Like all Bassmaster Elite Series pros, Louisiana’s Derek Hudnall has been sidelined as Covid-19 sweeps across the country. But that doesn’t mean he’s sitting at home twiddling his thumbs.
Instead, Hudnall announced on March 17 a new venture aimed primarily at teaching the next generation of anglers how to up their game during on-the-water sessions.
“The gist of the situation is you have to make lemons into lemonade,” he said. “That’s what I’m doing right now. These times are so uncertain; we don’t know how long we will be off the water. We, as professional bass fishermen, are self-employed. We fish for a living; we have to earn an income from it.
“Trying to find something we enjoy doing and that people on the other side enjoy to do is critical right now. Kids are out of school, a lot of people are not at work, so they are looking for something to fill their time with.”
He said one motivation is helping young anglers who want to make a career in the fishing industry. In fact, he is simply building off of the past few year’s work with high school fishing teams.
"I think our generation needs more ambassadors,” he said. “I feel like the Bill Dances of the world and the Jimmy Houstons, the Hank Parkers, are starting to come to an end. It’s is our job to ensure we are developing the next group of anglers that are coming up that are going to be in our shoes in 20 years. Trying to share that information is really important with the millennials coming up.”
Therefore, Hudnall said the new offerings, which he announced on his personal rather than business Facebook page, is primarily intended to attract business from young South Louisiana anglers who want to learn more about the tools of the trade.
And he’s had a lot of interest.
“I’ve already booked two trips this week, and I have interest in three more next week,” he said less than 24 hours after the announcement.