Originally Posted Jan 6, 2011
Perhaps the most coveted job pertaining to the outdoors is professional fishing. Professional anglers are people who have put in the time and effort to understand the aquatic ecosystem, they have also taken the time to learn how to use that same ecosystem to catch fish. It is this level of understanding that allows professional anglers to do what they do.
Becoming a professional angler is a long road that only a handful of anglers have been able to travel down. For many anglers, if not all, this is their goal, being able to fish for a living and traveling the country to some of the baddest fisheries and trying to master it. The years of dedication the top anglers have put is a true testament to what they wish to accomplish, not only though being on the lake for long hours but also working long hours with sponsors.
The sponsors are the most integral part of professional fishing, without them the angler wouldn’t be able to do what they do out on the lake. Sponsors are there to help pay the anglers way, hook them up with the latest gear, and to promote the sport. The same more or less goes for the angler, the angler is out there to showcase the new gear put out by their sponsors and to help the sponsor make more money through advertising. Most people see professional anglers as elite fishermen, which yes they, but they are also elite salesmen, reaching thousands of potential customers each day.
The great equalizer for professional angler is not the sponsors however, it is nature. The beautiful thing about fishing is even a child can get out there and catch a monster, but that doesn’t mean that same child will be picked up by sponsors. Professional fishing is all about being able to reach the customers and sell product, but the bonuses for winning the tournaments is what the angler really wants. That is what makes professional fishing such a stressful job. In my opinions it is one of the most stressful jobs, if not the most stressful jobs in sports.
In other sports, like football for example; the player gets $100,000 per game because of their contract. Professional anglers aren’t so lucky, if they show up to “the game” they don’t get their big payoff to just be there, they have to place. In the world of professional fishing a single fish can mean the difference between $50,000 or $100,000, this kind of pressure is unreal. The elite anglers have developed ways to try and suppress these stresses and focus totally on having a great day out on the lake.
Overall professional angling can be a stressful job, but when you are able to figure it out that is when the true payoff is most evident. Being able to hit the best lakes in the nation and getting paid to do it, who wouldn’t wanna do that?