The season’s over but the work continues

Our 2021 Bassmaster Elite Series season is in the books. I didn’t have a great year, but I did make the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk so all is not lost. Trait and I are going to stay in New York — on the St. Lawrence River — until we have to get ready for her Bassmaster Opens. It won’t be a vacation though. We’ll be working on increasing our value to our sponsors.  

Here’s how we do that:

During the year when we’re fishing we don’t always have the time to put together short videos and clips of various techniques that we use in competition, things that help other anglers catch more bass. It’s just too time consuming. So we make notes about them at the time and then film them during the offseason. We do a better job when we do it that way, and our sponsors ultimately get the same exposure for their products. 

This area up in New York is perfect for that kind of work. The scenery is gorgeous and there’s enough fish so that we don’t have to worry about a slow bite or finding a big bass.

We’ll have a videographer with us 24/7 for a whole month. That way we can film countless short videos and clips that can be watched almost anytime. And, they’ll be professionally edited and catalogued. 

It’s kind of expensive because we have to stand for all the cost. However, in the end it’s worth it. We increase our value to the sponsors and that helps us (Trait) negotiate better contracts. In fairness, we do get some reimbursement from some sponsors, but in the end we’re responsible to the videographer. It’s on us. 

Some of our work is used by the sponsors directly in their advertising. Others are posted by us through social media. A lot of them are posted on my YouTube channel, Zaldaingerous. 

It’s brutally hard work, but the whole thing works out great. Our sponsors get more bang for their buck, and frankly, we increase our value to them so we get paid more. It’s win-win all the way. 

The way I look at: It’s a way to stay relevant when you don’t have a tournament platform to rely on like when I’m fishing the Bassmaster Elite series or Trait is fishing the Opens. This year the staying relevant thing is particularly noteworthy. The Elite series was done in July. There’s a long time between early August and January.

Obviously, there’s plenty of information on this site — and other tournaments too. The columns and how-to information is, and will be, second to none. Make sure you check it out on a regular basis. Still, without the Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments, the Elite Series anglers have to work harder to keep our media profiles up and make sure no one forgets about us. 

Here’s my thinking about all of this: For you anglers out there who are serious about bass fishing, especially if you’re looking towards a professional career, you might try to incorporate some of these things into your fishing. 

It’s a good way to reward those who have sponsored you and to develop new relationships by showing them what you are doing, and what you can do, for them. You don’t have to pay a videographer to be with you all the time, but what you do should look first class and never exaggerate or lie about the quality of a product. That’ll hurt you in the long run.  

Just because winter is on the horizon, that is no reason to put your boat in storage and sit by the fireplace waiting for spring. There are lots of things you can do in the fishing business that don’t require a tournament.