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The Next Generation of Pros: Opens or College?
Local jackpots, B.A.S.S. Nation, Opens, high school, college and more—Where will the next generation of pros come from?
Ask any angler or fishing fan to list their top 25 professional anglers, and you’ll receive a wide variety of answers. But one constant will be the presence of young guns such as Jordan and Matt Lee, Jacob Wheeler, Brandon Palaniuk among others.
But where do these perennial contenders come from? What’s the best path to the Elite Series for young anglers? The pros weigh-in.
“College is the way to go now,” says Jordan Lee. “The Carhartt College Tour gave me the opportunity that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. But the best thing to do is to do it all, fish college and whatever BFL or local tournaments are available.”
“The rising competition level of the college tours is nothing but a good thing,” says Matt Lee. “Kids are making the decision to go to school and get a degree because of these teams. But they can’t forget the value of experiencing as many fisheries as possible. When they get to the professional level, they’ll be fishing against guys who have spent years competing on countless bodies of water.”
“It used to take 4-5 years before an angler hit their stride on a tour,” says Terry Scroggins. “Because of the internet and online resources available to these college kids, you’re seeing the learning curve speed way up. You’ll continue to see the college kids rise the ranks because of how much info they soak up.”