Great Lakes Bass Fishing Forum

Tournaments => Bass Tournament Tips, Techniques Talk & Ethics => Topic started by: djkimmel on February 28, 2009, 03:10:44 PM

Title: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: djkimmel on February 28, 2009, 03:10:44 PM
An interesting article about the realities of becoming a tournament bass pro that fits my knowledge is power belief of saying things like they are for persons who have the aspiration - from Gary Yamamoto's Inside Line:

How Healthy is Professional Bass Fishing?

By Ken Smith
Central Staff Writer

February 20, 2009

I don't want to rain on anybody's parade, but if you're thinking about going pro, you better go into it with your eyes open. Read the article... (http://www.insideline.net/il-online/2009/features/09-0220-smith.html)
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: Durand Dan on March 01, 2009, 10:39:57 AM
Good article. I think most of most of his  budget assumptions were on the low side though. Making it even harder to survive the tour.
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: skeeterman190 on March 01, 2009, 01:55:39 PM
Great article he wrote there and really puts things out there for you. I wonder how many guys want to do that for a living? I know i would but the mental aspect of it could be draining. We all love to fish but how many would risk everything they have to try and make it?-skeeterman-
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: jgip087 on March 01, 2009, 02:52:22 PM
Great article but I agree the estimates were low on total costs. I know it cost a lot more than his estimates in gas. I would think more of about 12,000 miles divided by 12 mpg gets you to 1000 gallons at 3.50-4 bucks a pop puts your fuel more around 3500-4000 bucks plus driving around town with less mpg and idling while waiting to put in/take out. Best guess from experience with Elite anglers was the total cost was $55,000 for entry fees and about $20,000-$25,000 for fuel, lures, lodging and other things so look at them spending more like $75,000-$80,000 just to fish last year. Just to fish the southern opens we probably spent about 3500 bucks a tournament. $1000 entry fee and 2500 for fuel, lodging, etc. but I think it could be done much cheaper.
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: Skip Johnson on March 01, 2009, 04:04:04 PM
Good read thanx for posting that, I think theres alot of peaple that REALY need to read and absorb what was wrote.
My input on it would be dont think about quitting your day job to be a tournament guy or full time pro and hopefully your winnings will help your hobby be more affordable thus allowing you more time on the water.
if you are one of the lucky few who make an "ACTUAL" profit from tournament fishing enjoy it becouse its likeley to be short lived unless you have a deep pocket/major cash sponsor backing you.
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: djkimmel on March 02, 2009, 01:14:07 PM
I don't want to shut anyone down who wants to be a bass pro, but I do agree with the 'eyes wide open' approach.
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: TritonTR20 on March 02, 2009, 02:51:47 PM
Sure would be nice, but I would have to hit the lotto...
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: TCook on March 02, 2009, 03:07:02 PM
Looks like the goal of fishing on the pro level is a pipe dream at best. Why did I have to get the passion for bass fishing and not something cheaper like billiards or bowling? I cant even afford a boat and if it stays that way I might not be tournament fishing much longer. Being stuck on the back in big tournaments is better than nothing but gets old fast and still costs a ton.

T
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: Durand Dan on March 02, 2009, 03:17:24 PM
You could cuts costs by
1. Sleeping in the rod locker
2. Trolling Motor only
3. Eating your culls
 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: Fishmael on March 02, 2009, 06:06:52 PM
...guess I'll keep the day job... :o  Another cost cutting measure is to hitchhike and only accept rides from people that have a trailer hitch...gas cost would be way down!
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: UAWBigDog on March 03, 2009, 01:27:30 PM
I know I will be hanging onto my job.  If I can make a few bucks fishing, that's a bonus.  It sends me a message that this bad economy is affecting everyone across the country.  I personally haven't fished too many tournaments in the last 3 to 4 years.  I try to pick and choose which ones to enter.  Fishing first and foremost should be for fun and relaxation.  Tournament fishing can sometimes take away from that.  The pressure and the stress to do well and cash a check can be extreme.  I wouldn't be able to fish if it weren't for my regular job which also pays the mortgage and utilities.  It is going to be interesting how the economy will be affecting the local tournaments in the area.  If fees don't come down, you can probably count on the participation being down too.  People are going to spend their money more wisely and try to keep as much as possible in their pockets.

