Week 40 ・Pre Fish
The Team Lucky Craft pros are some of the best in the business. Many of them have been competitive anglers for years. So what would some of the hottest sticks be doing to cash a check if they didn't cast for cash? The answers may surprise you.
Team Lucky Craft pros Brent Ehrler, Joe Thomas, Mike Auten and Skeet Reese gave up the skinny on what their career paths may have been, if the bass bug didn't bite.
While most BassFans don't think of snow when they hear California, Brent Ehrler sure does. In fact, when he's not on the water he loves to be on the snow.
"Right now I'm still remodeling my house and spending time with my wife," he said. "But I can't wait until a little later in the year when the snow falls and I can start to ski.
"I love skiing and have been doing it since I've been able to walk," he added. "I especially like to ski in the Mammoth area in the Sierra Mountains. My first love was skiing. If I didn't choose to be a pro angler, I would've loved to be in the skiing business."
Mike Auten is one busy angler who mixes his passions with his business. Not only does he fish, but he's a videographer, TV producer and editor.
"I'd say I'd like to be a full-time videographer and editor, if I wasn't involved in the fishing business," he said. "I already do so much of it with my business, but I really wouldn't have a problem doing it full-time.
"I love the challenge of getting a shot and being able to tell a story on camera," he added. "To me, it's a challenge like catching fish."
After 23 years of tournament life, it's hard for Joe Thomas to think of any other profession as a career choice. However, prior to his foray into the world of bass, he had another line of work.
"As boring as it may seem, I'd probably be working for UPS," he said. "I had a good job with UPS before I went into this full-time. I always enjoyed the work and the great work ethic the company promoted.
"I doubt I'd still want to load and unload trucks," he said. "I think I'd have gone into management with them or a similar company."
Skeet Reese is one of the highest-profile anglers in the business. His face is plastered all over ESPN and he's one the highest-ranked anglers in the State Farm BassFan World Rankings at No. 3. So what would his job be if he didn't fish? He'd be in some sort of sales position.
"If I didn't take the risk and pursue this career, I would either be managing the Outdoor Pro Shop in Rohnert Park, Calif. or I'd have some sort of fishing industry rep gig," he said. "I was in management before I went full-time and I really enjoyed it.
"I know I wouldn't be making the kind of salary I'm making now, but with that job or the rep gig, I'd earn a good income. Plus, as soon as I started working in the fishing industry, I knew I was passionate about it. So regardless of what level, I'd be in this business."
> Tile-setting is out for Reese. "I learned how to lay tile as a way to insure I'd always have a job," he said. "It can be a tough job and sometimes can take a toll on your body. I just wasn't passionate about it ・that's why I went into the fishing industry."