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Manigotapee

Step in here for a debate.....(Fishing....Natural Talent vs. Learned Talent?)

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Ok I have been thinking about something lately.....

like I assume most of you do, i consider tournament fishing a sport and anglers are "athletes".

Like all sports, the more you practice, the better you will become; but what is fascinating to me is that unlike other sports (I believe) there is not a specific physical advantage from person to person.

(Example: tall people have more potential to play pro basketball than a short guy)

So my question/debate with everyone is......

Can anyone "become" a professional angler?  Not professional like retired, just making extra cash or college student making extra cash (ME), but legit professional making a good, not decent, but a good living and being able to support a family?

or

Is there a physical attribute that makes one a better angler and those are the people that have it can make it?

If my beliefs are correct, anyone who puts in the time and HARD work can become a pro?

I know that a big factor is MONEY and support to get started up and move up the ranks, but that aside, just from a talent standpoint, why couldn't anyone not scared of hard work be a pro angler?

just some food for thought...... ;)

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I think there can be traits which give someone an advantage.

I have a good bud I fish with a lot, this dude catches the crap out of fish. Dresses like a cowboy, but whether it is trout, bass, or anything else, he will always outcatch me, or anyone else I bring.

One reason, he has a VERY patient and methodical nature. When he works a hole, he will work it carefully, very calmly, more so than anyone else I know. It is sometimes almost annoying but he will pull a fish out of a hole nobody else does. He always seems to know what holes to hit and what ones not to.

You can always work on your patience, but if it comes naturally, you have an advantage. Someone who naturally can cast accurately IMO, also starts with an advantage. I also believe intelligence, can give you a great advantage, in learning the fish.

Going to the pro section of this site, having a natural ability to sell yourself, product will get you sponsors. Based on what I have read there I would say a great salesman would get the sponsor over perhaps a better fisherman.

Above all else I think having that passion for fishing helps you to learn and expand your skills further than someone who like it.

There is obviously though a lot that can be learned.  

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physical...no, I don't believe so.

now mentally, that's different. people who are smarter, more perceptive, have better memories and understanding and knowledge than others...that's where the difference lies.

the rest is instincts, money,and even a certain amount of luck to be any good at bass fishing professionally. that's my opinion.

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Personally i believe not just anybody can be a pro angler. The determination and commitment are second to none in any sport. Physically demanding? Not as much at mentally, but have you ever threw a jerkbait or a deepdivin crankbait all day. Then multiply that day for 4 straight days of tournaments. Alot more physically demanding than one might believe.Not to mention the practice days leading up too it. 8-12 tournaments ,it adds up. The mind set of the top pros is truly a marvel. Id like think of myself as one hell of a stick. I know i can fish everyday and love it, but to be consistently competitive  day in and day out, with the amount of money they fish for on the line, knowing your family is depending on you to catch fish, WOW. They are incredible.I had a melt down myself this past weekend. I lost 2 big fish at the boat. This is a local club tournament with about $600 bucks on the line, i flipped out. It was worthy of Ike himself. But back to the topic,i think there are just some people who have a knack for it, and have the ability to learn and APPLY what they have learned in pressured situations.

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I think brains are the most important thing but it does take some athletic ability to survive the schedule they fish. I would like to see a show like Day on The Lake where the pros come take my boat and sub-par tackle out and try to catch fish and I take their fully equipped rig on the same lake. I'd still get beat but it would be interesting to watch.

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Id side with a delicate balance of both. If you know how to fish well but not where, you probably wont get very far. If you know your patterns and such but cant work a bait very well, like if your fishing to fast, casting badly, fishing with no efficiency, whatever, that wont treat you very well either. The mental aspect is critical as well. Being  able to remain level headed under stress is tremendous.

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I was thinkin the other day while fishing something about this that applies.  Not that I am striving to be a profesional bass fisherman but I figure if I did want to be one and I had an unlimited budget...as in I could fish every day all week, travel wherever I wanted, etc.

I would probably seek out the best guides on the profesional circuit lakes and fish with one for a few days, then fish by myself, then go to another lake...do the same.

That would have to be as close to going to bass fishing school as available to train to go pro.  

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anglers are "athletes"

No, no they're not. Smart, yep. athletes, no.

This is could be debated, but we'll save that for another day ;D

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Similar to golf as in you need a ridiculous amount of time on the water to reach that next level, much as top golfers will hit 1000 balls a day in practice.

Most guys here on this site would dramatically improve if they could fish 30 - 40 hours a week. I know I could. :D

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95% Physical 5% brains....just look at Burley ;D

The brain is my problem.  If only I had a way to disconnect... :-/

I've given a lot of thought to things of this nature over the years.  IMO, some people are naturals.  Then there are the sorry ******** like myself.

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I was thinkin the other day while fishing something about this that applies. Not that I am striving to be a profesional bass fisherman but I figure if I did want to be one and I had an unlimited budget...as in I could fish every day all week, travel wherever I wanted, etc.

I would probably seek out the best guides on the profesional circuit lakes and fish with one for a few days, then fish by myself, then go to another lake...do the same.

That would have to be as close to going to bass fishing school as available to train to go pro.

This is where I disagree....

That may make you good on those lakes because you would have spots, but overall would that make you a better angler?  I think there is a big picture/formula for success and it involves reading the water your fishing and reading the fish you are fishing, then fishing flawlessly while executing your plan.

