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    Jump Start Your Learning - Join a Bass Fishing Club

    By Bass Intelligence, in Beginners, , 0 comments, 174 views
    If you were like me when I started fishing, I didn't know much. I had recently ridden along with with a co-worker on a practice day for a BFL tournament. I didn't know what to expect, but after that day... I knew I liked it. I quickly found myself trying to figure all of this out. What kind of equipment do I need?  How about a boat? I didn't even think about trying to figure out the bass, after all, my co-worker made it seem so easy! I'd be tournament fishing and winning money in no time. Then reality hit. I couldn't catch anything. I had no clue what I was doing. Luckily, I had a neighbor I had been talking to who was a member of a local club. As he began to tell me about it, the light came on... that would be a perfect learning opportunity. 
    Why would I join a club?
    You may be wondering, especially if you're a beginner, why would I join a club? How would that help? 
    So much of what we learn as humans is learned through experience or watching someone else do something. A lot of the basics of bass fishing are the same. Seeing what equipment someone uses or how they use it, for example, is how I first learned to bass fish - throwing the good ole' Carolina Rig.  But there's more to it than that...  Being on the boat with someone for 8 hours in a club tournament is not just a good social time, but if the partner you've been paired with has been fishing for a while, you have a teacher.  He may not be trying to teach you, but watch and learn. I always try to learn something from whoever I'm fishing with.  How does he handle his boat and trolling motor? How does he approach fishing structure? How long does he take to fish certain areas?  Note the places he will fish and the places he won't.  The learning possibilities are significant if you are just starting out.
    Now, you do want to make sure you have some basics in place before you go and join a club - so take a look at this beginners guide if you are truly just starting out. There are are some tips and product suggestions that will help you get going. 
    So just join any club, right?
    Not exactly. Not all clubs are the same. Clubs have personalities and skill level tolerance.  Some clubs may require that you own a boat, some do not. Some clubs may expect that you are a seasoned angler and some are more apt to teach. The challenge is to find a club that fits your personality while also being tolerant to the fact that you might not have a boat or the fact that you aren't going to be catching 16 pounds sacks when you join. Ensuring that the clubs knows that you are learning is important so that there are no misunderstandings.  So start asking around in our Facebook Group, the forums in this community or take a look in our Clubs Area. 
    Every week you fish in your club is a learning opportunity. The amount of knowledge you will be gaining, especially if you are new to bass fishing, is significant. Keeping a journal or log is a good way to document what you have learned about a day on the water. Bass Intelligence offers a convenient Fishing Journal to document your trips for private use, or to share with the community. Take a look at this article on why keeping a fishing journal can help you catch more fish. 
    What's next?
    Many will find a club that they enjoy fishing with and stick with it. You like the fellowship or you have friends there and you settle in. If you want to continue growing beyond the skill level in your club, you can start to fish other tournament trails like the Bass Fishing League (BFL) or join a B.A.S.S Nation affiliated club. If you think you want to get into more serious tournaments, those are good starting points. It is definitely recommended that you sign up as a co-anger, especially at first. It is expected that the boaters are experienced and your co-angler will expect that of you as well. 
    So, go out and find a club and start learning. It will dramatically flatten the learning curve compared to trying to learn on your own by watching YouTube and weekend fishing shows. 

    Have a positive club experience? Tell us about it in the comments. 

    Create Your Own Fishing Blog

    Would you like to share your experiences in a format more formal than a Facebook post or Forum?  Would you like a "home" online to share? If so, then a Bass Intelligence Blog may be for you. 
    Once you join Bass Intelligence, you are eligible to create your blog and start adding content. There is no limit to how much you can add, but blogs should be related to bass fishing and the language and pictures should be appropriate for youth. 
    If you would like more than just a blog, check out Bass Intelligence Clubs. You can host your own group, complete with blogs, forums, calendars, videos and more. 
    So what are you waiting for?  Join Bass Intelligence, create your blog and start sharing it to places like Facebook, Facebook Groups and Twitter.
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    How Much Does it Cost to Buy a Bass Boat?

