Marc Frazier of Newnan, Ga., qualified to become a 2021 Bassmaster Elite Series rookie via the Bassmaster Opens. Although he is delighted with this achievement, it was not his first goal in life. From the time he began playing baseball at age 4 his dream was to be a major leaguer.
He was a pitcher for the Newnan High School baseball team and also played first and third base. Frazier was such a standout that the San Francisco Giants drafted him out of high school in 2011. He turned down the opportunity because he felt he would be higher in the draft after playing ball in college.
He accepted a baseball scholarship to play at Chipola Junior College in Florida. He suffered an elbow injury on his pitching arm in his sophomore year and had Tommy John surgery to repair it. The following year he transferred to Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., as a redshirt sophomore.
“Thibodaux is a sportsman’s paradise,” Frazier said. “I went duck hunting and fishing for redfish as much as I could.”
His older brother, Micah Frazier, is an Elite Series pro. Although they often fished together growing up, they chose different paths.
“For the most part, baseball was my gig,” Frazier said. “I wanted to make a living through baseball. My brother wanted to make a living fishing.”
While attending Nicholls State, Frazier took full advantage of the aluminum bass boat that his father bought for him that year. Powered by a 90 hp outboard, the boat was ideal for zipping around in brackish water after redfish.
“I always loved fishing but never cared enough to get better at it,” Frazier said. “When I got the johnboat, I wanted to learn as much as I could.”
After graduating from Nicholls State, Frazier transferred to Auburn University in Alabama to work towards a master’s degree in adult education and to finish his final year of baseball eligibility.
He brought the johnboat with him and frequently launched it at Lake Martin where he fished for largemouth and spotted bass.
“I went bass fishing every day I could go and fell in love with it,” Frazier said.
His dream of playing professional baseball ended when he was not drafted by the big leagues.
After his stint at Auburn, Frazier focused on a new dream, that of becoming an Elite Series pro. Over the next two years he fished the Bassmaster Opens as a co-angler and the Alabama Team Trail with his friend John Nolan.
These events allowed him to sample a wide variety of bass fisheries across the country and to vastly expand his knowledge.
Frazier’s “home pond” in Georgia is West Point Lake, which he claimed is not a good fishery. He launched there often to refine his fishing techniques.
“I spent numerous days and evenings on the water at West Point,” Frazier said. “Sometimes I didn’t do well at all. I knew if I could figure out how to catch bass there, it would help me find fish on other lakes.”
In 2019 he competed in the Central Opens. The following year he fished the Central and Eastern Opens. He double qualified for the Elites in 2020 by finishing fourth in Falcon Rods Bassmaster Opens Angler of the Year standings as well as fourth in the Central Opens AOY rankings.
The Open tournaments took place across the country and forced Frazier to fish waters he had never seen before. He also had to employ techniques that were out of his comfort zone. His success has given him confidence that he will be able to adapt while fishing the multifarious Elite events in 2021.
“My brother has a lot to do with the success I’ve had,” Frazier said of Micah. “I was already good with my mechanics. Where he really helped me was with making decisions on the water.”
His focus for the 2021 Elite season is to fish clean. Regardless of his finish in any given tournament, he will be satisfied if he feels he did the best he could.
“I would love to make the Classic,” he said. “Going into this year, I have the same goal as I did fishing the Opens. That is to fish every day the best that I can. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself.”
Frazier will be traveling to the Elite events with his wife, Maddie, and their 1-year-old son Barrett. When not fishing he will work with his brother to manage the gas station/convenience store business his father started. He will also give baseball lessons.
His sponsors include Monster Energy, Abu Garcia, Mercury Marine, Power-Pole, Spro, Gamakatsu, Lowrance and Seaguar.