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College Fishing Champ Trevor McKinney

I got a chance to talk to Trevor McKinney at the G Loomis media event at the Bassmaster Classic in Ft Worth on the night before the tournament started. Trevor won the 2021 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series in November of 2020 which qualified him for a berth in the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic.

Trevor is sponsored by G Loomis and Shimano and other A+ brands such as Rapala.

McKinney talks with us about how his business relationship with Shimano began and how he also developed a relationship with Rapala as a college student.

As a college angler, the Bassmaster Classic can be overwhelming and Trevor talks about his mindset going into the biggest fishing tournament in the world and about how to work with the cameraman who might be in the boat with him. 

He also talks about how to learn from mistakes and how to make sure the time is right before you make the jump to the highest level of professional fishing.


If you're starting out, don't forget how important it is to build you brand. I can help you get started. Download my free resource "Developing Your Personal Brand" at



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#bassmasterclassic #collegefishing #trevormckinney


Gussy Gustafson

At the 2021 Bassmaster Classic in Ft Worth, I was invited to a G Loomis event where I had the chance to sit down with Elite pro Jeff "Gussy" Gufstafson, who was fishing the biggest event in fishing but still took the time to talk.

We talked about how to keep your game face and avoid the distractions of the hype of the Classic and how to take advantage of the event from a business standpoint.

Gussy says he's "a regular guy" but I have to disagree with that....he's an extraordinary guy. The audio is not great on this episode but the content is!


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If you're starting out, don't forget how important it is to build you brand.  I can help you get started.

Download my free resource "Developing Your Personal Brand" at 








Dena Vick, King Eider Communications


Rick Horrow, the Sports Professor

Rick Horrow is an expert of Sports Law, and in fact he pioneered the field.  He also blazed a trail for public/private partnerships to fund development of stadiums, arenas, performing arts venues and other infrastructure. Then to top that off he developed the framework for selling naming rights to those structures.  He's done over 100 deals worth more than $20 billion in branding concepts that have enticed more than $4 billion in corporate funding to cities and development projects.

I tell you all this to say....Rick knows how to make a deal.  

Whether you are an aspiring pro angler or exploring a new job or role in the fishing industry, negotiating skills are important.  Many times I hear people express fear over the negotiating process but if you take a little time to learn the basics of negotiation you will feel more confident when it's time to come to the table to make a deal.

I met Rick 12 years ago when I was one of the producers on his television show The Sports Take. That show isn't on the air anymore but you can see Rick on CNN, ESPN, Fox and many other networks whenever there is a story about the business side of sports and the networks need an expert.  They call in the big gun - Rick Horrow.

I thought Rick would be a great person for you to hear from on 3 Negotiating Skills Everyone Can Develop.  Rick has literally written the book on Sports Business and you'll find out more about that in this episode.



Gary Morgenstern SportsNet NY & ESPN

Gary Morgenstern is an expert on content and how to figure out what kind of content your audience wants to consume.

He has worked in television programming for the entirety of his decades long career. I worked with him when he was director of programming for ESPN Outdoors and his current role is Senior Vice President of Programming for SportsNet New York.

In many ways our social media is like our own personal TV network. We make decisions every time we create content & those decisions are not unlike what TV network programming executives decide in their roles. Whether you are an aspiring pro angler, a brand or manufacturer or just an individual who cares about your reputation, you decide what content you share and how you express your (brand) voice.

So I thought it would be beneficial for all of us to hear how a highly successful television network programming executive made decisions about what content to program. With the cost of television airtime in the figures with many, many zeros, there is a lot at stake for them. They have to be extremely smart and well prepared to make those choices.

Listen to this conversation as if you were the programming director of your own personal channel because you know what? You are! We can all learn a lot from Gary Morgenstern and we're lucky he's so generous in sharing his insight.

