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How Can So Many Guys Afford To Fish Professionally In 2023?…The Math DOESN’T Add Up…



Randy has a discussion on the mystery of how many people can afford the high cost of fishing professionally…#fishingdaily #bassfishing #bassmaster #bass #fishing #catchandrelease #fish #angler #fishingtrip #fishinglife #elitist

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38 Comments

  1. I sadly don't follow bass pros or tournaments anymore, it's become way too commercialized. It use to be fun to watch, not anymore. I agree I have no idea how anyone makes money at the sport, it's just crazy. People need to realize, you don't need a $100,000 bass boat to have fun fishing. You can buy an inexpensive boat or fish from shore or rent a boat for the day, it's just crazy what it costs to compete anymore

  2. Most of em aren't likely to be married…that's how…and if they are married, their wife is carrying their @$$e$ with the hopes of big paydays in their future. What get's me is how they can afford $80,000+ bass boats and another $5,000 in electronics..not to mention 20-30 rods and all the lures…Good GAWD!😶

  3. Good topic,I know of a couple really sad stories,one was a big city cop for twenty years,that was after retirement from the military,his dream retirement was pro fishing, he went all in and after three years he was broke,new everything,truck,boat gear,the best,never had a check big enough to cover basic travel,lost everything

  4. Sacrifice. Some families will sacrifice everything to give their kids a chance. The price is definitely out of control.

    Frankly, I’d like to see the tournaments make an aluminum boat only rule. No more 100k$ boats. No more Livescope (regular sonar/down/side is fine), and, say an 8 rod maximum on board.

    It doesn’t matter to me, I have owned a successful business (saltwater charter fishing) since I was 18, I can afford to trade in new boats every second year, and the truck and fuel to haul it, but I meet a lot of kids who could be competitive fishermen if they could afford a fiberglass boat, new truck, and fees. One 19 year old I know with a Bass Tracker Classic 16’ boat is dominating a local tournament scene, qualified for the MLF Canadian Open, but wouldn’t be able to fish because his boat doesn’t meet the requirements. I’m lending him my Ranger for the pre-fish and tournament, and sponsor him through my company for the event.

    It would kill me to see him not be able to at least get his chance on that stage. At 19, I certainly wouldn’t have been able to afford it, but he’s good enough to place high, and my boat has everything.

  5. 48 years ago I went to my first and last bass tournament on Lake Murray SC . I had an old Glastron V hull boat with a 50hp Chrysler . There was a possibility of rain at the start of the tournament so I put my vinyl top up . When the gun went off if was a good thing I did . The rooster tails sent out by those high powered bass boats soaked half the field ! Lol
    Had a great time with my friend and enjoyed the day . We caught bass with probably no more than $200.00 dollars worth of fishing tackle , rod & reels between the two of us .
    Bet we had more fun than the professionals that were out there !

  6. It's very similar to combat sports like boxing and MMA. Unless you're a star, you are making $8k/$8k show & win money. There are very few stars, and they are the ones who make money. KVD makes $300k/yr on his Nitro sponsorship alone plus free boat every year.

  7. That's everywhere man. I've fished for 35 years every way you can without a bass boat. Would love to have one but I'd rather not work the rest of my life. Kayaks are the deal. Consider yourself lucky i guess.

  8. And these companies that are making record profits from boats, accessories, motors amd all the stuff in between will eventually eat their shorts. It cannot be sustained. The economy is going to eat them like pudding and there will be a shit ton of bank owned boats sooner than later. Trucks too. Ive fished professionally and its not what everyone thinks. Made some money but spent more, and will go at it again once my family health gets better. If 100 guys are doing it I will guarantee that when 50 of them are all alone and no one is around they ask themselves why the hell am i doing this all this many, many times.

