Chasing your dream to become a professional fisherman? It’s not as impossible as it may seem. In fact, with enough time and a few tips, you can make it in the pro angler world. Here’s our tips for aspiring fishermen out there.
START AT THE END – DEFINE SUCCESS
Like any other career choice or passion, you should define what success means for you. Some professional fishermen want fame, fortune, and accolades; others just want to do what they love every day.
The important thing to do is define what success means to you. And really think about that. Take advice about passion with a grain of salt, but be as honest as you can with yourself.
Don’t leave your day job until you’ve hit an income level you are comfortable with.
1- ALWAYS STRIVE TO BE BETTER
It goes without saying, but it really should be said: if you want to become a professional fisherman, you have to be good at fishing. Our advice for those who want to be a pro fisherman is this: just be a little better than everyone else.
The truth is, striving for that can be insanely difficult. Gravitate towards your strengths and spend more time being better at what you are already excelling at; that’s the fastest way to become a professional fisherman.
2 - FOCUS ON A FISH
Speaking of focus, you should choose a fish. If you want to become a professional fisherman, you should focus on what kind of angler you want to be. This should be easy if you have already started. Sport fishing for certain species can be more profitable than others.
3 - DIVE IN HEAD FIRST – NETWORKING
If networking is painful, then maybe you’re doing it wrong. If you find it easy to talk to people in your industry, then you are doing it right. Networking doesn’t mean forcing a conversation at a convention center – but it does mean going to industry events and striking up natural conversations.
If you aren’t good at it, get good at it. One of the quickest ways to get invited to events and sponsored by the best pro fishing clothing brands is to talk to people in your industry.
Join fishing clubs, get out on the water, be present.
4 - COMPETE OFTEN
Part of going head-first into the industry is to compete often. Build your professional experience as an angler by finding local fishing tournaments and showing your skills.
Local is good, because the bigger fishing tournaments usually require you to rank in a previous fishing tournament in order to compete.
5 - FIND SPONSORS
Make it official and get sponsored. Pro fishermen are usually sponsored by fishing companies. Some have certain rods, or fishing clothes and hats.
You’ll be surprised how easy it is to get sponsored by smaller fishing companies. As soon as you can demonstrate a following on social media and consistency for at least a year, you are already in good in shape. We recommend:
- Create a business account on Facebook and Instagram.
- Create a posting schedule and sticking to it: a certain number of times a week, what days, and what times.
- Use a good camera (latest smartphone if you can).
- Learn how to frame pictures.
Pick a brand to be loyal to, and tag them in your pictures. Eventually, you might start to hear back from them.
6 - DON’T STOP
Don’t give up, don’t stop, and save your money! Good luck.
Caption: Bolstered by a total catch of 20 pounds, 4 ounces, Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., finished the day in third place on Lake Hartwell. Photo courtesy of Gary Mortenson