So You Want to Be a Professional Angler? -Blog by Ronell Smith, TackleInsider.com
The cliche “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it” certainly applies to professional bass fishing. It seems that instead of wanting to be cowboys or attorneys or accountants, hordes of young men now spend their early years trying to figure out a way to be the hottest pro angler tearing up the sport and cashing checks at every event. If that sounds like you, take a breath and calm down for a second. It’s not as simple as it seems.
Being a professional bass angler is about a lot more than chasing little green fish. “But I can catch ‘em,” you say. Good, because that’s the minimum requirement for making a successful career of the sport. It’s often the other stuff, like getting and keeping sponsors that anglers, especially young anglers, mismanage.
For some added perspective, I talked to Bassmaster Elite Series Angler John Crews, who is one of the best marketers in the sport, in addition to be a solid stick on the water, amassing over $800,000 in tournament wins at 34 years of age. Crews, who recently launched his own line of soft baits—Missile Baits—is as comfortable with fans and media as he is on the water catching fish. Because he also spends a great deal of time at various fishing events and shows outside of the tournament scene, I figured he’d be the perfect person to talk to young pros about what it takes to make it in the sport.
RS: What’s the first thing you’d tell young pros who wish to enter the sport?
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