Ever dreamed of being paid in cash or free products to do what you love? Becoming a sponsored professional kayak fisherman is possible, though it might take a bit of work and some straightforward practice. Follow these basic tips to start your journey to becoming a pro kayak fisherman.
Look at Your Experience as Your Resume.
The first step along the road to becoming a pro kayak fisherman is beginning to look at your angling history as your resume of sorts. The things you’ve accomplished as a fisherman can lead to you getting your foot in the door with various companies, so its time to take a good hard look at yourself and determine your best achievements. Win any angling contests? Hold a record catch for a certain region or fish/fishing type? These are the things that will stand out to potential sponsors.
You might even want to consider actually compiling these achievements into a resume of sorts, to make it easier for sponsors to see what you’ve accomplished and show that you take the sport of kayak fishing extremely seriously.
Be Your Own Agent!
Becoming a pro kayak fisherman isn’t like landing an acting career. You won’t suddenly find an agent who will reach out to companies on your behalf. You’ll have to develop your own sense of savvy and skills when reaching out to companies, and that can take some practice. Don’t feel shy about enlisting some of your friends and trusted loved ones, especially any who have found success through sponsorships and pro fishing, to test out your potential emails or inquiry conversations on. Better to learn what you need to improve beforehand then when you’re on the phone with your dream sponsor.
Be Active on Social Networks.
Company sponsors want to see that when you talk about their product, someone is listening. Now is the time to develop your online presence, not later. Be active on social media and engage with other fisherman to show that you are a trusted voice in the fishing community. Remember: be yourself. Commenting on the latest celebrity gossip just to gain followers isn’t going to do you any favors with the fishing community.
Start Small with Small companies.
You might be eager to land that big giant sponsorship with that huge outdoors company, but here’s the hard truth—so are hundreds if not thousands of other anglers. Until you prove yourself as a sound investment, you might be better off starting with smaller companies looking to make a name for themselves with strategic endorsements and relationships. Then you can work your way up over time to some of the bigger fish, no pun intended.
Consider Your People Skills!
Fishing can be a great activity to achieve some alone time and isolation, but becoming a pro kayak fisherman is not. You’ll need to work on your social interaction skills in order to get your voice heard and develop ongoing relationships with brands and sponsors. This means working on your people skills, being aware of how you come across in conversations and developing a natural rapport with people you’ve just met. This doesn’t come natural for many folks, so again, don’t be afraid to practice on your friends and family. You can repay the favor when you gift them some of the free stuff you’ve been sent by your future sponsors.
Stick to the Brands You Know and Trust.
Many kayak fishermen looking to get started in the world of sponsorships dive right in and start sending emails and letters to dozens of organizations all at once. You’re much better off starting with a select few, sticking to brands that you know and trust and whose products you genuinely use on a regular basis. This will also allow you to speak on their product in-depth and show that you understand it, which will score you major points right off the bat.
If you’re working toward becoming a pro fisherman, don’t get discouraged. Like fishing itself, the process can take time, patience and determination before you get a big payoff. That might mean pulling in some guppies before you land yourself the lunker, so take even the smallest victories as exactly that—victories. You’re well on your way!