BD             ;D
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: jcox7 on March 03, 2009, 03:43:45 PM
    As always Dan you came up with a great article that brought some realities to life.  There are many questions to be asked however having friends that play this game at the highest levels they will be honest and tell you that there is a lot to risk making the jump to this level.. But if you are truely good enough the risk is a little more managable.  For instance even though most pros do not have cash deals that actually pay them to fish most do have some sort of boat and motor deal.  Also I dont know about everyone but for those I know all of there entry fees are paid for.  So in this article that means of the 67000 or whatever 55000 is taken care of.  Pure fishing jumps on every pros back most pay nothing to use there product the rest have huge percentages off.  Go to the big campgrounds while the tour is in town and you will see hundreds of fisherman so the Hotel fees is a little false.  Is it expensive I guess that is how much money you have but that should not be your worry or the question.  You should worry about competing against some of the best anglers out there.  If each year you do not destroy the people locally you fish against and we are not talking about mccarters KLA trail then dont seriously think that you have a chance.  There are a few anglers around here that have a chance that I think at this but most have families and real jobs and those people would not risk the happiness of thier families to chase a dream. 
    Nothing negative was meant to McCarters KLA Trail just that it is not where you want to make the decision if you arepro material or not

Jeff Cox
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: McCarter on March 03, 2009, 04:06:59 PM
???
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: 5alive on March 04, 2009, 09:16:20 AM
I am going to shoot some holes in this guys theories, and this does not include all anglers either. But you are only looking at the actual fishing side of this sport. These upper tier anglers do more than fish, and have you looked at their shirts? Most do have more than one sponsor and most do not jump right to the Elite levels. They get paid for appearances, seminars and have many incentive clauses in their contracts with sponsors. All this adds up to more income, these guys doing it professionally are a business in themselves, and thus they get a few more write-offs at the end of the year. Many have paid the price getting there though, and only a few will become rich, but it can be done. Take at look at BassZone's in the Zone and look at these guys houses, garages and tackle rooms (makes me wonder were some of the e-bay tackle comes from?).
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: JL on March 04, 2009, 01:33:45 PM
So you're telling me there's a chance...

Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: cr on March 04, 2009, 02:39:55 PM
So you're telling me there's a chance...


Now thats funny right there!!!!
   One of my favorite movie quote's
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: djkimmel on March 05, 2009, 03:23:17 AM
There's always a chance.
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: Fishmael on March 05, 2009, 10:36:40 AM
And the way I see it, you have at least a 50% chance of making it, because really you either will or you won't.  Not a lot of other options.  66.5% of all fisherman never try and 58.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot!   ;)
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: cr on March 05, 2009, 12:00:54 PM
Plus there is other factors to consider. If your a stuck-up, know it all type, always blowing your own horn, looking down on others and bristling at constructive criticism, then the odds go way up against you. BUT if your a open minded person who has the ability to enter into conversations without insulting anyone who has a different perspective or opinion, can develop friendly relationships with-in a group of peers and truly value a fresh idea for what it is instead of attacking it because its contrary to what you believe, the odds go WAY UP in your favor, IMO . Look at the top anglers on tour today. Are there any horses butts? Or are the most successful ones nice guys who are approachable, talkative and friendly ?
 The term "Emotional Quotient" comes to mind, and if you haven't heard of it, Google it, especially if my second sentence offended you .
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: motocross269 on March 05, 2009, 09:35:23 PM
I would be happy to win a BFL on the Boaters side....   ;D
I don't even have enough stick to do that yet....
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: djkimmel on March 05, 2009, 11:39:48 PM
You never know... best is to keep swinging away and every time you don't hit it out of the park, try to figure out adjustments to make for the next time.
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: joshimoto son on March 06, 2009, 02:18:26 PM
I would be happy to win a BFL on the Boaters side....   ;D
I don't even have enough stick to do that yet....


From one "Moto' to another.
Just because you can't beet the guys that have been treking these waters for almost as long as we have been alive, doesn't mean you can't go out there and do well in a circuit that expands above the current level you're fishing at.

Here's my theory, I hope it works, because this is what I'm banking on.

It is quite possible to spend LARGE amounts of time and money learning to fish your local waters to the point you're finishing toward the top on a consitant basis.
Then what?  Now you're ready to take it to the next level and continue your success? Who says?

I know you haven't always been a Michigander, but for example, let's say you were. Let's say you were
a big stick here and was moving onto a Stren Series or Bassmaster Open.

Did what you learned up here teach you how to locate fish on southern impoundent?
Did it teach you how to put together a "milk run" when fishing tidal waters.
Did you know the tide swings two times a day on the eastern sea board and only once a day on the southern.
Did you know a lot of anglers outside the Upper Midwest start drooling when they see a grass flat that looks nearly impenetrable.
I can't even begin to list all the things I've learned.

If I remember right, I think you actually do know a lot of that stuff based on your background.

I'm not writing to get any feathers ruffled up, please don't take it that way. I just remember so many people warning me about how I'm "not ready"
even as a co-angler to leave my own state and fish a Bassmasters Open or Stren Event because of how I've been finishing here.

If I would have listened to that convention of thinking, I would have missed out on a bunch of events people only dream of.

Yes! I'm saying there's a chance.