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 52 - Ty Southerland, Thirty Miles Out

Renaissance Man is a term used to describe someone who is good at many things, and defines the notion that humans should embrace all knowledge and develop themselves as fully as possible. A Renaissance Man is usually multi-talented, well-rounded, self-taught, and a gentleman.

Ty Southerland is a modern Renaissance man.

He’s a successful visual artist, a working musical artist and a singular talent when it comes fishing. His Youtube channel “Thirty Miles Out” has 50,000 subscribers and his videos get literally 300,000 views.

Ty has a mindset of abundance and that’s one of our main topics we dive into today. This cat is not like everybody else, y’all.  He’s very unique and has a fresh point of view on so many things we all spend time thinking about.

Having a mindset of abundance means you focus on what you have and not what you don’t have.  The opposite is having a mindset of scarcity and honestly there is a lot of scarcity mindset in fishing and in the world.

A mindset of abundance also leads you to being generous and gracious. Generous is one description of Ty Southerland that came up whenever I talked to anyone who knew him. He’s generous with his knowledge, he shares his locations, he tells people his fishing techniques….he’s just generous.  He believes there is ore than enough for everyone.

And I agree with him.


Mentioned in this episode

The Lawless Tide

David Goggins

Tony Robbins

Joel Olsteen


Fishing Business Podcast Episode 50 - Sean Lawless, The Lawless Tide

This podcast, in so many ways, is all about making your dreams come true.

Achieving your dreams is hard work. But you can follow your dreams, no matter how crazy or far fetched they may seem. No matter what a turn in the road they represent and no matter who else believes in those dreams.

I know a lot of people who have reached for their dreams and many who have gotten there already. Funny thing is, none of them got there the easy way. Everyone I know did it through hard work.

And they also have been flexible and resilient. They have figured out how to ride the tide of change and to swim with it instead of against it.

This week’s guest is a good example of that. Sean Lawless has spent his career as a firefighter in Tulsa. 5 years ago, he and his wife were living in their dream home after having successfully raised their kids.  They both thought they would spend their next years working in Tulsa and then retire there.

But a trip to Florida changed all that. Sean and his wife realized they wouldn't really be truly happy unless they lived by the coast.  Sean fell in love with fishing and started thinking about how he could earn income in retirement and still spend time on the water.

What happened the next 5 years is a story that might inspire you. Sean figured out how to start a Youtube channel on saltwater fishing while living in the heartland in landlocked Oklahoma.  The Lawless Tide has led him to many new friendships and opportunities.  So much so that he is now planning to start a guide business in the Florida panhandle.

In fact by the time you listen to this, he may already be there.

This is a good story of American ingenuity, grit and determination. Just my kind of tale.

If you enjoy this episode, find Sean at the links below.

Lawless Tide



Podcasts mentioned in this episode:

Yakin with Jack

Bearded Brad


Thirty Miles Out


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Fishing Business Podcast Episode 48 - Resee & Blake Phillips, Eye Hole Jig

It feels like  Fishing Entrepreneur Month  here on the Fishing Business Podcast.  Last week we talked about bringing a new product to market and focused on the patent process and marketing.  This week we meet Resee & Blake Phillips who started what is commonly called a Mom & Pop business in the garage of their south Alabama home.

The company is called Eye Hole Jig and the product is a jig that holds scent niblets in the jig head.  The couple are avid crappie anglers and the product has taken off in that sector but they have big goals for moving into developing tackle for other species as well.

It won't take you long to realize that Resee & Blake are just good folks - the kind of people you want to root for and who you want to see succeed.  They are on the right track and working hard to reach their goals.

I think listening to them will inspire you to keep reaching for your goals and to keep trying new things.  After all, you never know when your little idea might spark into a new business that changes your life.


