Bill Dance Outdoors
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Tips Necessary for becoming a Tournament Pro

Posted: July 16th, 2007 by Bill Dance

Almost every week, I get mail or emails asking something like “How do I get started in becoming a professional fisherman and market myself for sponsorship?

Well, that would take an entire book to answer, but here are some points I think are important:

  1. Times were different back when I started, and because bass fishing was my goal, I made it a point to learn everything I could about it from every source I could….books, tv, & other fishermen. Read, read, read, watch, watch , watch and listen listen, listen! That’s what I did.

It’s also extremely important to:

  1. Practice every chance you get. Even when it seems like what you’re doing isn’t paying off, do it some more. Then change methods and keep on fishing. You can never get enough practice, regardless of age or how long you’ve done it.
  2. This one is more important today than when I started- Recognize that there is a lot of competition in this sport today and it continues to grow! As with most endeavors, with rare exception, only the best of the best at anything make it to the top, and this is NEVER by accident. Lots of HARD WORK is required, so roll up your sleeves and get to it.
  3. To earn and impress sponsors (and, of course, that’s who pays the bills for all professional fishermen) you’ve got to get their full attention. You can do this ONLY by beating out the competition and continuously making a name for yourself locally and then expanding on a larger scale. That word “continuously” is the key. You’ve got to come through again and again and again!I was fortunate to have won several major bass tournaments in a fairly short period, and this got the attention of some of the larger, potential sponsors. Today, the competition for advertising and support money is 50 times greater than when I started, so you’ll have to work even harder!
  4. Finally, you’ve got to think positive all the time and believe in yourself. Watch what the other professionals are doing, try some of their techniques, but be innovative – invent some unique ones of your own!

Bill Dance



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