I’m going to ask you a question but I don’t want you to flip when you read it. Actually, I will answer the question by the end of this article.
So are you ready? Here goes.
How could anybody possibly be crazy enough to want to become an Elite Series bass fishing pro? What could you be thinking? Are you nuts? How could you high school kids be wearing a Skeet Reese jersey with your sights set on being just like him in a few years?
And you college students are a little older, and supposedly smarter, than a high schooler, but you’re already lining up your events that help you qualify for the very top of the heap, the Elite Series angler.
And how about a guy who, when his qualifying events are going well, quit his job to “go for it.” I even knew a bass fisherman who came out of retirement when the opportunity to compete with the best jumped in his face.
Yes, there are a lot of bass anglers out there who would do anything to compete in the Elite Series, where there are very few spots available. But I say good. Let someone else make the mistake of becoming eligible, then signing up. Don’t let it be you. You’d have to be totally out of touch with reality if you’re bagging everything to go in that direction.
Let’s let someone else go to a Florida event where he doesn’t have much experience. After having a tough practice, let that person miss the cut by 16 pounds. Let that guy hold a 3 1/2-pound bag as he stands next to Chris Lane and his 22-pounder at the weigh-in tank. Let that guy say under his breath, “What the hell am I doing here?”
You don’t want to be that guy. Be thinking that as he tackles the Elite Series, or the qualifying Opens, while you can be home, sleeping in your own bed, eating home cooked meals, and holding down a good job. All the time your “Mister, I want to be a professional bass fisherman,” will be facing these situations … Rain, snow, wind, temperature changes, bad temperature changes, heat and clear skies.
Over time you’ll have many equipment problems, a flat tire on your boat trailer, dead batteries, and once a month you will break off a bass that would have changed that event in your favor. Your family will question your career choice. Your credit card will go bad, and you’ll wonder if you’ve gone too far to turn around. Please realize that every professional angler has been down this stretch, but that doesn’t stop me from saying “Why would you do this?”
OK, time to change gears. Now most folks on the outside would never understand “Why?” They would never get the “I’m going for it.”