WARNING: this post is strictly my OPINION. Read it with caution, especially if you are easily butthurt…
I’m about to smash your shibboleth.
You may have noticed in the past several years that professional anglers are taking over places like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. I’m not talking about Billy Bob that likes to fish his local tournaments – I’m talking about full-time anglers with all the fancy jerseys and wrapped vehicles and boats with sponsors plastered all over ’em…
“The ones that made it.“
They have 400 rods on deck and all the accoutrements: forward-facing sonar, 15 shallow water anchors, a 9,000 HP outboard and that paint job… I mean… those boats have more glitter than a pride parade.
[Parade image removed because yuk]
In the past, I certainly haven’t paid much attention to these things. These guys work really freakin’ hard. They’ve paid their dues. They fish all over the country, investing money in travel and taking time away from their families.
I’m not good enough to do what they do, but even if I was – that last part, being away from family, would make it really difficult… no… impossible… for me.
But all of this sacrifice, from the expense to the silly clothing to the hours and hours in the crap weather and tough conditions, that’s all offset by the massive paychecks… right?
If that’s the case… then why are these guys wasting so much time posting on social media?
Because Pro Fishermen aren’t making the BIG BUCKS.
Not all of them, anyway – but don’t take my word for it. Check out what a couple of veteran professional fisherman have to say about the state of the sport:
This begs the question…
What Drives Anglers to “Go Pro”?
Is it the potential fame? Certainly could be.
Sponsors? I guess.
Whatever the reason, the original question keeps resurfacing: why are these guys, the cream of the crop, the ones that made it, wasting their time creating social media posts?
Because they have to.
Because they need more exposure.
Because a large social media following is worth more to advertisers than a major tournament win.
What’s the income potential for a YouTube video? Depends on the subject matter, the amount of time people watch it, all sorts of things – but it’s a fractional penny per view – a TINY percent of $0.01.
Is that worth their time?
Not if the checks are rolling in.
One thing I have learned from running a business that is a universal truth – is that once you find a product or service that is making good money, you need to redirect the majority of your limited time and effort into selling much more of that ONE SUCCESSFUL THING.
Multi-tasking will result in failure.
Trying to “supplement” a successful product with other products or services that are less profitable is a waste of time.
Trying to “fund” an unsuccessful business with a successful one is a great way to destroy both.
… these guys are not stupid. They’re not backwater hillbillies (my people) lacking teeth and common sense. So the the uncomfortable truth of the matter is this:
Sponsors care more about fickle social media impressions than they do about actual tournament victories.
Why else would professional anglers waste time creating CLICKBAIT content? That’s what it is. “I can’t believe I’m GIVING AWAY my SECRET for fishing this presentation!”
So you’re sharing the things that make you money, just to build likes and follows that don’t translate directly into dollars? It doesn’t make any sense!!
You would PROTECT your “secrets” until you retired, and then probably only pass them on to other anglers you cared about. Ones that were close, or family, or that you had a genuine interest in helping.
Do I watch the clickbait?
Sure, at times.
Have I learned a few things?
Sure, at times.
But I feel sorry for these guys.
After all they’ve sacrificed, these athletes that we’ve placed on a pedestal are reduced to ridiculousness:
“My Top 5 Baits (You Wont BELIEVE #4!)!!!“
“Angry Karen CALLS THE COPS (You Don’t OWN The WATER!)“
“Oh No?! I’ll Be DISQUALIFIED (EMOTIONAL!)!“
“The BANJO MINNOW Beats THIS BAIT Every Time (SURPRISING!)!“
It’s really sad. Pathetic, actually.
But… you gotta do what you gotta do… and if this is what they gotta do, then I respect the hard work at least… but at the same time… I pity them.
It begs the question:
Why do YOU fish??
I started this website 4 years ago after I came to the conclusion that I needed to get much better at putting my kids on more and bigger fish faster.
That was the driving force – to be good enough to help them properly cultivate a love for the sport early in life.
I’m sure you have a good reason as well…
Would you really want to take that reason and pervert it? Would you really risk taking something so pure, so fun, so valuable, such a gift from God – just to turn it into a JOB that sucks the life out of you?
No, nobody would if they knew this was what they had to do to pay the bills.
So… has the “influencer” taken center stage? Has the social media following become more important than the skill of a professional bass angler?
Time will tell.
Tight Lines & Godspeed, Patriots.
Thank you Readers!
Thanks for visiting! I’m going to keep doing everything possible to keep the helpful content coming, and FREE FOR EVERYONE… but I need your help. Please chip in by making a small monthly contribution to keep this site alive & growing. $4.96 will buy a sweet Pack ‘o Dingers, and with it, I promise to catch many bass in your honor. Thanks. You are a gentleman & a scholar! -AJ
Stars & Bars Fishing is a video log dedicated to catching fish with the techniques we write about. All Episodes >
The Minimalist Fisherman channel focuses on bait reviews, strategies & projects. See More Fishing Videos>
Why do I fish. #1 because I can. #2 to infinity …because I love trying to outsmart fish. I always know I’m gioing to catch more and bigger fish every time I go. So far it isn’t working out to good for me. But it keeps me going back.
As for the pro anglers. Pretty simple…EGO!!! IMHO
Good column AJ.
LOL, “because I can” is a great answer! Thanks for the comment my friend, you may well be right… talk soon!
Good reading, appreciate the time spent on the article.