At age 24, Tyler Rivet of Raceland, La., has one primary goal for his rookie season: To win at least one Elite Series tournament.
He considers it a financial imperative — and the sooner the better.
When Rivet was a lad, his grandfather, Benny Knobloch, began taking him fishing at Camp Cocodrie on the Gulf Coast. They would cast for redfish, speckled trout and, of course, largemouth bass from a 16-foot mud boat powered by an air-cooled motor. The flat-bottom craft could navigate in a skim of water.
Those early outings seriously infected him with bass fever. Starting in sixth grade, he would come home from school and jump into a 12-foot johnboat powered by a 9 hp Go-Devil mud motor. The boat was on a canal in front of his house that leads to Bouef Lake where he would fish for bass.
“It’s a little bitty grass lake that’s no deeper than 5 feet,” he said. “I learned everything about shallow fishing there.”
His father, Ty, had an old bass boat, but he wasn’t a tournament angler. Given Rivet’s irrepressible enthusiasm for bass fishing, his father and grandfather almost had no choice but to take him fishing.
“They were never really into bass fishing,” Rivet said. ”I would make them stay on the water all day, and I’d teach them what I knew. I got dad into fishing tournaments. I always wanted to be a dad and son fishing in the pros. He’s got a long way to go.”
At age 15 he joined the South Lafourche Bass Club. During his first year in the club, he fished with older members from their boats. He was paired with a different club member every month, which expanded his fishing knowledge.
The following year he was old enough to drive. His father bought a newer bass boat, which allowed him to compete in club tournaments as a boater. The club usually held their tournaments on local, shallow-water fisheries such as Bayou Black, the Atchafalaya Basin and Lake Cataouatche.
After graduating from Central Lafourche High School, Rivet attended Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La. He immediately started a bass fishing team there and competed in Bassmaster and FLW collegiate tournaments.
“I mainly stuck with Bassmaster after awhile because it has so many opportunities to get places as a pro angler,” he said.
Rivet competed in the Bassmaster College Championship every year he was in college. Fishing on the college team took him to many other states, including Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Colorado.
“Those were awesome experiences,” he said. “I learned a lot about fishing in clear water. Down here the water is dirty. You can’t see a foot down. I never knew what fluorocarbon line was until college. All we ever used down here was braid.”
Although he learned a great deal about fishing deep, clear water in college, he isn’t confident enough to apply these methods while competing in a tournament.
“Fishing shallow is all I do for any tournament,” he said.
With a degree in petroleum technology, Rivet is prepared to work in the petroleum industry, “either on an offshore rig or in a plant.” However, he is holding off on a petroleum career while he takes his shot at becoming a full-time Bassmaster Elite Series pro.
David Ponson Ameriprise Financial is Rivet’s primary sponsor.