Lots of people have tattoos and many of them bear strong personal messages, but the three words written across Tyler Rivet’s right bicep bear deep resonance for a 27-year-old Raceland, La. angler who carries a lot in his young heart.
Never Give Up!
For starters, Rivet has always appreciated the passion and drive of Mike Iaconelli, who coined the phrase during his dramatic 2003 Bassmaster Classic win on the Louisiana Delta. As he would learn, such inspiration can help a person through many of life’s challenges.
Rivet found his tattooed message encouraging during the path to his first Classic appearance this year on Lake Hartwell. Ending the 2021 Bassmaster Elite Series season below the Classic cut, he tried Plan B — win a Bassmaster Central Open. (Anglers who win an Open receive an automatic Classic berth if they fish all the tournaments in that division.)
When that option faded, Rivet’s only hope was to see a Southern Division event won by an angler that did not meet the Classic requirements. Ultimately, Cody Hoyle’s win at the final Southern Open on Lake Norman — his first Bassmaster event — culminated Rivet’s stressful Classic journey.
“It came together in a last-minute deal; it was just a God-willing thing to put me here,” Rivet said. “Hopefully we can make something of it, but it just goes back to that logo, Never Give Up.
“I was always a huge Ike fan growing up, but I never thought I’d be here. We all dreamed about it, so it was pretty cool getting that tattoo.”
Now, we could end here with a compelling story, but Rivet’s drive included much more than fishing fury.
A Classic berth is always cause for celebration, but Rivet’s invitation came at a profoundly meaningful time — about four weeks after Hurricane Ida devastated his hometown. Fortunately, his home survived, but long hours spent helping friends and family clean up and repair properties was a heart-wrenching time that, once again, reminded him to never give up.
Saving the best for last, Rivet dedicates his tattoo and all that it means to the lady whose daily strength fuels his fire.
“My grandmother (Yvonne Rivet) had a stroke a few years ago and after that, she has migraines every day and she struggles with it a lot,” Rivet said. “She’s actually here, so it’s pretty awesome that she came.
“I learned from her, if she can make it through it, I can make it through anything.”
Suffice it to say that when Rivet’s boat enters the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Yvonne and all of Rivet clan will make their presence known. Rivet said he’s stoked to represent for those who’ve seen him through the journey
“This is what I’ve dreamed about my whole life — making the Classic and the Elite Series,” Rivet said. “I got ‘em both and I’m proud as can be. I can’t wait to do something else — like go win the Classic.”