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Hey everybody. I'm gonna try and fish in some BFL's this year and I was just curious on how you could tell if you're fishing with a Pro or an Amateur angler? What distuingishes them apart with the exception of the Pro being a better fisherman. Is it the sponsorship from companies or is it qualifying for the Everstart, FLW, BASS series, or both? Just a little confused. Thanks!!
 

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Once you have a track record in tournaments at a local level. Then you get a sponser. You have to think like a fish, no how to catch fish very well. I'm sure others will add to this question. Also ask yourself the question do i have what it takes. It can be very expense, and you need alot of time off to do this. There are more sponsership dollars in fishing than golf and tennis combined.

h2o<---- good luck, make the dream a reality.
 

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If you are talking about fishing experience then there are many many pros in the BFL. If you are talking about making a living, just ask. "So what do you do for a living?" Those that fish for a living and have sponsors are pros and the rest of us work a day job or two to pay for this habit.
 

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Unless you make the Bassmasters Classic, or win it, sponsorship dollars are hard to come by. Sure, you can get free or discounted products, but cash is not as common as you think. Good monthly retainers are for the elite pros who have proven consistency on a national level. You may not believe this but a majority of pros are flat broke or in debt thousands of dollars. Even some of those guys you see in the magazines are always on the verge of being forced to quit because of money problems. It's getting harder for the veterans too because these companies are happy to sponsor a handfull of younger, more eager, new pros and give them less and with less expense than one big name. You should read Joe Thomas' book, "Diary of a Bass Pro", even though it's over 10 years old.
 

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One more thing.....If you enter the BFL's and you draw some guy whom you've never heard of and he has sponsor patches all over his shirt, don't think he's hit the 'big time' with those companies. When you ask about his sponsors and he starts saying crap like, "Yeah, Ranger and I were able to work out a deal", then you know he is full of crap. What he means to say is that he got a free jacket when he bought the boat.
 

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LMAO @ DRP,..amen Brutha!! ,....

Basschaser.....When you enter those tournaments, (BFL's), you have to designate yourself a "Pro" or "Amateur" when you enter....the only difference is the price of the entry fee and whether or not you will be bringing and driving your own boat. Only the "Pro's" are allowed to drive the boats,....your rider who is the "amateur" will be a rider on both days and you will be paired with a different "Pro" each day. You will only be competing against the other's in your "catagory" too...Pro's vs. Pro's and Am's vs. Am's. Your weights are kept seperate and not combined like they are in a "team" format.

On a side note,...just because a person enters as a "Pro" and wants to fish out of his/her own boat,..doesn't necessarily mean they are an excellent fisherman worthy of the label "Professional".....There are plenty of outstanding angler's that regularly enter as "amateurs" and can handily kick their "Pro's" arss on any given day,...they just prefer to enter as an amateur for several reasons,....a couple of them are monitarily (lower entry fee), and/or the ability to ride and meet with different Pros and see how they fish,,...maybe learn some new techniques or areas to fish etc..etc. There are some definite advantages to being both a pro and amateur too......the Pro's determine the spots they'll fish, boat positioning, when and where they'll move, they get the front of the boat all day and make all the decisions, etc..etc.. The Rider has the advantage of less pressure and fewer things to deal with all day,...they just stay in the back of the boat and fish,...no worries mate!!..LOL....They are expected though to chip in at least $20/day to the Pro to cover their gas/oil for the day,..and they are the designated "net man" for the Pro! LOL You will find that in the vast majority of cases,..the Pro will be more than hospitable and do everything in their power to give their rider a fair chance at catching fish and have a great overall experience. There are a few "Pro's" though that couldn't care less about their rider and will not do much to help them..they figure,.."I'm the Pro,..you're the amateur,...just shut up and fish!"...ahahhah....but those guys are the minority and your odds of getting paired with one are slim. Hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck if you decide to enter,....you'll gain some excellent knowledge and experience being a amateur for a few years just to learn the game,....then when you're ready to be a "Pro",...you'll have what it takes to be a "good one!"...not just another guy with a boat and a free jacket!!..LOL
(I loved DRP's comment)...

Good Luck in 2004!!
 

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I just go with the MSU t-shirt. That way no one follows me around...
 
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