...It's The People That Matter
There are so many things that make this sport of bass fishing the greatest thing in the world. The challenge of going out and catching them no matter what the conditions, changing and adapting throughout the day, figuring out the puzzle, the anticipation of heading out for a day on the lake, landing that big fish of the year, I could go on and on. The best thing about this sport to me; the people and friends that I have made DIRECTLY because of this sport. To all those - thanks.
I have been fishing for as long as I can remember but my fishing life has really grown exponentially in the last 8 years or so. Fishing has become an extended network for me and has allowed me to build new relationships with all different people, from all different areas, all with the same passion and love for this sport. People have turned into business partners, fishing partners, fishing opponents, clients, and friends. We all speak the same language and we all love to talk about all the different aspects of this sport. That is when you know you have something special; when you can talk to someone at a boat ramp, store, or show and you can carry on a conversation like you have known them longer than the five minutes you have spent talking with them.
I love meeting new people on the water or talking to people at shows. Swapping fish stories, answering questions, sharing pictures with each other. I am an open book I always look to share information, to teach, to offer help and it is because the sport needs to continue to grow and thrive. I have met some great people just by doing that; talking. Think about it. Where else can you be with someone you have never met for 8 hours with nothing around you but water and fiberglass. People who don't know the sport can't comprehend that but we do it with every co-angler at every tournament and every client on a guide trip. To me that is really cool. This person may have a different career, a vastly different home life, beliefs, but it doesn't matter because we all fish.
Not only have I had the great opportunity to meet new people but I have been able to establish great relationships with great companies that support me and my passion. Companies that are both established in the industry, some that are not in the industry, and some that have grown in the industry right along with me. I'm not a pro, I am not on TV, I am not in $100,000 tournaments but I live and breathe this sport. I can say that I am on a first name basis with the people that support me and that means a lot to me as a person. For one reason or another they took a flyer on me to help me out and I in turn help them out and the network grows and grows.
Like anything else in life there are those that doubt, there are those who are in it for themselves, and don't get how important this thing is. That's life and you just don't surround yourself with those kinds of people. When it all comes down to it I don't care if you are the best angler, with a ton of hardware on a shelf in your home, or have an $80,000 boat. Those people will always be there and if you have noticed those people only talk to other people like them. Let them go because the sport is better than that and there are far more people who are here for the right reasons than those who are not.
This is exactly why I wanted to get on board with the people at Freak Finder Fishing. People that get the true aspects of the sport and realize the future of the sport lies on the shoulders of us; the people that fish on our days off, that spend our hard earned money on tackle, boats, gas, insurance. The pros are the face of the sport, there is no doubting that. WE are the blood of the sport that keeps the body of the sport going and will continue to keep it going as new generations come in. So it is up to us to share, to talk, to teach, to open up to people to continually build. Take someone fishing who has never been and see what it does for them. Take a serviceman, a first responder, veteran as a thank-you for all that they do. Wetting a line is a pretty special thing and something I am honored and proud to be a part of.
If there is one thing better than having an amazing day on the lake, it is sharing that amazing day with one of your best fishing buddies. Those memories made will always come up in conversation perhaps even twenty years down the road. Why? Because this sport is so amazing and has the capability to bind us all together as one. We all share the same drive to chase those green and brown fish down any chance we get and when we aren't we are reminiscing or planning the next adventure with those who we are happy to now call friends.
Do What You Love. Love What You Do.