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Fishing Business Podcast Episode 47 with Jake Rutledge, Inventor Chill-N-Reel

Have you ever thought you had a fantastic idea for a new product in the fishing, hunting or outdoors world.....or anywhere else for that matter? Today's guest had a great idea and he did more than think about it. He patented it, figured out how to manufacture it, and brought it to market. Jack Rutledge of Chill-N-Reel shares his story of the journey from concept to retail and it's a fascinating tale. If you've ever thought you would like to try to create a new product, or even if you're just interested in how in the world other people do it, this is a compelling conversation with a guy who has done it. And he is sharing all the nitty gritty details including the good, the bad, and the inspiring!


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Fishing Business Podcast Episode 45 with Jake Latendresse, Creator

Shooting photos and video in the fishing space can be intimidating.  You’ve got so much to work with…how do you separate yourself from all the hundreds of anglers out there taking pictures and video of themselves and others and filling our social channels with incredible content?

Jake Latendresse is a prolific creator who has traveled the world shooting photos and video. He’s also a seasoned cameraman on the Bassmaster Elite Series and has spent ten years around the very best in the business both in front of and behind the camera.

Today Jake is getting tactical baout how to get better at shooting photos and video in the fishing world.  He starts by talking about what branding is and how how you can brand yourself through your content and especially video.

Then he takes us through his process as a photographer and videographer to capture the right moments that help you tell your story or anyone else’s story.

We also talk about some anglers that are doing content really really well and what we can learn from them.  

 If you or someone around you wants to get better at storytelling through imagery, this podcast is for you!


Watch the Auburn University Bass Fishing Team's THE RECLAMATION SERIES


If you're starting out, don't forget how important it is to build you brand.  I can help you get started.

Download my free resource "Developing Your Personal Brand" at









Fishing Business Podcast Episode 43 with Jake Latendresse, Creator

 Jake Latendresse is one of the most gifted storytellers I know, and he tells his best stories visually. Jake runs a multimedia company called Latendresse Media Collective that produces extremely compelling outdoors content.

He's also a videographer for the Bassmaster Elite Series television show.

These days we all seem to find ourselves on video at one point or another, either through engaging with friends and followers on social media to build audiences or on television or YouTube. Some of us are comfortable in front of the camera and some of us have room to grow our talents there.

Who better to take advice from on how to get better on camera than a man who has spent the last ten years shooting video of professional anglers, TV show stars, and every other kind of video content? Jake shares very practical advice on how to be good on camera and his depth of understanding of storytelling allows him to frame this advice up in a way that will stay with you.

As Jake says on his company website - "Our fundamental ethos is: we do it for the story; because we know, everyone has a story."





LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE TO THE FISHING BUSINESS PODCAST and please share with your friends.

If you're starting out, don't forget how important it is to build you brand. I can help you get started. Download my free resource "Developing Your Personal Brand" at​










 #fishingpodcast #fishingsponsors​ #fishingbusiness​ #bassfishing​ #largemouthbass​ #smallmouthbass​ #tournamentfishing


Fishing Business Podcast Episode 42 with Rodney Clawson, Songwriter


Hoo boy! This one's going to be a real treat for y'all. My guest today might surprise you.

Rodney Clawson is a Nashville Songwriter and if you aren’t familiar with his name, I bet you are familiar with his songs. He's written some of the great songs we all know every word to BY HEART. And heart comes into this conversation a lot.

Rodney wrote songs like "Drunk on You" by Luke Bryan and "Take a Little Ride" by Jason Aldean. He wrote “Where I Come From” recorded by Montgomery Gentry and “Get Your Shine On” by Florida Georgia Line.

In 2012, Rodney had THREE #1 SONGS on country radio, with Blake Shelton’s “Drink On It”, Luke Bryan’s “Drunk On You” and Jason Aldean’s “Take A Little Ride”. THREE NUMBER ONE SONGS!

He co-wrote the groundbreaking Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw duet, “Feel Like A Rockstar”, which won the 2012 CMA Vocal Event of the Year.

