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Sam

So You Want To Go Pro

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Many young guys would love to be a professional bass fisherman, lured by the glitz, glamor and money of being a pro athlete.

I wish everyone will have their dream come true, but the odds are not in their favor.

Here are the statistics from last year's Division I college football signing classes for the largest states having guys sign with Division I schools.

The number of bass fishermen are much greater than the number of signees so you can get an idea of the problem making the pro bass circuit.

It is from one of the readers of the Dandy Don's LSU Recruiting site.  The stats are interesting.

"I take the most recent population counts of California, Texas, Ohio, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana, and divide those numbers by the numbers of prospects signed last year that you listed on your site. This is what it looks like:

Louisiana 4,410,796 / 96 = 1 in 45,945 persons signed to 1-A program

Florida 18,328,340 / 346 = 1 in 52,972 ...

Georgia 9,685,744 / 165 = 1 in 58,701 ...

Texas 24,326,974 / 394 = 1 in 61,743 ...

Ohio 11,485,910 / 159 = 1 in 72,238 ...

California 36,756,666 / 295 = 1 in 124,598 ..."

Just giving you the odds and a good reason to get as much education and high skill professions that you can for a successful future.  :)

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Same can be said for tennis ive been ranked top 3 and am number 2 in the state for 1A highschools and have taken down the top ranks from 5A's and 4A's (bigger schools). Played everyday since age 14 (turned 18 today) and i still have to do a tryout tournament for U.T.S.A. (division 1) and even if i win i am not guaranteed a spot on the team 347 kids tryed only 32 got into the tournament and nobody may be put on the team of 8. The stats are crazy you have a better chance at winning the lotto (not really but ya get the point). Just keep trying and dont give up =D thats all ya can doo! :D

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The sad thing is if your that good and went to a 4A/5A school you would have prob. already been ask to be on some sort of team even if its not that one

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You should probably stick to tennis, because the only 4a-5a around is california and florida, plus lake elsalto. Time and effort you put in with knowledge.With that said what about those how lived on crackers and lunch meat, in their van.(JAPENIS angler).Moved place to place following the tourneys around, then finally one the event one year.And began fishing steadily there after.Im not shure if its toka amora.

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Interesting stat...But the beauty of bass fishing is you have your whole life to make it.. Bobby Lane is 35 and was rookie of the year last year. There is no 34yr old rookie of the year in football. You do not have to be 6'6 300pds and run a 4'4 forty to chuck n wind.. What you need is time and money.. Time to gain the knowledge of this passion and the money to maintain it... Your right, Its hard.. Its only going to become harder with younger anglers getting better earlier... How bad do you want it?  I'm sure there are many anglers out there that could fish with the elites but do not want the hard lifestyle that comes with it... If it was easy everyone would do it... Arthur Buddhold said it best,

"Follow your passion, and success will follow you."  

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I am also sure there are a lot of guys and gals out there that like me can catch good limits of fish but don't have the money to get in the big pay tournaments, heck I can't even afford a big bass boat, living on social security you have to do just what you can.  So I fish out of a 1982 kingfisher stick stear that I paid 1200.00 for and still catch 7-9 pounders and catch 5 fish limits in our little local tournaments in east texas all the time.

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a very good friend of mine qualified for a major toun before the flw was ever thought of they flew him back east to fish in a major tourn, he wom first palce and 100.000 that was big money then. he did one commercial for walmart and went home he put the money in the bank and only fishes local tournaments i asked him why he is one of the best sticks around he said he didnt want to leave his family, so my hats off to him  wish i were as good

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I think what Sam is trying to say is, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."  Even if you are good, or even very good, the odds aren't in your favor.  It is always a good idea to be marketable and able to adapt to circumstances.  If all you can do is fish, and if something happens such as a back injury, you're screwed.  I don't think he's saying don't try for it.  He's just saying have a backup plan.  That's one reason why airliners have more than one engine (or as many as 4).  Besides, you may find you don't like tournament bass fishing as much as you thought.

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The money is what you need it costs something like $90,000 to run the elites for the year.

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Interesting, but TRUE thread.

JT Bagwell

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How many people can fish?

How many people can fish and sell a product?

How many people can fish, sell a product, and teach others?

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The money is what you need it costs something like $90,000 to run the elites for the year.

How many people can fish?

How many people can fish and sell a product?

How many people can fish, sell a product, and teach others?

I have always wondered this. If it only (only??!!) takes $100,000 to fish a year in the Elites, why does every fisherman have sponsor patches plastered to every possible place on their shirts, boat and truck wraps, etc.? Why are there not a few guys out there in plain shirts with plain 'ole boats and trucks? Why not? It really seems to me that the love of competitive fishing has taken a backseat to money these days. One big tournament win would finance next years trail. Two wins and you just made four times the average American household income. Four top tens and you have pretty much tripled the average individual income in the U.S..

I always wondered why there were not more 'anti-establishment' guys out there. But what we have are guys who rack their brains trying to remember every sponsor and running out of breath trying to thank them all.

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I kind of see where you're going with that TNHiker44. You make a good point but in my mind I see it alittle different.

  To be able to get to the level that the elites are at you have to practice alot or years. Just hitting the lake on the weekend doesn't cut it here. You have to be out there almost daily. So how would they fund fishing just about everyday? Family money? I'm sure that a few of the guys can do that but not many. Sponsors and tournaments are my answers. The sponsors pay you to get out there and make a name for their product. You dont' make money fishing everyday...unless you are fishing tournaments which our losing investments much of the time...especially early in your career. So they will keep you going if you can help them. If you build a reputuation as a great angler then the sponsors can really help you get to the next level but without them an average guy like me wouldn't have a chance.  So in my train of thought, everyone but the overly rich would have to learn to handle sponsors in order to succeed on the top level.

Mottfia

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For the vast majority I am sure you are correct, Mottfia. I guess it just seems strange to me with all the "I"'s we have in team sports these days that there is not one pro fisherman who is tired of the whole sponsor run around. You know, tired of switching boat manufacturers over money or motor affiliation and such.

I did a bit of research and pretty much answered my own question. I looked at Gary Klein's career for example. He has won just shy of 1.8 million in his career. And although I could not find exactly how many years he has been fishing I could find how many times he fished in the classic (27 times). If he has been fishing pro for 27 years with 1.8 million in earnings, that equals something like 66k/year. That being said... without sponsor money I could honestly say I have 'earned' more money per year than Gary Klein. So, after thinking about it like that, I can see where Triton/Mercury money is so important to him (for instance).

(But even still, after 27 years, don't you think he gets tired of putting on that billboard of a uniform every single tournament?)

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