Let me begin by saying I'm a typical man. I am so focused on my goals that it's taken two years of absolute ground-shaking change for me to see and truly appreciate the real superstars of professional fishing.
Without a doubt, it’s our wives — the ladies who’ve stood behind us through the craziest time in the history of our sport.
Think back two seasons.
Pro fishing was going through a major realignment, and the uncertainty ahead was real. I know for a fact some of us wouldn’t have survived if it hadn’t been for the amazing women standing beside us.
Many of these ladies operate in the shadows. They stay home, have careers of their own and raise children. They take care of the important day-to-day chores of life and deal with the strains that come from living with and loving a man that travels to make a living.
Others live life on the road themselves, getting up early, packing lunches, launching boats, ordering baits, handling the business of a professional angler, cooking supper and going to bed late.
Both groups are always standing beside their man — emotionally, if not physically.
During all the turmoil and uncertainty, these superstars didn't sit quietly and listen to the conversation that was taking place. They spoke up. They were the rocks that each of us leaned on. Just like in our everyday lives, when the chips are down and a solid foundation is needed, they are always there.
I have been fortunate to live this dream for many years, and I've been around many of our superstars for a long time. I've witnessed the things they do every day to make it easier for their men to be successful on the water. The love and unwavering commitment is a beautiful thing to see.
It's so very hard to be competitors on the water and yet be a family off the water.
Unlike in the past years, there seems to be more of a closeness in this bunch, and it's because of the superstars.
Whether they’re at the tournaments or handling things at home, you can bet they are fully invested in what’s going on.
In all the years I've been doing this, I've never truly appreciated the little things our superstars do, until now. My superstar has her ways to pick me up, calm me down or kick me in the behind when I need it.
But it's the little things and positivity from all the others that brings the group together. When you’re at the gas station, grocery store or idling out for a competition day and the superstars are cheering you on it means a lot. They may not think we hear, but we do.
When we post on social media and the superstars like or reply with words of encouragement, it's noticed. It's hard to be competitors sometimes and still cheer for the others, and yet the superstars can and do — and somehow it brings us all together.
The list of the superstars who support all of us who dare to pursue the dream of chasing little green fish for a living is long. I’d like to name and thank each one of you personally, but as sure as I did I would forget just one of you, and I would feel terrible.
I want to thank each of you for being the true steadfast rocks that make our lives possible!.
Thank you for being our superstars!