Don't wait if you can afford to go bigger. I promise, it will make you a better angler, "Richer"? Well that's a whole other story.


joshimoto son ;D
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: motocross269 on March 06, 2009, 04:52:16 PM
You are right Joshi"moto"...I have fished with some guys that fish the FLW Tour from the back of the boat..The skills that they have gained fishing down south really show up when Pitching, flipping and fishing away from the "big water"...
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: Got Fish?? on March 06, 2009, 10:54:57 PM
  Well done. But dosen't every one wish thay were a star pro football player, or a great race car driver. I think the passion of being the best at something you love is the american dream. We all need to have some kind of release, that lets us forget the everyday stresses in our lives. I think profishing  has made this sport what it is today. So I say if that's what makes you smile, Don't give up the ship!
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: UAWBigDog on March 09, 2009, 06:09:06 AM
  Well done. But dosen't every one wish thay were a star pro football player, or a great race car driver. I think the passion of being the best at something you love is the american dream. We all need to have some kind of release, that lets us forget the everyday stresses in our lives. I think profishing  has made this sport what it is today. So I say if that's what makes you smile, Don't give up the ship!

That was beautifully said Got Fish??  I think I'm going to cry......... :'( :'( :'(  I could hear the Star-Spangled Banner playing in the background.   ;)


BD                      ;D
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: 1javelin on March 10, 2009, 01:35:15 PM
My year will be spent practicing all the time, with no tournaments thrown in, because hopefully this time next year I will be living South of the ice belt and fishing Stren Series events.  Maybe not, but if I can pay off the bills and have cash to spare, I am friendly enough and determined enough to get a little help.  I mentioned this on another site and was shot down by most saying unless you can whip on the sticks here you'll get pounded everywhere else.  Seems that when I fished Ouachita, the first time I fished an impoundement like that, I was fun fishing and catching around 15 pounds a day.  The tournament I didn't enter because I wasn't 'good enough' was won with somewhere around 18 pounds if I remember right.  I probably could've upgraded a little and put some run to that, but that would mean everyone else was wrong :o :o 8)  Give it a go if you can afford it and see what happens.  Practice wins tournaments, not always money.

1Jav
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: jgip087 on March 10, 2009, 04:07:11 PM
Read a few more of the threads and talked to a few more Elite series guys so I can add a little bit more. Those guys last year were spending around 100 grand just to fish those tournaments. Next, the money was great for a select few but...but... for the average Elite Series angler not so! Those guys were hardly getting by and some had to take loans, mortgage houses, ETC just to pay the entry fees. Money is hard to come by and even few elite series anglers get a boat to fish out of for the year from a company. If they don't sell those boats then guess what? They are stuck with it and if they want to stay on the pro staff they have to buy another one.
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: djkimmel on March 11, 2009, 01:06:31 AM
My year will be spent practicing all the time, with no tournaments thrown in, because hopefully this time next year I will be living South of the ice belt and fishing Stren Series events.  Maybe not, but if I can pay off the bills and have cash to spare, I am friendly enough and determined enough to get a little help.  I mentioned this on another site and was shot down by most saying unless you can whip on the sticks here you'll get pounded everywhere else.  Seems that when I fished Ouachita, the first time I fished an impoundement like that, I was fun fishing and catching around 15 pounds a day.  The tournament I didn't enter because I wasn't 'good enough' was won with somewhere around 18 pounds if I remember right.  I probably could've upgraded a little and put some run to that, but that would mean everyone else was wrong :o :o 8)  Give it a go if you can afford it and see what happens.  Practice wins tournaments, not always money.

1Jav

1st - you have to believe in yourself. You don't need anyone else for that although support from others is nice. There's a lot of general advice out there, but that doesn't always apply to everyone the same. Josh made some good points about that somewhere on here.

I've met a few tournament anglers most of us have never heard from that make an okay living by tournaments by doing it the way it works for them. My purpose isn't to shoot anyone down - there will always be some people out there taking that job - but to make sure people I like have a lot of information available so they can make informed decisions.

I get a fair amount of "I want to be a bass pro" email and I think it is best if I tell it like it is up front. It isn't easy at all for most people, but it can be done by people with a well thought out plan of financial planning, solid skills, a great work ethic and a lot of the right knowledge. A little luck is nice too.
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: Fishmael on March 11, 2009, 08:46:46 AM
Also I have heard (and it makes complete sense), if you think you're going to pick up sponsors, you'd better realize that image is very important.  You have to be clean cut, don't be wearing unkempt clothes when in the public eye, don't curse, etc.  Sponsors want someone to represent their company and fishing ability is important, but not everything.  I guess I have everything but the fishing ability.  Guess I'd better check e-bay.
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: Got Fish?? on March 15, 2009, 03:01:23 PM
 Well I'm glad I jerked a tear from ya BD. Nice to see a sentamental angler who's not afrade to cry over spilling his capton crunch in the morning. see out on the lake.
Title: Re: More on So You Want to be a Tournament Angler
Post by: UAWBigDog on May 03, 2009, 08:03:02 PM
You got to catch fish over 14 inches in order to compete Got Fish??.  You are the only guy I know that is happy catching 13 inch fish all the time.  If I have told you once, I have told you a hundred times......fishing for numbers and 13 inch fish is great when you got the kids with you, but when you are fishing on my boat, it's keepers and the bigger the better.     8)


BD             ;D