He's had a song named Country Song of the Year and has been named Nashville Songwriters Association International’s Songwriter of the Year and BMI Songwriter of the Year.

Rodney has had TWENTY SIX number ones in his career so far.

That's just super, over the top, hugely successful in an industry in which it is extremely hard to succeed.

Now here’s where it gets good for us. Rodney's a really good fisherman and he’s tournament fished a good bit. So he gets us over here in the fishing world. He gets what it takes to be successful in a field where it seems like you could shoot to the top if you only got the right opportunity.

But it’s like Thomas Edison said…” Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Rodney understands how to work hard and how to never give up on himself. I want you to work hard and never give up on yourself. So listen to this one with an open heart. I bet you'll be inspired.

Follow Rodney here:

Follow Nicolle Galyon here:



Fishing Business Podcast Episode 40 with Courtney Nicolson of the Outdoor Channel

 Courtney Nicolson from the Outdoor Channel is the guest this week on the Fishing Business Podcast.

Courtney works for the Outdoor Sportsman Group which is a media group that owns the Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, and World Fishing Network which are all television networks. They also own In Fisherman and Saltwater Sportsman as well as a slew of hunting titles like North American Whitetail, Gun Dog, Petersen’s Hunting and Guns & Ammo magazines as well as many others.

Courtney is a creator and she creates in the outdoor space. If you are an outdoor content creator there aren’t many places you’d rather be than where she sits every day.

We talk to Courtney today about writing and creating and how to get your start in the outdoor business. You know how I always say we’re all in sales in one way or another? Well, we’re also all writers in one way or another – whether we are writing feature length stories for Garden and Gun Magazine or we’re writing the captions for our social media videos, we’re all writers.

So how does a city slicker who went to school at an art & design college in New York City become a creator at the biggest media group in the world creating content about the outdoors? That’s how we start our visit with Courtney this week.

Courtney shares her story about how she got the shot at working in outdoor television – a field where there aren’t a lot of jobs available. Her story is just very interesting… she’s been a video editor, a writer, and a social media manager for the network. She knows how to tell a story and she’s generous in sharing her knowledge including some very tactical advice on how to get a job in an outdoor field.

Follow Courtney here:​

Organizations mentioned in this episode: Sisterhood of the Outdoors​

Hunting Divas​

Meat Eater Podcast​

Three Gun Show podcast 

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 39 with Dave Pfeiffer, President of Shimano

Shimano makes some of the finest fishing gear on the planet and has a reputation for excellent engineering, scrupulous innovation and uncompromising performance. In other words, this is a brand known for excellence.
This week Dave Pfeiffer, President of Shimano North America Fishing, talks at length about why aspiring to excellence is so important if you want a career in the outdoors. Whether you are looking for a job at a fishing brand, or you're passionate about becoming a pro angler, or you want to be the next YouTube star, you will find that those who are excellent at what they do rise to the top.
I hope you're inspired by this conversation and that it sparks you to keep working hard to get better and better at what you do so you can achieve excellence as well.
Subscribe to my channel here

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 37 with Bill Jordan & Tyler Jordan of RealTree

What a treat we have this week! Bill and Tyler Jordan are guests on the podcast. They are the father/son duo that host RealTree Outdoors on the Outdoor Channel and who are the catalysts for success behind the iconic RealTree brand.
Bill founded RealTree in 1986 and led the company to become a powerhouse in the outdoors space. His camouflage patterns are a staple in the hunting world and the RealTree logo is an highly recognizable symbol of the outdoors lifestyle and passion.
The folks at RealTree are masters at business and marketing and have anchored their brand in content beginning with television programming and now with robust digital products in addition to many other smart marketing strategies. They understand at a very deep level how those of us who love the outdoors are usually more than just casual hobbyists.
In 2017 RealTree expanded into the fishing industry with the release of the RealTree fishing line of products. The Jordans saw that the connection of the of their consumers to the brand extended to those with a rod and reel in their hand instead of a gun or a bow. Every year they have grown the RealTree fishing presence in the sport. They have title rights to the Kayak Bass Fishing Challenge Series, and sponsor pros like Jacob Wheeler, Mark Daniels, Jr, Casey Ashley, Mark Rose, Andy Morgan and Stetson Blaylock among others.
If I haven't made it clear....these two gents are about as big a deal in the outdoor world as there is. Their story is inspiring and emblematic of American ingenuity and resourcefulness.
Listen to this with an open heart about how you can learn from Bill and Tyler Jordan. You won't regret one minute of time you invest in this podcast!
If you're starting out, don't forget how important it is to build you brand.
I can help you get started.
Download my free resource "Developing Your Personal Brand" at
Connect with me on social media!

