The more I tournament fish and hang out with other bass anglers the more I see people fishing for all the wrong reasons. I fish because I love that thump. I love that feeling of getting a bite , setting the hook and putting that bass in my live-well. I fish because I love to be out on the water just seeing and hearing nature. I fish because I love competing and becoming a better angler through competition.
But lately I’ve seen other anglers attempting to become pro-staff members, obtain sponsorship’s and essentially becoming walking billboards for companies that are just using them to help their net profits. It’s widely known that tournament fishing can become very expensive. But I’ve seen guys lately who only pond fish and don’t even have a boat, much less tournament fish on a competitive level. Competing on major tournament trails is a reason to have a sponsor. Truthfully, a “real” sponsor will help save you money. Competing in club events and fishing local ponds from the bank doesn’t make you “pro-staff” worthy nor sponsorship material.
If a company requires you to pay to be on their pro-staff, then that’s not a sponsorship. You’re paying for the opportunity to endorse their products and put out there name. More anglers need to concentrate on becoming better by practice and a passion for fishing instead of who they can be “pro-staff” with. Anglers don’t realize that these companies are simply using them.
I tournament fish, a lot! In fact I have 4 tournaments this October and 2 of them are 2-day tournaments. I could care less about a sponsor or becoming a pro-staff member of some mom and pop plastic worm company. I just simply want to fish. I don’t want the notoriety that goes along with winning a tournament. I just want to fish… do well… place high… and put fish in my live well.
I do have a stable of products and companies that I only use. But I only use their products because they’ve proven to work for me so I trust them.
If an angler is looking to get his name “out there” – He/she only needs to do one thing… WIN! Become a better angler, win some tournaments and be humble. It’s that simple. If you win enough, companies will come looking for you. And when they do, be humble, say thank you.
Maybe I’m ranting and raving. But I’m passionate about fishing and being a successful angler. Not about sponsorship’s and notoriety.