Many fans have lots of ideas about the backgrounds of professional bass anglers. Most of them are skewed or incorrect. I hear it all the time.
“His daddy is rich so he can just fish all the time.”
“His wife is loaded and lets him fish all those tournaments.”
“He owns a business that makes millions every year so he can afford to go fish.”
Yes, you can find one or more pro anglers that can fit these descriptions. However every pro has a different situation or background. Once I got to know a bunch of the guys on tour, it was fascinating to me. Some guys came from very wealthy families but you would not know it. Some of them, you would know it. Others come from nothing. Most are somewhere in the middle.
There is one common denominator that all the successful pros have in common. They can flat out catch fish. Bass can’t tell about the background of who is fishing for them. All I know is that a highly skilled angler will continually find and catch them. The ability to catch fish is what keeps a pro on the tour year after year.
My background is one I feel very fortunate about. My father was a successful lawyer and businessman. He put me through college and would not allow me to get a job. He said getting an education was my job. I think he did not want me to have to work two jobs in college like he had to.
Once through school, I wanted to fish full time. Pursue the career with all my efforts rather than trying to work another job and fish. My dad supported that decision and he let me use a truck and boat to do it. I covered my entry fees and most all my travel expenses. I lived at home and crashed on many friends’ couches. As I said, I was very fortunate.
It seems like I do have the ability to fit into the common denominator of pro bass anglers. After 11 years full time, I am able to live comfortably and support my family from my bass fishing income. You can’t do that if you can’t catch ‘em at least once in a while.
Most fans know who Ike is and his story. Most fans know Ish Monroe but not his story. He did not come from a very affluent family. He did finish college and worked many jobs to get his way onto the pro circuit. He has definitely caught some breaks along the way from sponsors and supporters but we all have. Ish is truly a self made pro angler. He spent many hours honing his craft and his ability to catch ‘em is evident. That is why he is a successful pro angler.
I could tell you many more stories about various anglers and their backgrounds into fishing. It is very interesting. Hopefully you have already picked up on what I will say next. The common denominator they all have is that they can flat out catch fish. The other factor, which is another whole topic (hint), is that trying to be a professional bass angler is a huge risk. It is a risk of money, time, stress on your family (if you have one), and lost opportunity in something more secure.
Bottom line: Veteran bass pros can catch ‘em regardless of their background.
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