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 35 How to Be a Winner Part 2

Deep, narrow, entertaining.
Catfish, high character, morality clauses.
Engagement and a bazillion followers.
We cover a lot of ground in Part 2 of our interview with John Skrabo, President of Lure Lock including all of the above and more.
John talks about how he would do things different if he started all over again on his career in the outdoors which includes not trying to be all things to all people. All the biggest brands in fishing are looking for content and he believes all of us can help create content.
He also tells us about how pro anglers fit into the Lure Lock strategy and what he looks for in anglers. Really compelling stuff here on the process of how endorsement deals are nurtured and developed.
One of my favorite parts of the conversation is about what kind of content he looks for too. You might be surprised at what qualifies as good content for him. The good news is…you can do the things he likes. He gives us a clinic on the basics of content creation.
This episode is just full of practical advice for anyone who wants a career in the fishing our outdoors industry. If you wonder how to find a fishing sponsor, here’s one telling you what he looks for. If you wish you could find a job in the outdoors, just about everything we talk about today can help you reach those goals.
John is a great friend and I hope by the time you are done listening to this, you will feel like he’s a friend of yours as well.
CONNECT WITH LURE LOCK​ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you're starting out, don't forget how important it is to build you brand. I can help you get started. Download my free resource "Developing Your Personal Brand" at​

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 33 How to Be a Winner With John Skrabo of Lure Lock

This week's guest is John Skrabo, President of Lure Lock, which makes tackle boxes with a gel bottom that holds and cradles fishing lures, hooks and terminal fishing tackle into a soft, safe environment. It's a new technology in a category that doesn't see a lot of new technology.
John has had a long career in the outdoors holding a variety of positions in both the hunting and fishing sides of the industry. He's worked for brands like Realtree, Pradco and Bad Boy Buggies. I met him when we both worked at B.A.S.S.
We're old friends and we have a lot of fun when we get together or talk. John is also an athlete and he knows how to win, which is a very important thing to know.
Not everybody gets this. Not everybody knows how to win. But John does and he shares some of that knowledge with us today.
CONNECT WITH LURE LOCK​ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you're starting out, don't forget how important it is to build you brand. I can help you get started. Download my free resource "Developing Your Personal Brand" at​

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 32 How to Work with Tournament Organizers with Kay Donaldson

Kay Donaldson is the guest on the Fishing Business Podcast this week and if you've never met Ms're in for a treat!

Kay runs the Alabama Bass Trail and she has a big personality, a true heart and a brain that's on overdrive all the time.  The girl is smart and knows her way around the fishing world. 

The Alabama Bass Trail is something special.  It was created by the state to showcase the premier bass lakes in the state which in and of itself is unique - that the state would recognize how special it is to have such fine fishing and then actually fund such a big program to promote that fishing.  

Kay is an angler's friend.  She understands the challenges of the business side of fishing and she has great insight into how to come up from local level competition to a state or regional trail.  

Plus she just has good ole plain Alabama good sense.  If you listen to this carefully, I can almost guarantee you will find tidbits that you can use to take your career to the next level.  