  9. The organizations pocket almost every single dollar from sponsors. Then the boys pay these fees to participate in the organizations events. The organization pays only so many places in the field. So they pocket a lot of the entry fees as well as none of them are doing this for free. All the while the anglers bust their asses for their sponsors 12 months a year, a lot of time for free or for very little. Companies are making more than they ever have, and giving less than they ever have. And when they give its to the organizations and not the anglers.

    Its gambling, its not a profession.

  10. That’s why I quit fishing tournaments . I just couldn’t afford it anymore. Sold I my bass boat high. Bought smaller bass tracker and just fish what ever I can catch. Great topic Randy you hit on the head.

  11. I think there’s like 4 categories of guys trying to fish professionally. 1. They come from a wealthy family or they had a successful business that allowed them to dive into tournament fishing without the risk of losing everything. 2. They came up through the grassroots system and grinded until they made it and are managing to sustain the ride as long as possible. 3. They are young and single with good credit and they are taking their shot before getting locked into a mortgage, 3 kids and an SUV. 4. They are middle aged dudes who are tired of working their 9-5 with nothing to show for it so they mortgaged the farm to pay for a shot at living that pro bass life.

  12. I met a tournament fisherman at Truman Lake in Missouri. He told me the same story about the money pit tournament fishing is. He made a decent living, though, by working his butt off for his sponsers.

  13. I think if guys wanted to get into it the best bet is to stay on the coangler side and compete at a cheaper price. The winning amount isn't as high but I think it would be more affordable to not have to tow a boat around and pay for repairs. I think I may coangler fish my federation tournaments and use my boat to practice with fish club events and take the family out fishing on.

  14. I have grown up and lived in Alabama my whole life. There are so many better fishermen than the pros only issue is they didn’t come from families with money. I know 3 guys who have personally schooled pros then went back to construction job on Monday

  15. Its absolutely insane at the cost. The average man with an average salary doesn't have a shot. The fact of the matter is this, the top tour organizations are racking the anglers over the coals with the crappy payouts. MLF (Duckett and Klein) coaxed the BASS pros to abandon BASS with the promise of no entry fees. Then low and behold, they told them theyd have to pay to fish. Even the BFL's do not pay back what they are capable of paying back to the anglers. For me, its just not worth it.

  16. Thanks for the video. I've thought there was a progression. Opportunities within tournaments for rookies, novices, and beginners with big dreams, to enter and learn tournament life as 2nd seaters. The entry fee is as much as some people lose at a casino. And if a person "WINS" as a 2nd seater they get a brand new Phoenix Bass fish boat. Keep hitting top places as 2nd seaters and you may make enough to gamble at a single pro tournament. I would lose! But the experience would be better than a honeymoon! (Don't tell my wife that). As long as guys like you keep letting little secret nuggets of information slip out, we dreamers still have a chance to compete at least once. I've thrown $'s at Bass Pro shops everytime you open your mouth. Whether it's a lure I don't possess or switching to red hooks on the front of my Whopper Plopper's. I know 2nd seaters have a giant hurdle to race over. Even "YOU" have talked of an imaginary line that bisects the boat that is not in the rules. Yet to me it's still worth gamble. And to see you laugh at my telescoping rods and Dollar Tree lures, wouldn't phaze me at all. If I win, I invest in better stuff. If I don't, the experience will be worth the price of admission.

  17. It’s always been expensive, just think my local guides are charging $800/$1600 a charter for half day and full day charters so what do these top 100 guys charge per charter in the off-season? I’m pretty sure I heard Roland Martin say he’s made more money off his trolling motor prop design then he ever made fishing tournaments so that should tell you there wasn’t tons of money in it back then either. Being on the elite series I imagine gains you access to the business side of things allowing you to possibly make money with product designs and signature series items. But you’re right the “fishing influencers” on social media have stolen money out the pockets of professionals and have cost them sponsorships because now a days it’s all about followers and social media presence and the industry side of things doesn’t care if you’re on tour or not it just cares about how many millions of people can you put their products in front of and weather or not you’re a good fisherman doesn’t matter.

