Week 36 – Mike Auten
Most professional athletes have time off between seasons. They'll play their respective sport then have time to recover from injuries or just bask in the glow of their multi-million dollar paychecks.
Unlike many pro athletes, tour anglers generally don't have the luxury of downtime. Sure, they don't have to fish 12 months out of the year, but most either have other businesses to run or sponsor obligations to fill. In the case of Mike Auten, he has the previous responsibilities plus his work with the Professional Anglers Association (PAA).
While many vacation in some far-off tropical land or other relaxing climate, Auten packs his bags and heads to the St. Lawrence River to dive and get some underwater footage for his television programs.
"I've been on sort of a work vacation so to speak," he said. "My wife and I headed up to the Canadian side of the St. Lawrence River. We're here to relax, but I'm also doing a little work. I've tried to get out and shoot some film for my television shows and seminars.
"The water up here is clear and perfect for my underwater work," he added. "I've had some very good sessions, even though the weather has been rough at times."
Bass on a Tree
Auten captured some interesting footage while diving in the St. Lawrence. "I was filming underwater in the St. Lawrence River," he said. "I was in an area where I knew I'd locate fish – a channel breakline with some good milfoil and cabbage weed.
"As I swam along I'd see a few fish here and there, but I came up to a single tree. There were 20 or more bass in the 2- to 3-pound range tight to the cover. It was fascinating to see them bunch up on a little piece of cover and be so territorial.
"I made these same observations on other individual pieces of cover that differed from the majority of the cover in the area."
With the back-and-forth between ESPN/BASS and the PAA recently, Auten has stayed focused on his work as the Secretary for the PAA to ensure the growth of the association.
"We've got a lot of issues to work on for the PAA," he said. "I work with the board of directors every week to develop new projects for our association. It takes a lot of extra time, but in the long run, it'll be worth it.
"There are several things we plan to develop which will have some tremendously positive outcomes," he said. "The PAA works hard for the tournament anglers and in my opinion, thanks to the efforts of the PAA board and its members, the future looks pretty bright for the world of professional bass tournaments and its anglers."
Even though Auten is best known as a BASS angler, the FLW Outdoors opportunities may be too good to pass up.
"I'm actually looking to expand my tournament horizons," he said. "I'd like to fish the FLW Tour events, but I know I'll have to get on a waiting list there. Still, there are some very good EverStart events I'd like to consider. With the cost of doing business as a pro angler on the rise due to several factors, especially the extremely high gas prices, it just seems to make good economic sense to not travel as far."
> New Classic Patterns shows are in development. "We're currently shooting new episodes of Classic Patterns," Auten said. "Look for them on FSN in the 4th quarter of the year.