The profession of competitive bass angler is not like any other I know of. Once you tell people that you fish bass tournaments for a living, there is a learning curve. You have to explain how the tournaments work. You have to tell about sponsors. You have to let them see pro fishing on TV. Then they begin to get a grasp of what the tournament side of pro bass fishing is about. That is the easy part.
So what do you do in between tournaments? Most people think you fish tournaments and you are done. That is it. Show up. Fish. Go home and hang out for the next one. Well, I guess some guys do that. Some guys also don’t re-qualify to keep fishing or they go broke. Usually it is the same dudes.
In any profession, there are successful people, ones that get by, and ones that get “culled” out (I love the bass reference). Bass fishing is no different. Successful pros go the extra mile in every type of venture they do. They catch fish but that is just one part. They hustle to please sponsors, seek new ones, design baits, get extra publicity (like writing a regular blog), and make appearances. Some guys even have their own TV show but those are few.
My non-tournament time consists of a little more than half of the year. Somewhere between 10-20 days are eaten up by appearances and sponsor obligations. The rest of the time is where people scratch theirs heads on what we do.
My family comes first. When I am on the road, my family is super-supportive. That is the only way to make this career work. When I'm not on the road, my family knows that I will do whatever I need to do for them. They also know that if they don’t need me to do something or to just be Daddy, I am focused on my career in some way, shape, or fashion.
So here is the list of things I try to do in order to help my career when I'm not on the road competing: Design baits (SPRO cranks and others coming), keep up with emails, keep my Facebook page updated with fishing relevant info, send out Twitter messages, send quarterly media and sponsor reports, write various articles for online or print media, call or email current sponsors to keep in touch, shoot video for my YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/johncrewsmissile), work out to stay in shape for the rigors of fishing tournaments, keep my website updated, work with and talk with outdoor writers to make sure I get print publicity, help point out adjustments that sponsors can make to improve their products, make sure I am "dialed-in" to each lake or river that I am fishing during the coming season, prepare tackle and boat for next event, maintain truck and boat for all the traveling, continually test new products on the market and for sponsors, make sure all my bills are paid, make reservations for upcoming events or appearances, and most importantly keep my focus on catching fish when I do show up for a tournament.
Maybe this will give you an idea of what I do for my career in that mystery “non-tournament” time. If I am not doing anything that could help me, let me know.
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