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 31 Deep Dive into High School Fishing

We continue our conversation with Tammy Foshee, President of Big Bite Baits about High School fishing. This week we talk more about how brands can work with student anglers.

Tammy was a coach and a pioneer of high school fishing in Alabama where she coached for 5 years and saw 18 of her student anglers go on to fish on college teams with many of those kids on scholarship.  One of her kids even won the College Championship in 2019.

We talk about how brands can activate around high school fishing and why this direct engagement with these young anglers is so important.

She also tells us how she uses her pro staff to engage with high school clubs and offers us insight into what kind of pros she likes to work with.

This is valuable time Tammy has spent with us and she is generous with her knowledge and insight.

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 30 Tammy Foshee with Big Bite Baits

Tammy Foshee is President of Big Bite Baits, a 20 year old fishing brand from Eufaula, Alabama. She has a brilliant business mind, is a smart marketer and has been very involved with high school fishing from its infancy.

Today on the podcast we get the chance to pick Tammy's brain about high school fishing and believe me, she knows her stuff y'all.

She was the coach of a high school team for 5 years that saw 18 anglers go on to fish on college teams with many of those kids on scholarship. One of her kids even won the College Championship in 2019.

We talk about her background and how her career led her to Big Bite Baits, her experience as a high school coach, and the qualities a brand looks for in high school anglers and teams they work with.

If you're on a high school team, or if you're a coach or considering coaching a high school team, this is a great resource for you.

And if you're looking at high school in the rear view and wishing there had been programs like this when you were in school, this is still a good resource because what Tammy talks about here applies to any angler.

Connect with Big Bite Baits






Fishing Business Podcast Episode 29 Luke Dunkin Part 2

 I think Luke Dunkin might be the Donald Trump of bass fishing because he says things that everyone else is thinking....but might not have the nerve to say. And he says a lot this week.

Luke tells us how the podcast evolved for him, and how he started out with one goal and ended up with something really different, which is something all of us can learn from. We don't want to be so narrowly focused on something that we miss another opportunity.

We also talk about how he got his first sponsor, why it's important to show your vulnerable side and how you have to KNOW who you're talking to when you're pitching yourself whether it's to a sponsor or a podcaster.

Listen to how Luke engages and tells stories. This is how you can be a good podcast guest. He is teaching here by example. He's real, he's authentic and he's interesting.

Connect with Luke Dunkin

Subscribe to my channel here

If you're starting out, don't forget how important it is to build you brand. I can help you get started.

Download my free resource "Developing Your Personal Brand" at





Fishing Business Podcast Episode 29 Luke Dunkin Part 2

 I think Luke Dunkin might be the Donald Trump of bass fishing because he says things that everyone else is thinking....but might not have the nerve to say. And he says a lot this week.

Luke tells us how the podcast evolved for him, and how he started out with one goal and ended up with something really different, which is something all of us can learn from. We don't want to be so narrowly focused on something that we miss another opportunity.

We also talk about how he got his first sponsor, why it's important to show your vulnerable side and how you have to KNOW who you're talking to when you're pitching yourself whether it's to a sponsor or a podcaster.

Listen to how Luke engages and tells stories. This is how you can be a good podcast guest. He is teaching here by example. He's real, he's authentic and he's interesting.

Connect with Luke Dunkin

Subscribe to my channel here

If you're starting out, don't forget how important it is to build you brand. I can help you get started.

Download my free resource "Developing Your Personal Brand" at






Fishing Business Podcast Episode 25

This week's show is about how to build a business or brand in the fishing industry with Ben Verner, the founder of HUK Performance Apparel and the founder of the new Critical Mass agency.

If you spend any time at all in the outdoors or fishing, you’ve noticed the HUK Performance Fishing brand of apparel.

The brand was launched in 2014 and in a very short period of time….like by the end of the fishing season in 2015….they were everywhere. It's safe to say they are fishing business experts. HUK's fishing prostaff was a who's who in the sport or professional fishing. Sponsorship and relationships were a huge part of the success of their launch.

