Week 30 – Mike Auten
The life of a tour pro who doesn't qualify for the Bassmaster Classic must be awfully dull until the next season starts - no work, just relaxation. No downtime while behind the wheel of your tow vehicle, no worries, just cash those fat sponsor checks and live the life of Riley. Right?
Of course, that's a fantasy. Most anglers either continue to fish other events, or if you're Mike Auten, you keep the candle lit at both ends and head from one promotional venue to the next. Last week it was the Vegas heat and the ICAST tackle trade show. This week it's off to Pittsburgh to promote at the Classic.
While Auten attended the ICAST show to promote the sale of his Classic Patterns television show DVDs, he had time to admire the Lucky Craft display.
"I feel one of the most exciting things that Lucky Craft had at the show was their lineup of production rods," he said. "They've got some real quality rods designed by the pros. They looked great and will be a super item.
"Not only were the rods a big hit, but the new paint schemes and bait announcements were also impressive," he said. "They've got some new paint schemes that will really blow you away, and some newer baits like the BDS 2 and the wooden Pointer, as well as some of the saltwater baits. Those baits will be awesome."
While products are a priority for Lucky Craft, he noted the company dramatically changed its ICAST booth and presentation this year.
"The folks at Lucky Craft really stepped up to the plate," he said. "The booth was as big as any of the other major players' out there. It looked so professional and really showed Lucky Craft for the top-end company that it is."
DVDs For Sale
Auten's primary reason for attending ICAST was to get his Classic Patterns DVDs into the hands of retailers and rep groups everywhere.
"We feel that the Classic Patterns DVD series is a very high-quality and useful product," he said. "We were really there to introduce our series of DVDs to the retailers and reps. I know that many of them feel the need for a high-end accessory item, and our DVD series fits that niche. They were very well received."
Although Auten didn't qualify to fish the Classic this year, he still plans to participate in the big show.
"We'll have a Classic Patterns booth at the sports show they've got at the Classic," he said. "We have a real cool line of angler-based clothes that will be available for the fans to purchase.
"These items, like hats and shirts, will feature anglers like Kevin VanDam. They're similar to what's available at NASCAR events."
In addition to the hat and shirt items, which he said will retail for around $15 each, there will be show specials and celebrity guests.
"Fish Fishburne will be in the booth. He'll be there, as will the people from Sport Brimz sunglasses. We'll also have several of the anglers come in the booth to autograph their hats and shirts. It should be a lot of fun for everybody."
> There will be no Bassmaster Opens for Auten this year. "Unlike in years past, I've got no plans to fish the Opens this year," he said. "At this time, my business commitments won't allow enough time to fish them."
> The wood Pointer and wood Sammy will be specialized products produced in very low quantity. They'll resemble a collector's edition of the baits.
> Along with saltwater, the new paint schemes are part of an effort to expand color selection into northern fishing styles. Therefore, many of the colors are geared toward muskie, pike and walleye.