After only fishing professionally for one year now, I can really appreciate what guys like Rick Clunn, Gary Klein and Denny Brauer have done for many years. Professional bass fishing looks easy on TV when the pros are reeling in big bass, but there is so much more to it than catching bass.
Other than being a skilled angler, a professional bass fisherman can be a public speaker, businessman and a writer. In addition, the pro must stay on top of social media and website stuff. For me, this off-season really hasn’t been time off. I have been sending out emails non-stop, meeting and talking with potential sponsors, and staying on top of my website, Facebook and Twitter. I am doing a seminar tonight, and will be working a fishing expo this weekend. Busy is the name of the game.
When I first started thinking about fishing professionally, I thought that it was a spring and summer deal, but now I know that it is a year-round job. It is really similar to owning your own business. Before I started fishing professionally, I owned a landscaping business, and I had to put in at least 60 to 70 hours a week to be successful. Bass fishing is no different. You get out of it what you put into it.
Similar to my landscape company, I learned that I can’t do it all myself and that there is no substitute for having good people to help me. The key for me has been to find people whom I can trust and will go out of their way to help me, as I also would do for them. One of those companies handles my website. My professionally designed website (brandoncardfishing.com) is key to representing myself and my sponsors in a professional manner, keeping my fans connected with everything I do. I use BHQ (Bass Angler Headquarters) for my website. Steve, the owner (also a tournament fisherman), is a really nice guy and is great with graphics. He is always available when updates need to be made. If you are just starting out as a college angler/team, or have thought about getting a website, I would encourage you contact BHQ. It is a great investment, and will greatly increase your exposure. BHQ is very reasonably priced and have several payment options. They offer a monthly payment plan so you don’t need a large amount to get started. Check them out at bassanglerhq.com.
Another part of the business is having my fellow fishermen interact with sponsors. Right now we are running a contest with Empire Covers (www.empirecovers.com) where you can send in family fishing photos and win a cover for your boat. It has been neat seeing all the family photos being submitted. There’s a story on my website about how to get involved. The contest concludes in just over a week from now.
If you have time tonight or this weekend, please come out and see me. My seminar will be on “Sightfishing” tonight (1/17) at 6:30 at Higher Ground Baptist Church in Kingsport, Tenn. I will be at the East Tennessee Fishing Expo all weekend at Chilhowee Park in Knoxville, Tenn. I look forward to seeing you.
Dare to fail.