The largest sport fishing show of the year just concluded yesterday. ICAST is the place where all products fishing make there way into the market. Hobie has always made a splash at the ICAST show and this year was no exception. Check out this video and see the world of kayak fishing change before your eyes with the Hobie Pro Angler 17 – tandem.
Look for it in your local Hobie dealers shop by the end of 2014. If you are in the DFW area we hope to have one available for show in October. This is going to take kayak fishing to the next level.
There have been numerous conversations, articles and blogs tossed around regarding pro staff positions. After reading Chris Payne’s article yesterday I thought I would chime in and give you my .02, for whatever it’s worth. Full disclosure here, I am a member of a few pro staffs and I believe in and use each product that I promote. As most of you know I am not a professional angler, but a professional promoter of outdoor equipment, all related to the kayak fishing industry. Promotion is the key to obtaining the pro staff position. Here are few things that I have done and continue to do in order to grow my product base. Here are the top three:
Relationships are the key to your success in obtaining a pro staff position. I was very fortunate to have a great friend, Rob Milam, who took me under his wing and introduced me to people who could help me achieve what I wanted to achieve. Networking is the key to building your pro staff resume.
Define your skill set. All companies are looking for an edge in the market. Most field representatives are challenged to grow their territory or market segment by 10-20 percent annually. Find those representatives and let them know what you do best. This could be writing and reviewing, shooting video that demonstrates the product and holding classes or seminars. Should you find yourself being more of a technical person offer to help set up for demo days or install rigging. By identifying the field representatives and making their job easier it will give you higher visibility when they are looking to add to their pro staff.
Build your social influence. The opportunity to promote and talk about products is huge on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest and many other social sites. The folks that are making decisions about pro staffs are going to look and see what kind of audience you have and if you could be relevant to their products. Once you establish your audience you can take larger steps into videos, websites and possibly webcasts. Companies want face time with your contacts and by being relevant and active in social groups you have influence that will give them additional visibility.
Always remember that when you are making attempts and applications for pro staff positions things will be expected of you. Chris did a great job talking about the discounts, compensation and perks of the pro staff. Something important to remember is to not over commit and try to do too much. I find myself in this position and sometimes stretch myself to thin. You also have to realize that over posting promotional messages will turn your social influences off; you become the over poster! I have fallen prey to all of the above and strive to find the correct balance that benefits the companies I represent.
The hardest thing about the pro staff world is keeping it fun. With all the responsibilities of the blogs, videos, sponsor mentions and so on it can take the joy out of what your passion is. My advice is to have fun, enjoy the ride and take every opportunity to meet new people and further the sport of kayak fishing. Lastly, when someone asks you about how you became a pro staff member go ahead and share it. There is nothing like paying it forward!
Good Luck & Keep Living The Dream!
“A nation that does not honor it’s heroes, will not long endure.” – President Abraham Lincoln
This weekend marks the official start of the summer season. I know that after the polar vortex that many of us suffered through this winter we are looking forward to the sun on our face and the rod loading up with the catch of the day. While you are enjoying that time with family and friends take a minute and remember what this weekend is about. Service, Leadership and Honor come to mind when I remember those who paid the ultimate price.
I enjoy supporting Heroes on the Water. It’s just not about the fishing for me but it’s about hearing the stories of the guys that have served and what they lost during that service. Heroes on the Water takes wounded men and women out on the water so they can enjoy a day of kayak fishing. Our local Dallas / Forth Worth chapter does an outstanding job of blending a great time with beneficial healing power. If you haven’t had an opportunity to get involved check out their website, you will be glad you did.
As I put out my flag this weekend I will remember those who have served, been injured and who have given their all to protect my freedoms. Kayak Bass Adventures wishes you and your families a great weekend and remembers those who make that possible!
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM
Everyone knows that Xcite Baits produces world class soft plastic baits. More people are learning that Xcite has launched into the hard bait world with XB-1 and XB-1S. Today we are focusing on the XB-1 Silent squarebill crankbait. The only way to get the latest tips, tricks and insider information on using the XB-1 is to speak with BASS professionals. This week we hit the road and spoke to Randy Sullivan and Tim Cline. Hold onto your rod because you are fixing to get the full skinny on these great baits.
Sitting down with any professional you can learn quickly that they want consistency. Touring pros have no time to fine tune or try new baits when dollars are on the line. Sitting with Tim we looked at the XB-1S and he said, “To perform at a top level you have to have consistency in the baits that you throw. Xcite Baits made the XB-1 silent perform in the same as the, original, XB-1. Just minus the rattle!” Consistency is the name of the game and the reason why this bait is consistent is due to the testing that goes on with each XB-1 that is shipped. These baits are tuned and tested, making them out if the package ready.
One of the great questions we are asked is when do you use a silent crankbait? Randy Sullivan says he determines it by the amount of fishing pressure that the lake is receiving. Both Tim Cline and Randy Sullivan both agree that you need to use these baits when you fishing clear water. Clear water calls for the subtle presentation. Randy told us, “The XB-1S delivers that subtle action that big bass can’t pass up on.” Tim likes using this tactic on clear, blue bird, days. Tim says silent running baits are deadly with post frontal conditions, “You get more bites on these baits when the bass are in a bad post front mood.”
Randy says, “Hit something!” Put yourself in the best position and target timber, rock, or the shallow bank bottom. The pro always has the bait in contact with something and that is what triggers the strike. Another thing to think about is where your bait is in the water column and you can affect the depth by using lighter or heavier line. Our pros prefer to use 15 – 25 pound. Tim says that he uses the heavier line in shallow situations to keep it from digging in and hanging it up. Randy was telling us that speed plays a big role in your success. All agree to use the stop and go retrieve for maximum result. However, both pros say if that’s not the ticket try different speeds.
Learning is a huge part of bass fishing. Xcite Baits is committed to teaching and showing our customers techniques that best suit our baits. When you decide to use Xcite Baits you are part of the family and our goal is to give you the information that you need to bring Xcite-ment right out of the water. Thanks to Tim Cline and Randy Sullivan for sitting down and taking the time to visit with Kayak Bass Adventures!
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!
The stars aligned and it all came together for myself and a good friend to hit the water. I have fished with Eugene before, but he had never used a kayak due to his concerns about stability along with not being a great swimmer. I figured the best way to get him on the water was to let him have an opportunity to use the Hobie Pro Angler 14.
All his concerns about getting wet, being unstable and having to do a lot of work left the building and he just kept on catching fish.
People ask me about how we can grow the sport and increase participation on the North Texas tournament scene. My answer is to always be talking, posting and inviting others out to experience what we already know. This was an excellent case of a guy loving to fish and having no way to get of the bank. The Hobie Pro Angler 14 changed that for him. For more information about Hobie Products check out http://www.mariner-kayaks.com
KEEP LIVING THE DREAM!