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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How does one become one? I've always wondered about that. I know some college classes in biology is a plus. Any help would be good. I'd also like to try it as a second person.
 

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Relaxing.
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Alot of time on the water, becoming really good as a fisherman and understanding the different lakes, seasonal paterns and how to patern fish. Working there way up threw the ranks or having the CASH to just go big.

Not to mention having a very understanding family or wife if married as you will spend 90% of your time away from home, and spend 99% of your money so you better hope like heck you win good the first year and get some good sponsors the 2nd year.

To give you an idea i talked with one of the Bass master Elite anglers this is his first year. Before he ever had a pole in the water he had already spent $22,000 and the was just getting signed up for tournaments. It was going to cost him $55,000 just in entry fees to fish for one year on the trail. Now that does not include pulling a boat from here to california, texas, and all over the United States for most of the year. Staying in hotels, pre fishing, expenses, eating.

As you can see there are many many great anglers out there and in every state that could do well on the pro trails but ultimately it comes down to Finacial means and family.

With all that said if you are young and want it bad enough go for it as once your get a family and settle down you may never get the option to go back.
 

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Lumberjack
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Before mortgaging your house, enter some ProAm or co-angler events like the PWT. You get a first hand look at what it takes to live on tour and you also get to fish with the top pros. You will learn a ton about catching fish under a variety of conditions and get a better understanding of how unglamourous of a lifestyle it really is. If you are good enough to bag some premier sponsors and make it big, then kudos to you!
 

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Relaxing.
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Yes you diffinitly would want to fish the BFL or BASS and it would give you a good idea. Even fishing the BFL as a co angler or BASS weekend series would give you an idea as you will have some expenses there with travel and hotel and prefishing etc. It would give you an idea as to what your committment level will be if you go full time pro.
 

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Set The Hook!
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A plus is to fish alot of local and open touraments. When you start doing well in these keep a journal with records pictures etc. Then branch out into bigger tournaments in other states (keeping a journal on these also) If you win or place very high up in the rankings then maybe you can try to get some sponserships. Don't even think of asking for sponsers until you have something you can show them. Weekend warriors are a dime a dozen and won't impress sponsers. Also conduct yourself in a professional manner. Well maybe not afterall Iconnelli made it didn't he?
 

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Dreams DO come true!
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get a better understanding of how unglamourous of a lifestyle it really is.
!%
Yes...I can vouch for what life out on the road is like, and trust me, it is the farthest thing from "Glamorous"...
As the matter of fact, pursuing a Professional Fishing career is probably the most difficult, most challenging thing that I have ever ventured to do!
The fishing alone takes me away from my home, family, and friends for two weeks out of the month. That is not including any sponsor obligations like "trade shows", "guest speaking engagements", "photo shoots", etc.
It is a HUGE financial drain if you do not already have your financial backing in place prior to your pursuit.
The days are long....the nights are way too short....you don't eat well out on the road...you'll miss your bed...
BUT.....in exchange for all of the above, you will experience a lifestyle that will create memories that people would pay millions of dollars for.
The sights you see, the new friends you make, the big fish that you catch, the constant variety of lakes, the hurdles you over come, the joy of weighing in your first limit, the joy of culling for the first time, your ever expanding fishing knowledge....
Here I am at the day two weigh-in on Lake Dardanelle when I not only brought in my limit for the first time...but I also culled one time...AND made the cut to fish the final day! And yes..I was excited!

http://s67.photobucket.com/albums/h315/reelady/?action=view&current=Dardanelle-Marciamakesthecut.flv

Honestly, there are so many reasons to pursue this, if this is your dream. If you are not totally committed to the lifestyle of a touring Professional Angler, then you may not even last for one tournament, as it is both physically and mentally demanding. But if you are committed, then you will find a way to make it work...provided you have the proper financial backing.
 

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The Original Hot Rod
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Geez...all these long detailed responses...in a nut shell the answer is one word.

M-O-N-E-Y...! ;) :D
 

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Lumberjack
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Culled for the first time...way to go Marcia!!! And I agree with you too...In spite of the trials and tribulations that go along with it, you get to experience many new things in life we don't as weekend warriors...you and others pursuing a pro fishing career are still the envy to many of us! Kudos to you too for chasing your dream!

But when I think of all aspects of why I enjoy fishing, it really isn't about making money...I fish for fun and relaxation...that is my real passion...I am not willing to sacrifice all of my other life choices for the pro's lifestyle. A tourney now and then gives me my competitive fix...good enough for me (for now)!

There you go Paradise...two perspectives to add to your think tank.
 

