DUNCAN, S.C. — Bassmaster Elite Series pro Marty Robinson expected to talk about fishing when he spoke to his hometown junior club in October 2008, but the Hawg Hookers Junior Bassmaster Club members got him to spend most of his time talking about business.
"The questions they had for him were where his money came from and how he made money as a pro," South Carolina's youth director, Randy Vaughn, told BASS Times.
Robinson, who showed up in full tournament garb and with his wrapped boat, was surprised that the youth were so savvy about the business side of tournament fishing. "One of their questions was, 'How much money do you make?'" Robinson chuckled. "I told them, 'Not enough.'"
Vaughn said the youth anglers also were interested in Robinson's life on the road and how to secure sponsors for a fishing career.
While providing a glimpse into the grind of tournament fishing, Robinson told the youngsters how important it was to have a backup plan. "I told them they needed to learn a trade so if fishing goes south you have something to keep you going," he explained.
Many Hawg Hookers members attend the same high school Robinson attended, and the pro said it was exciting to return to his roots.
"We never had any fishing clubs when I was in high school, so I was thrilled to go back and talk to these kids," Robinson said. "If they get hooked on fishing, they're hooked for life. It'll keep them out of a lot of trouble: I know it did for me."