    By Bass Intelligence, in Tips and Recommendations, , 1 comment, 772 views
    Buying a bass boat can be stressful, especially if it is your first boat. If you have a significant other, the cost is likely to be a significant topic of conversation around the dinner table. So how much will it cost? Well, it depends on a number of factors. We will cover them here to help you get the biggest bang for your buck, and hopefully limit your time in the dog house when you make your purchase. 
    Should I Buy New or Used?
    There are many factors to consider when purchasing, but the most significant is new or used. We will cover that first and separately since it can be the most significant factor in cost. New bass boats have a wide range of prices from around $30,000 for a new 18 ft. Triton to around $85,000 for a 21 foot Ranger with a 250hp motor, both with standard features. Upgrades can increase those prices by thousands. There are many different boat manufacturers with many different options, so it's possible you can find something for less and definitely for more.  So, before you decide you are buying an $85,000 bass boat, plus $15,000 in upgrades (and likely a divorce on top of it), let's see what else you should consider. 
    If you have never owned a bass boat, I would say you should either consider a used boat (hopefully for less than the $30,000 new Triton), or if you would rather a new boat - you may want to consider an 18 foot Triton or similar, with few options and upgrades. New anglers buying bass boats don't know what they don't know just yet. They aren't sure what they like or dislike or even how much they will fish. So, unless you have money to burn, you want to start out as cheap as possible and learn. No article or posting will help you determine the details about what you like or dislike. That only comes with hours on the water. I'm reminded of an angler who was selling his fairly new boat and advertising it as having new live wells... he had never put a fish in it.  If you end up being that guy - you don't want to be upside down in an $85,000 bass boat!
    One other point to consider on used boats... You always need to be wary of buying someone else's problem. It is not uncommon for people to sell the boats to rid themselves of a problem.  Either buy from a trusted dealer or source, or have a trusted mechanic check out the boat. 
    Brand or Manufacturer
    Not all bass boats are the same. Each manufacturer may build their boats differently with different designs, have different accessories, or have brand identification that you are paying for. A 2022 21 foot Triton is about $13,000 cheaper than a 2022 21 foot Ranger. These two manufacturers are both owned by the same parent company now, so many of the accessories and overhead are likely similar, but the Ranger costs more. Some of that cost difference is the Ranger brand. So when you are looking for boats, new or used, understand that there will be price variation from brand to brand. So with that difference, what other factors can impact cost or value?
    Motor Horsepower
    Other than the cost of the boat itself, the motor is the other primary cost factor. Motor size is also linked to boat size. An 18 foot boat will likely have a 115hp motor or less, so that is significantly less expensive than a 250hp engine. The primary difference here is speed and power. While its possible to travel around 50-55 mph in an 18 foot boat, its significantly less than 70-75 mph that you can run in a 250hp boat. If you are just starting out, this is likely not an issue for you.  This typically only becomes and issue for serious tournament fishermen who depend on maximizing fishing time - and sometimes arriving a few minutes quicker can make the difference in paycheck. If you are into tournament fishing, you already know that this is your most significant consideration in price. 
    Boat Length
    Boat length is linked to engine horsepower. A larger boat takes more horsepower to move through the water. 21 foot boats today generally have 250hp engines, but 300hp is available also at about a $5,000 price increase. If you don't need 250hp, the other primary consideration on length is ride comfort. With a 17-18 foot boat, the boat is much lighter and shorter which can cause a much rougher ride, especially when the water has chop on it. For me, upgrading to an 19 foot boat made the ride much more comfortable. Likewise, if I were to upgrade to a larger 20-21 foot boat, the ride would be that much more comfortable, especially when conditions are rough. The distance from bow to stern can make the difference, if your bow isn't crashing into every wave. A longer boat is much more likely to ride over the waves, instead of crashing into them. 
    The sky is the limit when it comes to electronics and accessories. From fish finders to trolling motors to power poles, it would be easy to spend $15,000 - $20,000 in accessories if you were buying them for a new boat. If you are just starting out, I would recommend that you get a fish finder for your console and one for your bow. I would keep the cost of each unit around $500, if possible. Since you can spend thousands on each unit, you will want to see what you like before upgrading (unless a nice unit comes with the boat). With trolling motors, there is also a wide variety of motors and prices. Usually, any boat you are buying will come with a trolling motor. Assuming that it is operational, I would hold off on spending money upgrading until you have gotten use to the one on the boat. Lastly, as far as power poles, unless you are a seasoned angler who will depend on these for shallow water or bed fishing, do not waste your money. I see many anglers who only ever use their power poles as anchors at the dock. That's one expensive boat anchor! 
    As you learn or advance as an angler, I would first spend money on upgrading my fish finding capabilities. While the considerations on this topic are vast, you want to make sure that you have down imaging and side imaging if you don't have it. This will allow you to start to see things that may not have been visible to you if you didn't have that capability.  Even beyond that, having 360 degree sonar or now live sonar will open up even more fish finding opportunities, but I know many anglers who have these things and have no idea what they are looking at or how to work it.  I would recommend that you add these features as you learn. If you don't know how to use traditional sonar, chances are you don't need live sonar just yet. 
    The next thing I would consider upgrading is the trolling motor. The primary difference in trolling motor options is power capabilities. A 12v trolling more takes one 12v battery, but will not last very long. A day of fishing in the wind could leave you with a dead trolling motor battery.  I would not recommend a 12v setup.  24v is what I would consider a bare minimum for anyone who is more than your occasional Saturday fisherman. Some smaller boats may have space limitation for 2 deep cycle batteries, so ensure that you have the space.  For larger boats, or fisherman who are on the water a lot, 36v is what you would want. Again, some boats do not have room for a 3rd deep cycle battery. There are some options now for light weight lithium batteries. So check out those options if you can afford them.

