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people would be surprised to learn that the ďcrazy lifeĒ for most
professional anglers doesnít just end with the last tour event.
There is a tremendous amount of work running the business of
professional bass fishing and remaining visible for sponsors. Things
that were allowed to slide during tour season have to be taken care of
in the off season. Not
taking care of business could find an angler quickly buried and unable
to fulfill sponsor obligations. Thereís no time for procrastination
during the off season and very little time for rest.
someone would of told me when I quit my job at the fire department and
started fishing professionally that I would spend more time soliciting
new sponsors, fulfilling current sponsor obligations, working
diligently to remain in the media, attending promotional eventsÖyou
get the picture. I
probably would have said they were out of their minds, but itís
true. I spend just as
much, if not more time working off the water as I do on it. The
business side of fishing is one of the most important aspects of being
a competitive professional angler, and it requires a tremendous amount
of time and dedication.
a good living as a professional angler means relying heavily on
sponsor dollars. Believe
me itís very reassuring to know that I can count on a monthly income
when tournament winnings are very unreliable.
all sponsor contracts bind anglers to use a certain product or brand
and to promote ďBrand XĒ in the media, tournament jersey, tow
vehicle, and boat. Usually
the more money an angler receives the higher the obligation, such as a
negotiated amount of appearance days.
Having a lot of sponsors is great, but anglers can quickly get
in a jam fulfilling obligations and contract requirements if theyíre
not diligent. If
obligations canít be met during tour season, itís time to search
out and take care of business in the off season.
be successful on the business side anglers have to view their careers
through their sponsorís eyes. Sponsors
are interested in tournament results because a good result usually
generates media exposure. Even
though they are interested in results, they are more interested in how
well the angler is able to help sale their products.
Sponsors are usually looking for a pro that the public isnít
afraid to approach. Someone
the public can talk to, ask questions, and learn from.
I happen to take my obligations very seriously and work hard
all year to promote my sponsors. I
want to make sure that if a company I represent has to cut pro staff
that my name is last on the list.
time between tour seasons also allows anglers to visit their
sponsorís manufacturing plants and learn more about the products
they promote. Some
companies actually have annual product knowledge clauses in their
contracts. This alone can
keep an angler busy in the off season.
I represent companies such as Jasper Engines and Transmissions,
Ranger Boats, Maxima America, Yamaha Outboards, Kistler Rods, Minn
Kota, Lowrance, Plano, Svanda GM Motor Group and Nameoki Village
factories/facilities are located all across the
off season isnít all about the grind of keeping the business side of
fishing running, itís also about staying fresh and having the time
to work on problem areas and test new products.
Itís also time to visit lakes that offer challenges and work
on weak areas. My first season on tour my weakness proved to be
competing on deep clear lakes. I
found competing in
also like to find time during the year to work with organizations such
as the Special Olympics Illinois to help promote their programs and
events. In the past
few years Iíve also visited local schools and youth organizations
giving numerous presentations on fishing, conservation, goals, and
being successful in life
to stay in the game simply fishing tournaments is not enough to become
a well rounded professional angler.
It requires a lot of time, dedication and most of all a good
head for business.
sure and log onto my website www.chadmorgenthaler.com
and sign-up for my fan club. One
lucky winner each month receives a free gift.
Every fan club member will receive E-Newsletters and updates.