The brand was created a couple of fishing business people who actually left Under Armour to create Marolina Outdoor the parent company of the Huk Performance Fishing brand, as well as Nomad Outdoor which is hunting apparel.

Today on the Fishing Business Podcast we’re lucky enough to get to spend some time with one of those founders of Huk Performance Fishing who also was the CEO – Ben Verner.

Ben grew Huk into a powerhouse and has now gone on to start a couple of other businesses including another apparel brand called Revolution, and also an agency called Critical Mass Brands, which helps bring outdoor products to market.

I challenge you to listen to this conversation with an open mind and everywhere Ben talks about a brand or a business, insert your name or your business instead. It’s like a master class on branding.

Think of how you can really learn from what Ben does and put it into action in your own business or life and turn your passion into a profitable business.

You can find Ben at:

If you're starting out, don't forget how important it is to build you brand. I can help you get started.

Download my free resource "Developing Your Personal Brand" at

Find me on social media.






Fishing Business Podcast Episode 24 with LeAnn & Gerald Swindle PART TWO!

In the second part of the interview with LeAnn and Gerald Swindle, we continue our conversation about what makes up good storytelling, the importance of saying yes ma'am and no ma'am, how a pro angler takes his responsibility as an influencer seriously and so much more.

I had a list of questions I wanted to ask, but the conversation just ntaurally flowed and I don't think I ever even looked at my list.

We even talk about their favorite social media accounts to follow and what music the Swindles are listening to these days.

Social media accounts mentioned in this episode: Samantha Morgan:

Levi Morgan:

Haley Wiggins:

Kay Donaldson:

Rut Daniels:

LeAnn Swindle:

Gerald Swindle:

The music the Swindles are listening to...

Cory Smith:

Tyler Childers:

Riley Green:

If you're starting out, don't forget how important it is to build you brand. I can help you get started.

Download my free resource "Developing Your Personal Brand" at


Find me on social media.






Fishing Business Podcast Episode 23 with LeAnn & Gerald Swindle

I’m super happy this week to be talking to two of my oldest  and dearest friends in the fishing industry – Gerald and LeAnn Swindle. 

 I’m sure most of you know of Gerald Swindle – he’s a top angler in the sport, known for his humor and passion.  In addition to being a great angler, Gerald is also a deep thinker, a truly caring human, and a true blue American original.

His wife LeAnn is just as good as it gets.  She’s got a huge heart, a smart head on her shoulders and the patience of  saint if you ask me!  Whew!  G Man is a handful!

But they have a great marriage and a great business partnership.

 LeAnn is Gerald’s Business Manager.  And his marketing director, and his accountant, and his chauffeur and and and….she just keeps all the plates in the air for him and she stays cool as the other side of the pillow while she does it.

I thought it would be valuable to you to hear about how they make their business relationship work. As you grow and become more and more successful, you will probably need a support system to help YOU keep all the plates in the air. This can be your wife or husband, your mom or dad,  your best friend, or even someone you hire to do the job. 

These two are so entertaining I think almost anyone would enjoy hearing this conversation, so if you have people in your life who don't understand our sport or why you want to do this....share this episode with them.  It might help them understand your passion.

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 21 with Dena Vick

Dena Vick is a Public Relations and Media expert who has a deep background in the fishing and marine world and has worked for many diverse entities in the outdoor space. She has also helped many anglers get and keep fishing sponsorships and find new fishing sponsorship opportunities.

This week we open a conversation with Dena about how PR and Media fit in the fishing business, in terms of brands and companies, and also how a company's national prostaff fits within a public relations or marketing campaign.

As you grow into your career and learn more about how to get fishing sponsorships you will eventually work with a Public Relations person and it's important to understand what they do and how they work.