  18. This is the same in the hunting industry where people lease their land and people with money snag it up. Sometimes as much as 15 people on a 200 acre lease. Will be a rich man sport. Spend your money on your local fish and wildlife and let them purchase more land and the dedicated hunters will prevail. Great watch well spoken. I do believe in the pro bass circuit you have to think of it as a business

  19. Ya there were plenty of college league guys fishing out of daddy’s boat and truck. I fished junior derbies but my dad bought us a boat when I was 12 and had me cover the running costs. Just about every penny I made thru cutting grass for neighbors went into fishing. I didn’t save any money it went to the running costs. What frustrated me most was that plenty of kids never paid a dime. They were spoiled and it showed and they still are. Everyone has this idea that money is endless and I cannot wait to see fishing pressure drop off a cliff when this recession happens just like in 08. Everyone is running around like got rockets and levered on debt. The boat and house will come due and I think a lot will lose big. Im 25 and the costs are just about insurmountable for guys from my kid fishing club days to even fish. I notice very few of the people still fishing from when I was in the junior bass master clubs. the next boat my dad and I split it and share costs because now the cost is just massive even for a weekend hobbyist.

  20. When things you love to do for the love become mainstream. The hypebeast will take over. This is when people like yourself have to create a lane for the real. It's really an opportunity for guys who know what they're doing. Randy, create a tour & make them respect it

  21. If Academy or Walmart wanted to make a big splash they would 100% sponsor a grassroots angler. Sure make them only fish products they sale but if that/those anglers became successful it would be a game changer

  22. Social media money, big backers because you have a huge following on UTube, then stay in your budget. Why you gotta have a new boat every year? New tow vehicle? You don't. So if you get a new boat every year you're just as much of the problem as the solution. Just saying.

  23. I'm not rich. But I'm not without. I worked hard and bought my skeeter before the pandemic and inflation for 6,000 bux.
    It's a 2000 model with a 150.
    I fished with an old trolling motor and a cheap lowrance sidescan downscan model fishfinder while I saved money for a terrova trolling motor with spotlock and 4 garmin screens.
    In total the add ons ended up costing more than the boat. That coupled with slowly buying more rod and reels while maintaining the few I still have from when I started. I'm probably a little over 20,000 invested in my rig currently.
    That just for my weekend warrior fishing.
    I don't know if I would be able to support professional fishing without heavy personal and or sponsorship investments. Then on top of that trying to make money and support a family?
    We aren't all KVD. There's a ton of names that we all know in professional fishing that don't make alot of money. Some of those names even struggle to pay bills. It's the same for fighters in the ufc.

  24. Randy I’m 45 and you are correct!!! When I was younger still living at home and working a good full time job with no real bills I custom ordered a bass boat and fished local tournaments and was winning, confidence went up and spread out to local team trails and did good and stayed in the top. Ventured out further and was still doing good with all intentions on “going pro”…….. then bought my own house, got a better truck, (top of the line for its time $33,000!). So then I had started getting real debt, I started having to work more and longer hours which ment less time on the water which ment I wasn’t on top of my game!! We had a family plumbing business and it was a good one and just like you said in 2008 everything changed for us too. Our industry changed just like the yours did. That really dialed me back to very local tournaments only. I still enjoy it, I’ve been out of tournaments about 4 years, it was affecting time with my family. But I see myself maybe trying Alabama Team Trails or something like it in the next few years I hope. If not I had a decent run but I love the lakes and rivers in Al. I’m in south east Ms and our state just doesn’t have the level of tournaments that Al has! I hope the best for the ones that can grind it out and get some big wins to carry out their dreams, I pull in for all of you!!! But the ones that just can’t get it done don’t let it get you down!!! Go as big as you can and still afford to live!! God first, Family second and fishin third and y’all will be alright!! Thanks Randy!! Saw you in person a lot back in the day!! Long time fan!!

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