Now that the hectic Bassmaster Elite Series tour is over for 2023, it’s time for me to slow down and recharge my mental and physical batteries, right? If you’re serious about starting or maintaining a career as a professional angler, the answer is — absolutely not.
Maybe a decade or so ago it was kind of acceptable for Elite anglers to disconnect from the media for awhile and go hunting or take family trips. But nowadays the fishing audience wants to know what you’re up to and to be educated and entertained 12 months a year.
The harder-working pros never stop promoting themselves. They’ve signed contracts with sponsors that expect them to market products and educate bass fishing fans all year long.
If you shut down during the offseason, it amounts to three months where you lose touch with your audience. That’s enough time for an angler to become irrelevant. The advice I give to the younger Elite guys — and to any anglers who want to create a brand for themselves — is to stay in touch during the offseason with social media.
I believe my job as a professional angler who proudly wears the B.A.S.S. patch is to never stop providing fans with videos and other content. That doesn’t mean you have to post on social media as often as you do during the tournament season.
As I’m writing this, I am thankful for the opportunity to provide a column every month for Bassmaster.com. That’s just the start of what I’ll be doing until the first Elite tournament of 2024 at Toledo Bend Reservoir.
Until then, I fully intend on taking some hunting trips and other outings off the water. But I will bring at least one camera with me so I can share these experiences on YouTube via my Zaldaingerous videos.
I’ve already seen some Elite guys posting elk hunts on social media. That’s good stuff. The Texas dove season opens in September, and I’ll be posting videos of dove hunting with my family.
I’ll also be doing videos of hog hunts, which is something I really get into. My family has some acres in north Texas, and they run corn feeders all year long. There’s no shortage of feral hogs to target there.
Even when I’m unwinding with family time, I’ll be sure to have a camera with me so I can share what I’m doing on social media. One thing I plan to document is the build of my future man cave/workshop.
Of course, I will also be posting plenty of fishing content during the offseason. I have some of the nation’s top trophy fisheries close to home, including Lake Fork and O.H. Ivie. Every fun fishing trip is an opportunity to teach and provide media content.
I will be fishing one last tournament this year, the Won BASS U.S. Open in mid October. I’ll be sure to let you know how that goes on Zaldaingerous.
It takes extra effort to continue producing social media content during the offseason. But if you are a professional angler, or want to become one, it’s detrimental to your brand to slack off. If you have a sponsor meeting and have nothing to show for three months of the year, you’ll lose out to someone who impresses that same sponsor with a 12-month slate of social media output.