Angler’s Perspective – Family Sacrifices

So, you think you want to be a professional bass angler?  Well, let’s look at what it takes to be a pro in a sport that just might be the most difficult way to make a living. There are certain times in our lives where our jobs take precedence over all other things. Now the Bible tells us that we should put God first, family second and job third. But we don’t always follow these in that order. We tend to reverse these….job first, family second and God third. Now, this does not condemn you to burn in Hades, but you may have to answer to the Big Man one day.

Professional anglers make major sacrifices and spend a tremendous amount of time away from the home due to tournament schedules and other commitments. Tournaments start in the month of January and will run until the end of October. Most anglers will leave home for weeks at a time. Their travels will take them from the East Coast (Florida) to the Southwest (Texas region), up to the New York area (Lake Champlain) and usually finishes up in the northern part of the country close to the Great Lakes. Now understand, these guys are not flying from one event to another, they are driving and pulling a twenty-one-foot bass boat. It’s probably the worst part about being a professional angler…long 10-to-15-hour trips that make for a lot of alone time.  Now for those anglers that do not have kids yet, some are blessed to have their wives travel with them. In most cases, their wives are their business managers and handle everything from accommodations for each event, to scheduling the angler’s promotional and speaking engagements.

Let’s now look at the definition of sacrifice. It means to surrender or give up for the sake of something else. For a professional bass fisherman, it means giving up family things and events like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. For the wife, it means sacrificing her career by keeping the home running in an efficient manner, taking care of the kids, and making sure all their needs are met while Dad is on the road trying to make a living. Kids today tend to be very active in things like scouts, school events, church programs, athletic practices, and games, and it can be a logistic nightmare for mothers who have multiple kids. They are basically a single parent for many weeks out of the year. This is not only difficult to handle but can also create stress and frustration in the marriage. It takes a special lady to take on this role and keep the household stable. Wives also must pay the bills, shop for groceries, handle the banking and cut the grass. They must get the car serviced, do homework, and fix bobo’s and, hopefully at some point at the end of her busy day, she gets to take a bath and get a little sleep. Oh, and I forgot to mention how she must be the phone cheerleader for her husband when he has a bad tournament and questions his ability to succeed.                                      

Today, we salute the wives/mothers who make their own sacrifices in order to allow their husbands to go out and pursue their dreams of making it as professional bass fishermen. The next time you see a professional angler with his wife, ask her for an autograph because she is the real hero. She is the one making the biggest sacrifice. Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!                                                                                                   
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Steve Graf

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