Hard work makes for success

This week I want to address a serious subject. It’s the idea that success as a professional bass angler is somehow the result of luck or good fortune. That’s almost always nonsense. Every successful bass angler I know works at their craft all day, every day.

Last year is an example of what I’m talking about. I cashed a check in the first three Elite tournaments. The biggest reason I did was because I was able to fish the venues close to the date they went off-limits, and I didn’t do that simply because I love to fish. I did it because I know that I have to do that to stay in the Elites and hopefully make it to another GEICO Bassmaster Classic.

I am not an intuitive angler. I do not launch my boat and “know” where the fish will be, or how I can catch them. I have to work hard to figure the fish out and put myself in a position to catch weights that matter.

And so, after a couple of weeks working at Signcom, I’ll be heading to Lake Seminole tomorrow morning. In truth, I have things I could (should) do here in Columbus. I also know, however, that I have to work hard at being a successful fisherman.

With that in mind, I have no other choice but to drive the icy roads, work my business at 4:00 a.m. and fish hard all day. You have to give it your all. You have to want it worse than anyone else. If you don’t you’re doomed to failure. I’m not a fan of failure so I’ll give it my all.

I’m not the only one who thinks this way. One of my true heroes in this business is Ish Monroe. He’s not my hero because he’s successful, however. He’s my hero because of how he makes himself successful. He has the work ethic that I most admire.

That man fishes more tournaments and more circuits than almost anyone. And he works harder for his sponsors than almost anyone. There is no offseason for that man. He doesn’t pursue other hobbies. He works at his career. The result is success.

That’s really the message I’m trying to convey this week. Professional bass fishing isn’t for everyone. It’s only for those who are willing to pay the price.

If you’re young and looking towards a career with B.A.S.S. as a professional angler, understand that you’ll have to work at it. Winning club honors and that sort of thing might be nice but it won’t get you where you want to be in the end. Having a rich family won’t do that, either. You can’t hire people to fish for you.

Be willing to forgo social activities so that you can spend your money and your time getting better, learning how to catch big bass.

I don’t want this to sound negative, however. Hard work is not necessarily a bad thing. The life we lead is privileged. Our world is about nature, not concrete and steel. There’s no better feeling than launching your boat knowing where the big ones are and knowing how to catch them. You can’t experience that feeling looking out your office window.

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