I personally feel that the lakes I know really well, I tend to struggle on becuase I get stuck in the grove of fishing history, not "the moment".

It's interesting to see everyone's thoughts on this.  I should have clarified that money/time/family isn't an issue.  I want to know if anyone that has the drive can mold themselves into a pro?

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anglers are "athletes"

No, no they're not. Smart, yep. athletes, no.

x2

The only nature to fishing would be the act of havesting fish as a food source. Flipping your evo jig with your new quantum baitcaster hasn't been around long enough to be programmed in your DNA (aka evolve). It's possible that the mystery and excitement of catching a fish is something that can be traced to early humans.

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The only thing I was "born with" is a love for fishing.

As for talent (whatever small amount of it I have that pertains to fishing) all 100% of it has been learned, just from time on the water (and the internet ;-)

But hey, when Mitchisfishing said >

It's possible that the mystery and excitement of catching a fish is something that can be traced to early humans.

No dude..... It's not just 'possible'....... that is absolutely, positively the whole answer in a nutshell ! People who "just don't get it" are completely out of touch with why humans are, who and what they are.

It's the same thing that makes dogs great pets...... Because they evolved as pack animals. Yea', your dog loves you (and you him) because your the pack leader. Pretty amazing that after hundreds of years of domestication, that dogs still retain the pack mentality.

And on the same note, we are still hunter-gatherers.

Some things never change :-)

Peace,

Fish

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I believe it's patience and intelligence that makes the difference between an average fisherman and a good fisherman.    Another issue is money -  boats, electronics, gas and equipment cost money, along with the time to fish.  There is some natural talent involved as well, but  I think the top 3 needs are patience, intelligence and cash.  Natural talent fits there in as well, but I think it's there with desire as 4th or 5th in the equation.

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Similar to golf as in you need a ridiculous amount of time on the water to reach that next level, much as top golfers will hit 1000 balls a day in practice.

Most guys here on this site would dramatically improve if they could fish 30 - 40 hours a week. I know I could. :D

shoot. i know i could catch a bunch if i could fish 30-40 hours a week. another help would be more variety in my locations.

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IMO if you can be grossly overweight/out of shape and STILL be good at something, you're not an athlete. Bowlers, golfers, fishermen, etc...may have athletic looking bodies but they're not athletes.

Also, brains wins out over natural ability in fishing IMO. Brains will have you studying more, practicing more and learning from success/failures.

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Bowlers, golfers, fishermen, etc...may have athletic looking bodies but they're not athletes

Tiger Woods, Gregg Norman, Jack Nicklaus aren't athletes, just to name a few? Nicklaus played college basketball before he turned to golf, Norman a surfer, and Tiger Woods would probably excel at most sports. I doubt that most pro fisherman could even walk 18 holes 4 days in a row on hilly courses. Before and after their rounds they are hitting tons of balls and most work out an hour or 2 a day. You bet they are athletes.

As far as making a living being a pro fisherman, doubtful, unless you are able to reach the upper echelon. I don't think there is enough money out there until you reach the big leagues. You've got to score high and frequently to support both travel and your family at home.

All this being said I see no difference between your desire and that of an inner city youth trying to "get out" by using professional boxing as a vehicle.  Not wanting to discourage, just being realistic.

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Is an angler an athlete?

Definition of athlete: a person possessing the natural or acquired traits, such as strength, agility, and endurance that are necessary for physical exercise or sports, especially those performed in competitive contexts.

As one grows older one will come to understand the importance of the physical aspect of angling.

Can anyone "become" a professional angler?

Nope!

After spending many years teaching others the fine art of angling I can assure you some get it while others never will. Oh they will become masters of flipping, pitching, or casting at tiny targets but can not decipher structure if they life depended on it.

Money has absolutely nothing to do with it; Rick Clunn won 4 Classics with tackle that would be considered inferior by today's standards. The #1 key to consistently catching bass is between your ears not between the folds of your wallet.

Fishing history and not the moment"; while this sounds good think about this if you have no history you will not know how to fish the moment. If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got.

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Physical is some, you have to be able to stand on the front of the boat controlling it in the wind etc for 8+ hrs.  Being able to lean over to get stuff constantly or crouch to pitch under dock all help.  I have known alot of people with natural talent for things and fishing is one of them.  That is not something to be underestimated.  If you fish against them and all they use is a purple worm along banks, you better have a good pattern figured out because they always are guarenteed to have a few good keepers.  If you take somebody like that and give them the will and knowledge that many of the unnaturals have, thats when they become dangerous in the fishing world. Knowledge will win in the end in most cases, but if your natural at it its just a huge start ahead.  Someone mentioned this and I think it is one of the most important aspects of fishing.  If you can make good, VERY accurate casts with silent entries your already a step ahead of the crowd as well.   So to answer your question... No.. not everyone.  People with alot of time to practice and natural talent are the ones you'll see at the top.  And sorry I have to disagree about the cash thing... it is somewhat important.  Many of the bigger tournaments you have to fish to get a name for yourself require huge entry fees that many americans simply cannot afford to take a risk on responsibly.

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X2 what Catt said

I know I want to become a pro and I don't see myself becoming good enough until at least five years more, and that will have to be with hundreds of hours on the water.

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