love to fish and only 150+ boats get to fish the major tournaments. And being realistic is never being a jerk, its just reality. Sometimes you have to shoot straight in order to help a person out. Thanks. 

6 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

http://www.bassresource.com/fishing/tournament_fisherman.html

 

The saying goes that fishing can make you a millionaire, as long as you start out a billionaire. 

Chase your dreams man, but do a lot of research so you know when to pull the plug if it's not happening. Lots and lots of guys bury themselves in debt chasing the dream that so few will ever attain. 

If you really want to fish for a living and spend as much time as possible on the water, I'd look into becoming a guide. 

Becoming a guide is one of the steps and part of the process I am going to venture out with. I am not in a position at the moment to do that. I am going to read that article. Research is the only thing that provides clarity to any question or inquiry you have as a person. And I love that saying, I clearly haven't experienced it but I can d**n sure understand how true it could be. 

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I'm going to be labeled the old grouch for saying this but if your goal is to become a millionaire, you're going into the wrong business-even IF you could manage to accrue that much $.  And placing that in the title suggests to me that your priorities are, if not wrong, at least misguided.  We ALL have to pay the bills somehow and it's fine (even necessary) to have goals (which can include compensation) but in my opinion, money should be one of the outcomes and not the singular objective.  Otherwise, you might as well go into banking or real estate.  But you are young and every young person thinks they are going to be rich by the time they are 25 (30 at the very latest).  

There is an awful lot of work that goes into professional fishing and an awful lot of "paying your dues."  The long drives and the long hot and/or cold days on the lake.  The boat and trailer, and truck aren't going to clean, vacuum, and repair themselves.  And the days when your fees and expenses are waaay more than your earnings.  It has to be a labor of love (and patience) because anything else will burn you out in a hurry.  I am not trying to discourage you from going for it.  Just get that "millionaire" word out of your vocabulary and replace it with "look, listen, learn, patience, and determination."

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Welcome to Bassresource!

I don't think that bass fishing is going to make you very much money. Living your life will consume most of your profits anyway

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9 hours ago, Ratherbfishing said:

I'm going to be labeled the old grouch for saying this but if you're goal is to become a millionaire, you're going into the wrong business-even IF you could manage to accrue that much $.  And placing that in the title suggests to me that your priorities are, if not wrong, at least misguided.  We ALL have to pay the bills somehow and it's fine (even necessary) to have goals (which can include compensation) but in my opinion, money should be one of the outcomes and not the singular objective.  Otherwise, you might as well go into banking or real estate.  But you are young and every young person thinks they are going to be rich by the time they are 25 (30 at the very latest).  

There is an awful lot of work that goes into professional fishing and an awful lot of "paying your dues."  The long drives and the long hot and/or cold days on the lake.  The boat and trailer, and truck aren't going to clean, vacuum, and repair themselves.  And the days when your fees and expenses are waaay more than your earnings.  It has to be a labor of love (and patience) because anything else will burn you out in a hurry.  I am not trying to discourage you from going for it.  Just get that "millionaire" word out of your vocabulary and replace it with "look, listen, learn, patience, and determination."

Thank you for putting things into further perspective. Yeah I guess you are right, I will have to eliminate that vocabulary. I am just ambitious, and plan on getting to the millionaire status outside of fishing, I just thought it would be an interesting title. I know that most of my money is going to be put right back into the sport and I know for sure I have a long road of paying my dues. Anything is possible and the sport may change and earnings may increase, so you never know what is around the corner but don't get me wrong, I AM NOT PLANNING ON IT. Thanks for the advice. 

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So, my intention isn't intended to sound dismissive, but hang with me...

 

I work in sales, and by most accounts do ok.  I've also worked in sales management.  My company is one of the best to sell for in the country, and I'm regularly around quite a few folks that have done extremely, extremely well for themselves.  I've also seen a lot of folks come in with a lot of energy and get thrown to the wayside because initial enthusiasm and energy does not necessarily yield long term success.  Success is hard, and really what it comes down to in any lucrative position is putting in the work.  

Everyone wants to make a ton of money, but most folks have no real desire to put in the work to do it.  

Do you have a degree? What is it in? What's your work experience?

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This is speaking purely for me, and I will say too that I admire your responses to the hard truths the other guys have been giving@JoeLo_Bassfishing, but for me anything I have to do in order to live loses a lot of appeal; i.e., I like my hobbies because I'm not constrained to any of them.

Therefore I know tournament fishing is not for me (plus I'm not that great and have a lot to learn!) :) But best wishes with whatever path you take.

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It sounds like you already know what you need to do.  The things you're saying are the things any pro would tell you, you need to do.  Sponsorship is VERY limited these days in the bass fishing world.  Big sponsorship, more specifically.  And the guys that get that, are the guys that have been in the game for a lllooonnnggg time.  And they'll continue to be in it for llloonngg time, meaning very little sponsorship dollars for newcomers.  You're going to have to pony up the cash on you're own if you wanna play.  That's just how it is.  Good news for you though...you're young.  It's much easier to make the large financial risk at 21 than at 31. 