    While there could be many other drivers of price, the variables listed here are generally the most significant. So when you are considering buying a bass boat, don't necessary go for the best looking, most expensive boat. I can almost guarantee that boat is not for you. Instead, consider what you need for how you will be fishing. If you don't need a 250hp engine to start, then don't pay for it.  If you don't know how to bed fish during the spawn, don't buy power poles. If you can't locate fish using traditional sonar, don't spend $5,000 for live soar.  If you approach buying a boat in this way, you will spend less and likely be happier as you mature in the sport. As you grow, you can upgrade or trade up and that's much easier than overbuying to start.
    For those of you who have gone through this process, what did you consider? Leave us some comments below. 

    Submit Your Own Article - Be Published on Bass Intelligence

    By Bass Intelligence, in Bass Intelligence Community, , 0 comments, 248 views
    Do you have some intelligence or experience you would like to share? Have you used a product (preferably available from Bass Pro Shops or Amazon) that you would like to offer a product review for? Would you like to have your article available for readers, but you don't currently have a platform to post it? 
    Well, we may be able to help.  We are looking for articles to post on our site to build our content and would like your help! If you would like to submit your article for consideration, please join Bass Intelligence and post your article to the Member Submitted Articles. We will review your article and check for authenticity and if it meets our standards and adds value for our readers, we will post your article for our readers. We will also post to Facebook, giving you the credit, while linking back to Bass Intelligence. If you have a site or blog that you would like a backlink to, we would also allow that backlink to be included in your article as long as it is related to your content or bass fishing in general. At this point, these are not articles for compensation - but instead, it is a way for you to gain exposure, pick up some backlinks and site traffic, or just a way for you to share your knowledge with the community. 
    If you have any pictures you would like to have considered to be published with your article, please submit it with your article. So what are you waiting for?  Write us an article or submit a product review. 
    note 1 - we may have to edit for grammar and spelling corrections as well as flow. 
    note 2 - We are an affiliate for Bass Pro Shops and Amazon, so any products mentioned may be linked to a retailer for a small commission to Bass Intelligence.
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    Should I Keep a Fishing Journal?

