If you are a young angler with aspirations to fish at the next level but you’re not real sure which route to take to get there, look no further than Bassmaster Elite Series rookie Tyler Rivet. Rivet grew up fishing in the back of the boat in local clubs near his home in Raceland, La., before attending Nicholls State University for a college education.
There, Rivet joined the bass fishing club and began an extremely fruitful college fishing career, qualifying for the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Championship every year he competed. It had always been a childhood dream, but the success and the platform Rivet found fishing in Carhartt College B.A.S.S events was what propelled him to pursue becoming a professional fisherman.
The B.A.S.S. platform provided a myriad of opportunities, so Rivet registered for the Bassmaster Opens and began competing at the next level. Taking his share of licks while cashing two checks a year during his first two Bassmaster Opens campaigns, just enough to keep him financially able to continue chasing his dream. In 2018, Rivet set the hook on that dream when he qualified for the 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series through the Bass Pro Shops Central Opens.
While that may sound easy enough in two paragraphs of a 600 word article, you can be sure Rivet’s path was filled with lots of long days, late nights, bumps in the road and a boatload of hard work. But with the support of his family and those closest to him, Rivet kept the faith and kept his head down until he found success.
This week at the Bassmaster Elite on Winyah Bay, Rivet is coming off his first top 20 finish as an Elite Series angler. The south Louisiana angler finished last week’s Lake Hartwell event in 18th place and earned himself his first $10,000 check of his career. While he isn’t satisfied with anything but first place, Rivet knows last week was a big milestone and respects the anglers he fishes against.
“The level of competition on the Elites is definitely a step up,” admitted Rivet. “No one slacks off at this level, you have to bring five big ones to the scales every single day. At the ollege or Opens level, you could get by with having one 'decent' day in a multi-day tournament, but not against these guys. You’ve got to catch ‘em.”
Rivet is trying to keep the momentum rolling this week on Winyah Bay, and he put himself in great position to do so after the Day 1 weigh-in concluded. He caught five bass that weighed 9-15 today and had to drive 194.2 miles in his Phoenix Boat to catch them. His day one efforts have him tied in 21st place and he is ready to do whatever is necessary tomorrow to improve his position.
It doesn’t take long when talking to Rivet to feel his competitive nature and understand he isn’t satisfied with anything but his best. When asked what kind of advice, or words of wisdom he had for aspiring anglers wanting to get to where he is now, Rivet had this to say.
“You just gotta work your way up,” Rivet said with a smile. “Don’t skip steps trying to get to the top of the ladder, and be willing to put in the work to get to where you want to be. This may not be the best advice, but you have to be willing to gamble a little bit to make it to the next step sometimes. You’ll never go anywhere if you just sit still. Trust your gut and do your best.”
With that kind of work ethic and perspective, this 24-year old Elite Series Rookie won’t be going anywhere for a long time.