Life before the Elite Series

“Bassmaster Elite Series pro Paul Mueller” is probably how you know me. But my story as a fisherman started much earlier than my four years on the Elite Series. Just like most anglers, my passion for fishing started many moons ago.

My path to professional fishing is a little different than most, for a few reasons. The Northeast region of the U.S. doesn’t have much representation in the professional ranks, but the passion of those anglers runs deep. Anglers like Bryan Kerchal and Mike Iaconelli carried the flag for the Northeast until a few more of us busted into the professional ranks. 

Like those anglers, my journey started with the B.A.S.S. Nation, a league I’ll be forever grateful for. High school and college fishing have grown tremendously over the last decade, but being 34 years old meant I never had the chance to use those avenues. My niche came through the grassroots Nation events. It’s an old school proving ground that has anglers of all skillsets and backgrounds.

The early days

My dad was a big part of my fishing in my adolescent years. He saw my passion for the outdoors, especially fishing. Many anglers are outdoorsmen and will hunt in the offseason, but I’m on the water. I fish year-round and honestly love catching anything that swims. Bass is obviously my favorite species to target, but catching perch, crappie and walleye have helped me find and locate more bass. When I was younger I would fish as much as possible. Whether it was in a stream or wading in a small river or even from the bank of a local lake. I did it all. My first family boat was a dream come true, something that breached the bank and helped me escape to open water.