“Who's a Pro?”
Just as with any "pro" sport, few make their living doing it. To become a "pro", all you need is the entry fee and the time and expense money to go do it. I know this sounds cynical, but it's truth. What does it take to become a REAL Pro (note change in case) bass fisherman? The following is a good "starter" list:
(1) Many of the Pros began their careers as guides (and some still do guide). That gives them an edge due to time on the water to perfect their skills. You need to be on the water EVERY day possible. There's no substitute. All Pros, no matter what the sport, practice their craft whenever possible when not competing.
(2) Fish as many tournaments as you can afford, concentrating on circuits that have a "classic" you can qualify for. Making these end of year championship tourneys increases your visibility and looks good on your resume. Note that I didn't mention winning. That's a plus but not necessarily a requirement! The ultimate goal is recognition at the national level.
(3) Become well known and respected among your peer group(s) in these tourneys. Word of mouth that you are a good and knowledgeable fisherman will get to potential sponsors.
(4) Be able to present yourself to both sponsors and the public. Sponsors are looking for people who can promote their products to the public, not just someone who happens to be very good at catching fish. Image is important.
(5) Be a good businessman. You must be able to deal with sponsors (and potential sponsors) on a business level as well as organize your "fishing business". Your "fishing resume" should be clear, concise and emphasize skills such as public speaking and writing as well as tournament performance.
These are the basics. Several Pros have written "how-to" books on the subject which probably go into detail (haven't read them). I hope you find this info useful.
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