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Patrick Walters is a former college bass fishing national champion who went on to compete for two seasons on the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series. Walters won the final Central Open of 2018, and the victory helped him earn important points to meet his ultimate goal.
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That goal was qualifying for the Bassmaster Elite Series, which he did in 2018. Walters has a Bassmaster Classic appearance and has a promising future as a pro in his second season on the tour.
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He’s already cashed a check in 27 of 30 overall events in his B.A.S.S. career. “This is all I’ve ever wanted to do.” Not surprisingly, Walters’ five favorites are about what he likes most about fishing professionally. Here they are.
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Solving the puzzle. “Bass fishing is like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. When you solve it, there is a great sense of accomplishment, a reward.”
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“But you can never really figure them out, and there is never any right or wrong answer. What I like the most is the studying, research, strategic thinking. It’s an ongoing challenge that I really feed on.”
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Travel. “I love what I call seat time. What the fans never get to see is our time on the road, driving to and from tournament sites. I love seeing new places, going somewhere new. I love to camp and stay near the water.”
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“I never knew how beautiful the rural part of New York really was until I went for the first time, to Waddington in the North Country, and to Cayuga in the Finger Lakes region. A favorite part of this career is the bonus you get of exploring the new places along the way.”
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Camaraderie. “A favorite part of my career is the camaraderie and friendship that I share with my fellow anglers. A lot of my best friends came up through the college ranks like me. Drew Cook, Jake Whitaker, Brandon Cobb. We talk nearly every day.”
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Fan interaction. “In no other professional sport is the level of fan interaction like we have with B.A.S.S. There is nothing else like it when you pull into a gas station and a guy comes up to you and just wants to talk about fishing.”
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“Our fan interaction is at a different level. It goes beyond posing for selfies and signing autographs. It’s truly one of the most rewarding aspects of the job.”
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The passion. “My passion is bass fishing. And being able to make a living out of that passion is just incredible. I dream about bass fishing every single day. To be able to travel, interact with fans, make lifelong friends. That’s what I love about professional bass fishing.”