Before I begin charming all of you readers with my eloquent prose and insightful thoughts of the world of competitive bass fishing, I guess I’d better introduce myself. My name is David, and I’m a wannabe. What’s a wannabe? You know those guys that follow the pros around like little puppies with autograph pens and shirts covered with patches?
OK, so I’m not really that bad. Truthfully, I’m a weekend tournament fisherman with a passion for competition. I religiously follow the Elite Series and FLW tour and have a number of friends that fish both. But when comes right down to it, I don’t seek to be a touring pro. I’m happy as a wannabe. I’m probably like many of you out there. I live for the thrill of competition, the amazing rush of finding the mother lode in practice, the pre-blast-off jitters, and that sick feeling you get racing back to weigh-in with the winning fish in the box. I fish 20-30 local and regional tournaments every year and have been fortunate to do pretty well on that level. On the other hand, I’m a father, a husband, and a business owner. I’m pretty satisfied being a tournament fisherman on the weekends and family man and business man during the week. I guess you could say I’m happy being a wannabe. I am blessed to have an enviable portfolio of sponsors, including Boat US. While visiting with some of the Boat US staff this past weekend at the classic, I volunteered my limited writing skills to do this blog. I hope that what I have to say will resound with some of you wannabe’s like me.
They call it the Silly Season: the fall and winter months prior to start of the tournament season. Professional anglers and wannabe’s alike spend their days acquiring and working with sponsors. January kicks off the boat show season. In addition to my regular 40 hours a week in my office, I’ve spent 12 days thus far in 2011 working boat shows, doing seminars, and attending pro-staff meetings. I just got back from the BassMaster’s Classic in New Orleans, where I spent the week working for Royal Purple and American Bass Anglers. I’ve done lots of boat and outdoors shows, but the Classic puts them all to shame. Everything that’s ever been made to trick a bass, reel a bass, hook a bass, see a bass, attract a bass, get you to a bass, hold you near a bass, or make you look like you can catch a bass is somewhere in the Classic Expo. I’ve spent enough time around this industry to not be too star struck, but I will say that from my little spot at the Royal Purple booth, I saw Forrest Wood, Earl Bentz, Hank Parker, Roland Martin, Fish Fishburne, Bill Dance and a host of Elite Series and FLW Tour anglers. The Classic is the place to be if you love competitive bass fishing.
The side of professional bass fishing that we wannabes sometimes don’t see is all the work that goes into the business side of the sport. Most every fisherman that’s dropped his $15 in the Tuesday night fruit jar tournament has dreamed of dropping a sack of toads on the Classic scales. How many of those same guys have had dreams of standing on the concrete floor at the Classic Expo for 30 hours on a February weekend? I’ve gotten a few envious glances at the boat ramp pulling in with my new Triton, but I’ll bet those same guys wouldn’t envy the hours of laying carpet at boat shows and hauling boats back and forth to and from the dealer. Sure it’s great to have new dye-sublimated jersey covered with logos of industry leaders, but they all come with obligations. Professional anglers and wannabes do a lot behind the scenes to make this business tick. Please don’t hear these thoughts as griping. I’m not. I had a ball at the Classic and I love hanging out at boat and outdoors shows talking about my passion. I just want to share another side of the competitive fishing industry with many who may not see it everyday.
OK, I’ll stop with my ranting for now. I’ve got one more show this weekend and then, I’m going fishing. My tournament season gets fired up in three weeks on Kentucky Lake. I’ll keep you updated in my blogs. I appreciate Boat US for giving me the opportunity to share. Until next time, keep chunkin’ and windin’.
Boat US Pro-Staff
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