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Set The Hook!
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HOOK N BOOK, No its not just money. If that were the case you would see alot of rich folf Pro fishing. It takes a heck of alot more than just money EXPERIENCE
 

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I thought that it just took money. What entry level Pro tournaments require experience? What are the requirements?
 

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I thought that it just took money. What entry level Pro tournaments require experience? What are the requirements?
The Bassmaster Elites require an angler to qualify through the Opens. The pros also must requalify based upon their performance for the following year of fish a second chance tourney along with those in the Opens that didn't out right qualify. FLW also has qualifying tourneys but you can also be placed on a sponsor team. That simply means it all about marketability. Receiving sponsorships has little to do with preformance and everything about being able to market and sell product. Doing well will put you in the lime light and increase your value but that isn't the only media exposure an angler can get so it has limited value. The sponsorship game isn't about what your sponsors can do for you but what you can do for your sponsors. Fishing at the top level requires skill to remain there and it also requires a lot of money to pay for it.
 

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The Original Hot Rod
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HOOK N BOOK, No its not just money. If that were the case you would see alot of rich folf Pro fishing. It takes a heck of alot more than just money EXPERIENCE
My original response was a brief tongue-in-cheek reply. And I certainly never said it was ONLY money. ;)

However, experience aside, are you saying the tournament's are free to enter and there's no expenses involved in traveling to and from the tounament locations. Also, equipment ie..boat, tackle, fuel, insurance...well you get the picture. There are huge expenses invovled in top level professional fishing. Most will probably be covered by sponsor's if you're lucky enough to have several high profile names behind you.
I'll digress as to not totally high jack the thread.
As you mentioned experience is obviously a key to fishing period. As a professional it would be a MUST to achieve any level of success. Lastly, desire would also play a big part in the equation. A person has to really want to commit themself to traveling, being away from home/family, and making appearences on their sponsor's behalf. In essence we're talking about a Job.
 

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Relaxing.
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I agree with Hook, like i stated before there are plenty of anglers out there that could fish the pros, but can't because of the Money. They have the experience, the know how the drive and can catch fish but do not have the MONEY to do it. How many people do you know that could basically quit there job and drop close to 80,000 to go fish the elite series if they qualified for it. Not many if any are going to take that chance once they have a family, a house payment, car payment etc.
 

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Set The Hook!
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Sure money may get you in the show but you won't last long with the big dogs if you don't have experience. Starting at the top with no time under your belt is a very costly way to start a "pro" career.
 

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it takes alot of money and time, i plan on taking off atleast a full year off after i get my degree to see if i can make it as a bass fisherman, but at this point i still need a boat, fees ect. im going to try and start saving for it this year. seems like the quickest way to get into the bigger touneys is join a club, every club sends someone to the state tournament, the winner goes to a regional, from there the classic. but the luck and skill required to do that right off just cant be expected. i think im just going to see if i can do well enough in enough local open tournaments to get some sponsors and work my way up, that or win the lotto and go from there
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I was thinking on starting at the local and state levels for a while first before just "jumping into it" so to speak. I just wanted to see what you all had to say. Wouldn't it be better to just start locally and state-wide first?
 

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Relaxing.
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Ya Paradise, that is best start with local tournaments if you like it move up to something like the BFL Buckeye division they fish primarily ohio waters and if you can win consistently in tournaments and carry your own in the BFL or the likes of the BFL then go for it. Now if you are not doing good at the local level or you fish the BFL and never do better then 50th or 60th out of 150 boats you need more time on the water. Now if you can be in the top 10 most of the time in large tournaments like the BFL and win some then look to the next level. Its alot about the money but as stated before a millionair could fish the BASS but if he cant catch fish hes just having fun and wasting money.
 

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I crack up everytime a thread like this comes up. How many times have you seen folks who can't even spell, want to be pros? Sure it helps to be an accomplished angler, but education is the key. Sponsors want people who can convey clearly, speak clearly, spell right, and have the ability to market their products. If you don't have these mastered, you will be paying alot out of your pocket to fish. Sponsor money is not given to only accomplished anglers, but accomplished anglers who fit the above scenerio. Most of your modern day pros have a degree in marketing, or some kind of degree in speech, or a combination of both. I personally know several national pros who are making comfortable livings with their sponsor support, and they aren't everyday names you read about often in fishing publications. But they have the ability to move product and that pays their bills. Where ya gonna learn that in a boat? I know this for a fact. Marketability, and all that encompasses it, is the key to becoming a professional fisherman. Still want to do it the hard way? Go and spend thousands in entries for the next several years to prove to someone you can fish. Then what? Means nothing unless you can convey your success into marketable situations. I'm not saying it can't be done, but being a prodigy is like high school basketball players trying out for an NBA team. Yea your odds are that small. Nuff'
 
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