bass fisherman fishing

Do You Even Fish Bro?

man holding largemouth bass

So you want to be a sponsored fisherman, eh? The life of luxury, free gear, and big bass all sound pretty good, but it’s not as easy as it seems. In fact, finding sponsors can be a full-time job in and of itself. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

In this quick guide, we’ll teach you some of the basic you need to know about finding fishing sponsors for your fishing career and lifestyle.

The Fishing Industry

This may surprise you, but there are around 60 million people in the United States that participate in the sport of fishing each year. That’s more than the number of people who play tennis and golf combined.

Bass fishing has particularly grown over the past 15 years alongside substantial changes in the professional/tournament arena. Bass fishing has helped grow some big businesses that are always looking to stay ahead of the curve.

Paid advertising has gotten more difficult over the past few years with changes in online privacy legislation. Because of this, marketing departments have had to start focusing on building relationships with outdoor influencers and outdoor content creators, rather than just throwing money at targeted ads on social media.

This is where Proud Sportsman comes in. Our core mission is to help connect outdoor brands with outdoor content creators and young anglers.

Sponsorship Opportunities

fishing pole and lures

The first step is understanding what sponsors are looking for. Generally speaking, sponsors in the fishing industry are looking for two things: results and publicity.

Of course, results will differ from sponsor to sponsor; some may be interested in tournament results while others may be more concerned with social media followings, YouTube channel views, or website sales. But at the end of the day, they all want to see that their investment is paying off.

Social media has opened up a lot of pathways for non-professional (I call them “Prefessional”) anglers. These are serious bass anglers that don’t necessarily want to fish professionally in tournaments, but still love fishing and creating a lot of outdoor content. I firmly believe that fishing brands are beginning to recognize the influence and reach of these avid outdoorsmen.

Building Your Brand

That’s where the second step comes in: promoting yourself. In order to get results, you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to get your name out there. This means being active on social media, writing blog posts (like this one!), recording YouTube videos, and anything else you can think of to get people talking about you. And when people start talking about you, that’s when the sponsors will start calling.

If you are focusing on building a social channel around fishing, ie Tik Tok, YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook, you must remember that consistency is key. The algorithms of these platforms reward users that create and post content “consistently”.

Catching Fish & Social Media

fisherman fishing at lake

I have spoken with several prominent social media influencers that post 1 or 2 times per day religiously. They tell me that they were told directly from their contacts at “Big Tech” that this is one of the most important rules to follow to grow their page.

It makes a lot of sense when you think about it…if content is the currency of the platform, then the more of it you make, the more you will be rewarded.

With that being said, the content can’t be garbage, but it doesn’t have to be movie-quality either. It needs to be somewhere in the middle. It just needs to be interesting.

You don’t even have to only post videos/images of catching fish! Get creative. Do a talking head video discussing different types of lures, different types of reels, or different types of worm rigs.

I’ve even thought of just going to Academy and taking a bunch of pictures of lures to discuss the pros & cons of each, in my own experience.

Answer the same questions on video that you ask yourself when trying to catch more fish.

Personally, I love watching raw cell phone videos on Tik Tok. It may not be polished but it’s real life. It reminds me that “I can do that”.

If you are reading this article, you have most likely made “some sort of fishing content”. Maybe you hit the ground running, posted a bunch of content for a couple weeks, but then got demotivated when you didn’t gain any traction.

That is the most common scenario I have seen and it’s unfortunate.

Keep honing your craft! Keep posting and keeping finding ways to get people’s attention faster and hold it for longer.

Learn how to improve your audio quality. Learn how to turn your videos into interesting stories. Never give up! The worst-case scenario is that you have a bunch of footage doing what you love that you can look at years from now and have a good laugh.

Young Anglers

Some younger anglers have an advantage in this scenario. They know the ins and outs of social media, are up to speed on the “trends” and have had the luxury of growing up using the crazy new sonar technologies that help find bigger fish more quickly.

The fishing industry continues to evolve with new lure technologies, new tournament formats like Major League Fishing, and new ways for anglers to get involved.

There is always something new to talk about in the fishing business.

Bass Fishing Sponsorship Quotes

But don’t just take our word for it; here are some tips from successful bass fishermen who have been able to secure sponsorship deals:

– “Be persistent and never give up on your dreams.” – Bassmaster Elite Series angler John Crews

– “You have to treat it [finding sponsors] like a job interview.” – Curtiss Reed Jr., Executive Director of the Vermont Outdoor Sportsperson’s Association

– “There are a ton of benefits [to having sponsors], but ultimately it comes down to money…it allows me to fish more.” – FLW Tour pro Bryan Thrift

– “I’m always trying to better myself…and I think [sponsors] see that.” – BASS pro Jordan Lee

Final Thoughts

As you can see, finding sponsors is no easy task. But if you’re willing to put in the work and treat it like a job, then there’s no reason why you can’t be successful. Just remember: never give up on your dreams and focus on what you can do for the brand…not what the brand can do for you!

Make sure you create your free profile on ProudSportsman. We continue to build new features & benefits for being a part of our community.

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