There’s not a direct answer as to why I walked away from fishing. It’s more of a three year multi-chapter story.
After my Dad passed away I chose to keep fishing as a means to center my sanity as well as working 3 jobs. One job was a marketing role in a “super cooler” company. Another job was to keep my parents business going. And thirdly, fighting a lawsuit brought on by greed and selfishness.
The last tournament where I cashed a check was a Bassmaster Open in October 2014. Man, they were smashing that bait! I missed the cut after losing a solid 4-pounder. That still hurts.
A little over two months later I found myself fighting for my reputation, my integrity and my parents business. I continued to fish believing I owed my sponsors my time and effort, even though they knew what was going on, and (some) were supportive of the issues. Some were not.
At the end of 2015, I realized I was struggling in life, and in fishing. Lawsuits take the life out of you. When coupled with constant evil and drama, you want to escape. That’s what fishing gave me…. an escape.
Going into 2016, I wasn’t catching them and believed I lost my passion for the sport. I purely understand (now) that you can’t compete at any level when your world is caving in around you. Focus and clarity are an absolute must.
It doesn’t help when your practice days consisted of spending more time on the phone with lawyers, law enforcement and dealing with business issues than fishing.
In October 2016, while in Louisiana, I was faced with an issue that had no resolve. My sponsors went away and it was time to wave the white flag. I surrender.
Looking back, it was the best decision I could make for my own sanity. Tournament fishing isn’t easy. Maintaining sponsorships isn’t easy. In my case, it was time to walk away and refocus.
Rather than fish, I’ve focused my energy into Contingense , BonusLoop , Contendir , ResidentPress, and Resident 22 News . The first three are passion built with purpose businesses, that all solve a common problem. The last two are along the same lines, but take a lot of time and resources to maintain and need to be in the hands of someone who loves the news industry.
Contingense, and BonusLoop are start-ups that focus on niche driven innovations to help anglers, and companies benefit from bonus (contingency) programs.
I truly believe in what we’re doing and have the understanding that their innovations will benefit more than just the fishing industry.
I’ll be back, when it’s time. The fire burns hotter every day. I miss the road, the people and the feeling of being on the water. I miss everything about competitive fishing. EVERY THING!
As for now, I’ll keep writing in hopes that what I’ve went through, and currently faced with my start-ups will help someone down the line.
We have one life and that life should leave a lasting impression on as many people as possible. In other words, be that smile. And, encourage EVERY ONE!