    By Bass Intelligence, in Tips and Recommendations, , 0 comments, 117 views
    Every fishing trip is a data point.  Whether you have a great day on the water, or you never touched a fish, you can learn something from that trip in the context of history. Keeping a fishing journal or log will help you capture the important information for that trip for you to come back to at a later date. Perhaps you're fishing the same lake when the time or conditions are similar to that in your log, or maybe you are fishing a similar lake with the same forage type. If so, a fishing log could help target and prepare for certain areas or techniques before you ever back your boat into the water. 
    Fishing Log Information
    When keeping a log, there are some basics that you should make sure that you capture.  Other than date and lake, there are certain conditions that are critical when looking back at history.  Air and water temperature are probably the most critical. Much of what a fish does season after season is based on water temperature, so make sure you capture this critical data point.  It's also helpful to notate the weather conditions as this could have impacted your lure choice or the fish activity. Keeping as many details as possible will be helpful. Writing a paragraph, like a diary entry, will allow you to write a narrative to capture details that would be difficult to capture in a selection box or a preset list. Lastly, capturing your catch details is key to looking back at the trip to understand if the trip was productive or not. Keeping a list of each catch, size, and lure selection would be ideal, but not very practical. If possible, capture your largest fish or the numbers of fish caught in each area fished, the approximate weight, the lure type and retrieve used, the structure it was caught on, and water clarity.  It's very difficult to capture many of these details to cover the entire trip when you may catch fish all over any given lake, with different lures, on different structure in different types of water clarity. So these catch details, in addition to the trip details and narrative, will give you a comprehensive report of the trip. Keeping a log is a discipline.  If you only keep the log occasionally, then you will not get the benefit of a full fishing history. Having a full history will help you pattern the lake or season based on your own experience. 
    How to Use a Fishing Log
    A fishing log is only as good as the information that can be pulled from it. While keeping a written log in a notebook is certainly ok, it does make it difficult to search or sort a lot of trips. Ideally, an electronic database would be used so that you could search for keywords or lake names to review only the results that are pertinent. With this ability, you may choose to search all trips from a certain lake or lakes. You may also choose to search for certain words or seasons. Reviewing these trips, if the logs were kept with detail, could help you pattern a lake quickly. If you know the current water temperature is 60 degrees in the fall, then you can remind yourself what you did in previous years when conditions were the same. Perhaps you remember you had a really good day on a particular lake in the fall, but it was several years ago and you don't remember the exactly details. Searching for that particular trip would refresh your memory. 
    Bass Intelligence Fishing Journal
    Bass Intelligence offers a very simple, yet effective way to capture your trips. Currently offered as a part of standard membership, members can add private or public trip logs. In the log, all of the information described above can be captured. Private logs are available only to you, but you may choose to log the trip as public - to either show off or solicit input. In our journal, you can use tag words that will allow you to search all of your journals for that particular tagged word or set of words. These words are selectable by the user so that you can completely customize how you search through your logs. You can also add pictures of your catch, lures or other details that you want to keep for future reference. 
    Start your first trip log today!
    Bass Intelligence Fishing Journal
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    Bass Fishing for Beginners - How To Get Started

    By Bass Intelligence, in Beginners, , 0 comments, 493 views
    So you think you want to get into Bass Fishing, but you don't know where to start?  Feeling Overwhelmed by all of the lures, techniques and equipment? Whether you're in your teens or have teens, it can be overwhelming and seemingly too expensive. The good news is, that there are many that have come before you that have learned some of the pitfalls and lessons that can be helpful to a beginner. From hooks to boats and motors, there is a lot to think about, but as a beginner, you should slow down and consider some basics. Here, we will give you suggestions to consider as you get into the exciting sport of bass fishing. 
    Equipment - Start Simple
    You can't catch fish without equipment... so that is where we will start.  Some of you may already have some equipment. Instead of skipping ahead, read through and think about these suggestions and recommendations considering what you already own. Instead of diving into the technical details of equipment here, the suggestions will be high level - appropriate for a beginner. As detailed content is available, it will be linked from here. 
    As a beginner, I would suggest two rods.  You will be limited in techniques and skill in the beginning, so there is no need for buying 5 - 6 rods. Generally, there are two types of rods to consider - Fiberglass and Graphite.  As a beginner, I would suggest you go with fiberglass or a fiberglass / graphite hybrid for two reasons. 
    1 - They are much tougher than graphite if you are rough on them. 
    2 - They are usually cheaper, so if you do break them or decide that bass fishing is not for you... you're not out a lot of money. 
    I have had Ugly Stick rods since I started, and they are still in perfect shape today. They are the same rods that my sons are currently learning on. For the purpose of learning, I would suggest you get 1 spinning rod and 1 bait casting rod. Those are both available here:
    Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Fishing Rod - 6'6" Medium Heavy
    Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod - 6'6 Medium Heavy
    A 6'6" medium heavy rod is a good general-purpose rod for many different techniques. If you had one rod, to be as versatile as possible, this is it. I suggest getting a spinning rod as well as a bait casting rod, especially if you have not gotten used to using a bait caster. You will find that this takes some time, and you may way to have a spinning setup as well so that you can continue to fish while you are learning to use a bait caster. 
    When considering reels, the selection is vast. With reels, you get what you pay for, but you can also spend a lot. However, for the beginner this is not necessary. When you are first starting out, a good quality 6 to 1 ratio reel will suffice. A 6:1 ratio means that for every turn of the handle, the spindle rotates 6 times.  6:1 is a moderate speed retrieve reel, being neither too slow nor too fast. As you gain skill, you will find that there are times where a faster or slower reel is necessary, but for just starting out, 6:1 is perfect. For the price and the quality, I recommend the following reels:
    Abu Garcia SMAX3 Silver Max Low Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel
    Abu Garcia Silver Max & Max STX Spinning Reels - 30 Series
    Are there better reels?  Absolutely, but you will pay for it. These reels are in the $70 range, but you can spend hundreds. For a beginner, the quality and price of these reels are perfect. 
    Techniques and Lures
    There are thousands of lures combinations and techniques that can easily overwhelm and confuse a new angler. Lure type, color, weight, size… How to match it with your rod and reel… the combinations are endless. When you walk into a tackle shop you can get lost as a new angler.  Listening to older, more wise anglers as I was learning – I was told of a statistic. Maybe it’s real or maybe it’s made up, but it sounds accurate and makes a point. 80% to 90% of all lures purchased never catch a fish, mostly because they never see the water. As a beginner, it would be easy to walk into a tackle shop and drop last week’s paycheck, just on tackle… but we can prevent that. For learning, there are two things I would like the beginner to focus on. The trusty old Carolina Rig and the Shaky Head Rig. I would ignore everything else, until you’re comfortable fishing these two rigs and catching fish. 
    Carolina Rig Fishing
    Shaky Head Fishing