You'll definitely want to fish as a co in the Bassmaster Opens just to get a taste of how a big tournament is run.  That was my biggest take away from fishing them for 2 yrs.  You may even draw an Elite series guy as your boater which is pretty cool.  Once you think you're ready to make the move to the front of the boat, go for it.  Just be ready to get your butt kicked.  That's not a knock on your fishing skills (I have no idea how well you fish).  You're going to be fishing large bodies of water that you'll have had little or no time on and you'll be competing against a lot of local knowledge.  And that's not just the local anglers competing but all the other non-local guys that got information from the locals.  But, if you can win or do consistently well in events like these, you should get noticed by potential sponsors.

Guys talk about it this all the time and it's something I really believe in and think is uber important in tournament fishing....mental fortitude.  You have to accept the fact that rarely does the best fisherman win the tournament.  You have to accept the financial strain, the strain of driving thousands of miles across the country, the strain of being away from home for long periods of time, and on top of all that important life stuff...the strain of fishing in high stakes tournaments.  If you can accept that these things are a part of the touring pro life and stay focused and ambitious, you may do well.  But just know...you can do all those things and still might not.  Hopefully you don't take this as me trying to crush your dreams, heck, I have the same one!  I wish you the best brother.

I'll leave you with some quotes from Elite series anglers I've met over the last couple years.  They made me realize that there isn't an actual answer to the question of "how do I become a pro" (even though I made an attempt, sort of, in the paragraphs above).  You might get a kick out of them.  I know I did.

Timmy Horton's response to me asking how to get to the level he's at - "fish local tournaments and work your way up"

Randall Tharp's response to a very similar question - "you can do it man"

Ish Monroe's most important piece of advice with regards to sponsorship - "don't take on a sponsor if they don't pay you cash"

Not much substance right? lol

 

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Joe, here are a few tips if you want to go pro in bass fishing.

1.  Get a college degree.

2.  Know how to read, write and speak proper English.

3.  Know how to dress properly and your "color code" so your outfits will enhance how you look. "Color Codes" are which colors agree with your flesh tone to make your clothes look better. My wife is a blond so she is a spring. I look good in pastels and blues and am a winter. You need to dress professionally and not have a bright green or red that does not enhance your image. Sounds dumb but it is the little things you need to be aware when you are being interviewed or considered by a sponsor.

4.  Enter some "Opens" and see how you do with the big boys.

5.  Join a local bass club and compete with friends while you work yourself up the ladder into the state federation tournaments and then the  BASS and FLW larger tournaments.

6.  Marry a rich girl who can support you while you are trying to get into the money. Take her along with you so she can tell you that you are a great guy and a wonderful person that night in bed after you skunk for the day.

7.  And catch those bass. Make your name known in Florida as an excellent bass fisherman. Fish the Fishers of Men and other tournaments to get known.

8.  Watch your burn out. We all love to do things but we don't want to over do them so we lose interest in doing them. Pace yourself.

9.  Confidence. You have to have confidence in your tackle, techniques, finding the fish, electronics, baits and yourself. Once you have the confidence you can go out and do anything. But confidence is easier said than done. It takes practice, concentration, homework, and knowledge of the opponent. Even if you get skunked you will still know that the fish were there but they just were not biting. Happens to us all sooner or later.

10. Talk to your competitors at the tournaments. Some of the guys will be jerks but others will be helpful and share their stories with you. Meet the tournament directors and the movers and shakers in the Florida bass fishing industry. Be known. Work for your club or state federation. Do things for bass fishing that do not include fishing for bass.

Now re-read all of the posts above this one; make notes; speak proper English; look and dress professionally on and off the water; and catch some fish; and do well in the tournaments so you qualify for your state team and maybe the BASS Classic.

Good luck.

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I like number 6 on that list:rolleyes:

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On 5/17/2016 at 8:12 PM, JoeLo_Bassfishing said:

I would love to work in the industry but all I really want to do is fish every day I possibly can.

Fishing in the Elites or FLW probably is not the way to achieve this. Many people overlook the fact that pro's have to do so many things other than fishing. Pretty much all of their sponsorship deals include x number of days that the company pretty much owns them that you have to do public appearances for them. Take someone like Jimmy Houston for example, I know in the late 90's early 2000's he was on the road around 280 days a year. Yes he was fishing some, but a lot of those days were spent at speaking engagements, personal appearances, seminars, etc., etc. I know there were many tournaments he didn't even have an opportunity to prefish for because he was booked right up until tournament day. 

You would get to spend more time on the water if you were a guide. Not saying this to spoil your dream as I totally understand the goal of getting there. I too have the same goal, but I just wanted to make sure you're aware of what it entails. 

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