How can I become a professional fisherman!? What does it take to be one? These are just two questions I get when I meet people wanting to earn the pleasure of achieving this status. Mostly, I talk to people who just want to fish and not work for the companies they represent. Is this the way to achieve it?
The short version of the answer to this and other questions will not fit in this editorial, but I will give you some key points. In the future, I will address this subject in more detail.
The key is to understand that sponsors are clients with goals and requirements to sell products. This requires an aspiring professional, in any venue, and especially in fishing, to be able to communicate well with others; to be dedicated to their required information on the products represented. Just saying “it works” is only a fraction of the requirement. You must believe in the product and in fishing. It takes passion to push forward and light fires in others.
Many fishermen have won big tournaments, championships, etc. But few, truly capitalize on their success. This can, in part, be due to the lack of abilities to get in front of groups for seminars, shows and intuitively speak on their methods, techniques, products. The fishing part gives one credibility and then comes the work to help promote the sport as a whole.
Expanding the sport, grows the industry base. Teaching others how to fish effectively builds this base for others to enjoy the sport with their families, whether they intend to compete or not. Fishing relieves stress and bonds us with the outdoors and the true meaning of life. This passion rolls out of our bodies and shows our true hearts and souls. This passion grows the industry and all in it. True proffesionals are open to people, and share their knowledge.
As in any career one must hone their fishing, marketing, and promotional/selling skills; Produce pictures and videos and keep it clean and natural; Be ethical, honest, and humble.
Keep in mind, this can be a long process or a short one depending on your dedication and attention to detail. Focus on the positives in life, lessons learned, future goals and the path to improving on all fronts mentioned.
I recommend joining the National Professional Angles Association (NPAA). I was always taught to join professional activities that are focused on relevant development. NPAA is one of these for all fishing.
Lastly, think beyond yourself and always try to help others. The good karma can help you in so many ways that you cannot see in that moment.
God Bless and Good Fishing,
Dan Dannenmueller, Publisher