    Lakes or Ponds
    Now that you have some equipment, lures and are familiar with the techniques, you just need a place to fish. If you’re still reading, chances are you already know of a lake or a pond that you are going to be fishing. If you have access to a pond that you know has bass in it, this is a perfect place to learn. The body of water is usually small enough that the fish are more concentrated and, usually, it has less fishing pressure. I am not going to get into all of the details around what fish are doing at what time of the year here, but in a pond – you can usually fish deep or shallow from the bank, so work your lure in both areas until you start getting bit. Focus on stumps, blow downs (trees in the water) or areas of water depth change that you can see. 

    However, most of us will be fishing in a lake or a river. This presents more of a challenge because of the size and depth of these bodies of water. Fishing from the bank, you are limited in the same way you are with a pond. I would find a creek arm or pocket and fish there, regardless of if you’re on the bank or in a boat. Instead of thinking about a lake in its totality, think about a creek or part of a creek and focus on that area, fishing shallow to deep until you locate fish. Use the techniques that you have learned to fish this area thoroughly. Once you have caught multiple fish or found that there are no bites – then move on to other similar areas nearby. 
    There is much more to detail on locating fish in a body of water at certain times of the. year. Check back here for links to more instruction on that topic. 

    When To Upgrade
    Once you have gotten comfortable casting and catching on your current rigs and techniques, it is time to start upgrading and expanding your techniques. There are many considerations to make when it comes to what’s next.  You can choose to learn other techniques on your current equipment, you can upgrade your equipment, or you can do both. 

    If you choose to learn a new technique, I would look at two simple techniques that are easy to learn and effective. Any type of top water fishing would be a great addition to your technique repertoire as well as using a lipless crankbait. These two techniques will allow you to now catch fish that aren’t relating to the bottom. My go to top water bait is a Luckycraft Gunfish. Once you learn how to walk this bait with your bait caster, it is an excellent choice at targeting actively feeding fish. My favorite lipless crankbait is a ½ ounce Strike King Red Eye Shad in Sexy Shad color. This is a great bait to throw when there are active fish. 

    If you choose equipment upgrade, I would consider moving to a graphite rod, with the same reels.  Graphite is more sensitive and will allow you to feel more fish or structure than you can with fiberglass. By now, you can start to recognize what is a fish versus a rock or stump and switching to a graphite rod will help you feel even more. I personally like the Abu Garcia Veritas for the price and quality for an angler who is emerging from the beginning stages of learning.
    Now I Want a Bass Boat...
    You’ve caught the bug... you’re thinking about a bass boat. While there is a lot to consider when looking at a bass boat, there are a few key points to consider. 

