Oroville – September 18, 2010

I’ve often been asked the question, “how did you get the sponsors you have?”

My response has always been “lots of hard work”.

Now some may think that this is a blow off, its not. To get sponsors in this sport there are a couple ways to go about it the easiest way is to have connections (know somebody that is willing to help you out).

The other way is to find a sponsor that you might be interested in representing then finding away to approach them with an idea that benefits you both.

Now I see a lot of so called sponsored anglers out there, I want to take nothing away from them, but in my eyes they don’t understand what true sponsorship is about. I look at a sponsorship as a relationship I am trying to help a business venture into an area that they may not have been able to break into without a representative on the inside. I am putting my reputation on the line to help us both grow in the future, they back me with product or money and I in return bring them advertising and product recognition.

Well how does all of this relate to my fishing tournament?

Sponsor obligations sometimes take precedence over even the tournament.

Oroville is the lake I cut my teeth on and I truly think that if you can get good on this lake you can do well most anywhere. Oroville is truly one of the toughest lakes on the west coast. Being consistent here opens you up to succeed at many other bodies of water.

Heading into this tournament I felt really good about my chances of doing well. I knew the spoon bite should be on and possibly a top water bite could produce a good kicker. It was the intangibles that got to me.

Before I even headed out there was a problem. The camera boat had flaked out, now normally this wouldn’t be my issue, when your main sponsor is depending on these shows it matters. This meant that my fishing was going to take a hit and it did.

We started out looking for a top water bite, that wasn’t successful, so we switched to a spoon, which picked us up a couple. It was such a slow bite that we were only getting a couple bites in an hour and with a TV show to put together it was becoming apparent that my day was going to be a bust.

Now it’s not fair to blame this problem on the TV show, poor performance on my part was definitely an issue. If I would have been on top of my game possibly I could have started in a more productive area. I was focusing on small coves and pockets that the pond smelt could be herded into, knowing this lake the way I do I should have headed up the south fork, where the water is a touch warmer and little pockets are everywhere.

To sum up this report, sometimes to keep your partners happy you have to put your needs to the back burner while you move theirs to the forefront.