Have you ever tuned your TV to ESPN early Sunday morning and found yourself watching some kind of tournament fishing? You avid fishermen would probably say no, I was on the lake early Sunday and Late Saturday!! And to you I say, you have to see how the other half is living by doing our dream job.
Professional anglers such as those on the Bassmaster circuit and the Redfish tournaments have the ability to earn thousands of dollars for winning or even finishing in the top ten. How are these guys and gals able to do this when the average fisherman is not?
Well it all comes down to dedication and believe it or not a lot of hard work. Professional tournament fishermen are on the water on days it would make some say, let's try it tomorrow. The pros don't have this luxury. Rain or shine they are out there studying the lake topography, water color and whatever it takes to win.
The pros will also do a lot of preparation before they get to the tournament. They will study maps, read old and new articles from their favorite fishing magazines and even contact locals for current conditions.
When the pros get to their fishing destination they will prepare for the tournament by using their sonar to determine where fish may have some kind of cover. They will also try different types of baits and colors to see what kinds of combinations are working.
But there is still Mother Nature to contend with. What is working well during practice can quickly become useless when a sudden storm front presents itself. Waves kick up sediment which clouds the water and can make a previously good bait-color combination useless.
This is where the true professional fisherman will distinguish him or herself from you or me. Having spent hours and hours on the water in all different surroundings and conditions they have the ability to improvise, adapt and overcome. Sounds like professional football without the 280 lb. linebacker coming for your head.
I guess there is a lesson in here for all of us when it comes to preparing for a fishing trip. Unless you're fishing in your favorite spot the need to study maps, conditions and hit up the locals for some information is still there.
Even with all of this hard work it still sounds like a really cool job. Can you imagine the first time some of these pros told their spouses that they were going to be a professional tournament fisherman. I can tell you what would happen at my house. First the wife would grab the cast iron frying pan and then the running would begin. See you on the water, Tim Stokes.