    Are you going to fish casually or occasionally?  If so, you might want to consider a smaller motor with a smaller boat. Not only will this be much cheaper, there is just no reason to have a large boat with enough storage for a serious tournament angler with a 250 hp engine to get you there.  If you can afford it, that’s fine – but it’s a bit of overkill for the casual angler. I would look for a new or used 17-18-foot boat with about 150-200 hp. With any boat purchase, ensure that it is checked out by a professional boat mechanic before purchase. 

    If you want to do more than casual, weekend fishing – check out these considerations.
    Clubs and Tournaments
    Finally, one of the best ways for a new angler to learn once they are beyond the beginner stage is to join a local bass club or fish smaller tournaments. Local clubs are the best option for anglers who are eager to learn. As you are looking for clubs, make sure the club you are looking to join has members willing to teach you. The club I am a member of has teaching and learning as one of its stated goals. You will find that there are some clubs that are more about the money... while there is nothing wrong with those clubs, it may be a little harder to learn, so avoid these at first.
    Tournaments are also a great way to learn. Other than club tournaments, anglers of any age can join larger tournament circuits for a fee. Major League Fishing's Bass Fishing League (BFL) has one of the most popular amateur tournament leagues around. In the BFL, you can fish locally as a boater or non-boater. You can choose to fish one tournament, or multiple tournaments. See their website for more details. If you are a member of B.A.S.S or Major League Fishing, you can also sign up to be a tournament marshal, where you ride along with a professional angler and report results and pictures back to tournament officials. This is an excellent, no-pressure way to learn directly from the best. 

    For further reading and education, Kevin Van Dam has published a great book. I consider it a must own.
    Bass Strategies by Kevin Van Dam
    There is a lot to consider when starting out bass fishing, but with some guidance and resources like Bass Intelligence, you can be catching more, bigger bass in no time. 
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    What is Bass Intelligence

    What is Bass Intelligence? Bass aren't terribly smart fish, right?  Well, I think there are generations of anglers that have been outsmarted by bass, but that is not really what we mean by Bass Intelligence. Bass Intelligence is all of the knowledge and skill that an angler might need to be successful. Just like our country has a Central Intelligence Agency to collect intelligence on our friends and enemies from around the world, we believe there should be a Central Bass Intelligence Organization that collects and organizes intelligence, or information and strategies, for anglers to use regardless of their skill level. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned angler, Bass Intelligence is a community for you. A beginner can shorten the learning curve by using our resources and asking questions. A seasoned angler can be that resource or teacher, while also learning something new along the way. Bass Intelligence strives to be the premier online community to serve the over 30 million bass anglers in the United States and the millions of others from around the world. 

    Bass Intelligence Features
    While there are many current features and a laundry list of planned features, here are the top features available on Bass Intelligence. 
    1. Logging in could not be easier - With Facebook, Twitter and Google integration, you can use your Facebook and Google account to create an account and log in. 
    2. Forums - Categories and Topics will continue to grow. Post, comment, react and follow.  The content is searchable through the site and on Google. Some content from Facebook Groups will be automatically added. 
    3. Videos - A growing instructional video library from tournament anglers and fishing professionals. As our site grows, this may be opened up to members who create their own instructional content. 
    4. Clubs - Are you involved in a bass club or would you like to create your own mini-community without the skill and overhead of owning your own site? We've got you covered. Create your own public or private club, invite members and format your community and content. Add forums, calendars, blogs, galleries, etc. 
    5. Fishing Logs - Capture your fishing trips online and share with the community. Use this feature as your personal fishing log database, show off or solicit feedback for a bad day on the water. 
    6. Community Map - Bass Intelligence is capturing information on fishing destinations. Review or comment on the locations. We will also be looking for State or regional moderators to add and keep up with locations. 
    7. Product Recommendations - So much of what we do involves equipment. Instead of being a reseller of products, we want to recommend products for use. This list will continue to grow and change based on trends and availability. 
    As our community grows, the features of Bass Intelligence will continue to grow. Join today and tell your friends. Let's build a community that will be a resource for us and the scores of new anglers joining our great sport everyday. 
    Have recommendations on what we can add, change or do better? Let us know!

    Professional Profile: Matt’s Fishin Mission

    By MattsFishinMission, in Professional Profiles, , 0 comments, 127 views
    …from interview with Voyage Ohio Magazine:
    Hi Matt, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.

