There is a disturbing misconception among some young bass anglers these days that in order to make it as a professional fisherman, you have to have been born rich.
I can shoot that misconception down simply telling you my own story.
I fell in love with fishing when my family lived in the Northeast. I grew up in New Hampshire, where I used to fish out of a kayak and a little aluminum boat.
My family moved to Arizona when I was 9 or 10 years old, and we started bass fishing here out of a 16-foot aluminum boat.
Notice how I haven’t mentioned the silver spoon that was in my mouth when I was born?
That’s because there wasn’t one.
We were a blue-collar family, and my dad couldn’t afford a big, fancy bass boat. I fished my first tournaments as a non-boater with other local people who had boats.
But it was something I wanted badly enough to make sacrifices.
All of the typical things teenagers were buying back in my day? I skipped those and saved my money for fishing tackle and tournament entry fees.
I made money guiding for bass half the year and as a fly fishing guide the other half of the year. I’m not a huge fan of fly fishing. But since it was so hot in Arizona, there were times when it was the only option.