    I can remember learning to fish at a local pond at Pattison Park in Owensville, Ohio. I remember as a young kid, my claim to fishing fame was catching 21 bluegills on 1 single piece of super resilient SLIM JIM! I grew up within a 5-minute bike ride from East Fork State Park. My friends and I would take just a fishing pole each and ride the trails from our houses to the lake. We’d dig up worms when we got there, and wait for fish to bite while we climbed trees or skipped rocks. Fast Forward another 20 years or so, and you find me with my very first GoPro camera. I was on my honeymoon in Hawaii, and while I still had a passion for fishing, I had not discovered that there was a world of people that enjoyed the experience of watching fishing adventures on Youtube.
    When I got home from our honeymoon, I decided to take the GoPro with me and capture some of my adventures. My very first attempt at making a video to post to Youtube resulted in my biggest bass ever! I think that experience gave me the confidence and desire to keep taking my GoPro out on my “missions”. After that, “Matt’s Fishin Mission” was born as my Youtube channel!
    In the beginning, it started as just a way to capture some memories that would be fun to look back on when I’m no longer able to wade the creeks or kayak the rivers & lakes. Now, I’ve received countless messages from people telling me I’ve inspired them to go explore the outdoors, get back to nature, learn to fish, or even tell me that I’ve taken them back to their childhood from watching the places I’ve fished that they used to explore 60 or 70 years ago! It’s been amazing and quite humbling to know that going fishing has made that kind of difference for some folks.
    I’ve often tried to include some social responsibilities on my channel now that I know I have a watching audience, so I love to promote cleaning up our natural resources and taking care of our parks and waterways. I’ve done Riversweep for the Ohio River and also worked with the Little Miami Conservancy to encourage others to keep working hard to protect these resources. I recently helped promote a fishing tournament put on by the Little Miami Conservancy that provided funds for bank erosion, land development, little cleanup, and much more! In a stroke of combined luck AND skill, I won that tournament against dozens of local competitors!
    I started my YouTube channel back in the fall of 2019, and through that, I have made some new friends and even acquired some brand sponsorships. I was contacted by Cast Cray Outdoors in the winter of 2020 about joining their team of Youtube fishermen, and it’s been an amazing company to work with! Rick Provence, the owner, has been not only a great partner, but an amazing friend who’s gone well out of his way to form a friendship that is cemented forever with myself and my wife.
    Just this fall, my wife was diagnosed with cancer. Rick put together a fundraiser for us, and through his efforts, the fishing community, and the grace of God, we were able to raise over 15,000 dollars for treatment and medical procedures! It’s been a very trying time that was made so much easier by everyone’s support!
    Cast Cray Outdoors is a relatively new outdoor company that is now slated to hit both retail stores and subscription boxes across the United States in 2022, and I’m so glad to be a part of that team and company!
    My fishing journey usually takes us around our tri-state area (Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana), but it has taken me into the Rocky Mountain streams fly fishing for trout and pike, and all the way to the Florida Everglades hunting down the exclusively found Peacock Bass!
    I love not just the joy of fishing, but being able to teach someone the joy it brings. I’ve taken young kids out at the age of 5 to learn how to hold a fishing pole.. and I’ve taken people out in their 50s who just never got around to learning, and see their child-like excitement when that pole bends and they have their first fish of their life on the line!
    Wherever this journey takes me next, I will embrace it with an open heart, a ready fishing pole, and tight lines!
    Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
    For the most part, the journey has been amazing. It’s forced me to learn more about video and sound editing, social media marketing, and learning to engage with an audience. If there is a struggle in any of it, I would say it’s just trying to do something different and unique in a highly saturated world of outdoor adventures online.
    Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
    My profession is as a photographer. Which made for an easy transition into the online fishing space, as the photographers of yesterday are now learning to transition into a more video-centric world of social media. So the combining of both hobby and profession has been a happy and seamless marriage.
    What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
    Kindness and empathy are far more inspiring and important than sensationalism and headline grabs. I think being able to relate to your viewers or clients and do them a small kindness is so much more rewarding than any sort of self-congratulatory ego boost has ever been for me.
    Contact Info:
    Email: m78wesley@yahoo.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mattsfishinmission/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MattsFishinMission Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/MattsFishinMission/featured Other: https://link.fishbrain.com/B8sds1WtPVRGmBRM
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