A PR person can amplify YOUR brand image as they work with their brand clients and really amplify your fishing sponsorship opportunities so it's essential that you do everything you can to make their job as smooth and easy as possible.

And some of you listening may want to consider a career in Public Relations within the fishing industry. If you're a good communicator who loves the outdoors, this could be a perfect career path for you.

Something else that might help you is my free Guide to Working with the Media. Download it here.

How To Stand Out

The annual fishing trade show known as ICAST usually has over 600 exhibitors. That's 600 brands trying to outshout each other to get a consumer's attention. 

How does a brand cut through the clutter and stand out? How does an individual cut through the clutter and stand out? 

This week's guest knows how to do that.  

Chris Russell is Marketing Manager at Plano Synergy which is a company with several brands you would recognize including Plano and Frabill.  Plano, of course, is the iconic tackle box maker and Frabill, which is a fishing accessories brand that makes bait management equipment, nets and ice fishing gear.  He's also worked for such powerhouse brands as Shimano and Eagle Claw, so he’s got marketing chops, deep experience and a creative mind. 

Listen closely in this episode for ideas that you can use in your own brand building...there are lots of nuggets here.


How To Appeal to a Small Business

As entrepreneurs, we can learn a lot from other small business owners. This week's podcast might get you fired up to pursue your dreams and it will definitely teach you something about sponsor relationships.

David King of Mossback Fish Habitat founded his business to create products that help anglers provide habitat for fish and fry, but his business is more like a family, which is not uncommon in small companies.

Appealing to a business like his can be different than appealing to large enterprises in some ways, but no less critical to your success. A small business owner may be more accessible to connect with especially if they are located in your area and you have a personal connection with them. But their expectations of you will be no lower than others. Small business owners have invested their blood, sweat and tears into their companies so they partner with people who they can trust with their brand reputation. There's a lot at stake for them and understanding their mindset can help you appeal to them.

You can also learn so much from a fellow entrepreneur. David is emblematic of the entrepreneur's journey of having a passion for something and having the gumption to put your dreams into action.

You can see David's product here.

 David's social channels


How To Get a Job in the Fishing and Outdoor Industry

Looking for a job in the outdoors industry? Want a fishing job?

This week we introduce you to Jared Kutil, founder of which is a job board for the outdoors industry. Perfect asset for many of you who would like a job in the outdoors or fishing world. Jared shares tips with us on how his website works and how to get the most out of it in your job search.

He also gives us his best advice on how to be put your best foot forward in the job seeking process and how to make a great first impression. Be sure to listen until the very end because Jared throws out some nuggets in the last 5 minutes that you don't want to miss.

Mentioned in this episode: Outdoor Occupations

Jared's favorite recent podcast about Gary Loomis, who founded Loomis Rods.


How to Write for your Partners

In 2019, 17% of the U.S. population, ages 6 and up, went fishing at least once. That’s 50.1 milllion people. And that number represents the highest participation rate since 2007.

I give credit for a lot of that growth to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and it’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Stephanie Vatalaro. The RBFF's mission is to increase the growth of boating and fishing and they are very effective at what they do.

You may recognize them as or Vamos a Pescar, two of their consumer facing brands.

This week's conversation with Stephanie covers a lot or ground including how to write for your partners and sponsors.


Fishing Business Podcast Episode 12 with Bobby Dennis

Bobby Dennis might be the most famous guy in the fishing business you’ve never heard of before.

When I interviewed Bobby for the podcast, I really and truly thought he was a lure designer. But he’s more than that. He’s the guy that can make a lure better and then convince the buyer for the major retailer that they need this lure on a peg in their store.

As Steve Bowman said, he’s a person that can take a stick, screw some hooks on it, blow some fairy dust on it and folks would stand in line to buy it.

Rick Clunn says Bobby can evaluate lure design from a sales point of view better more than anyone in the fishing industry. Rick also says there’s nobody that knows more about the fishing business & history than Bobby Dennis.

He’s an incredible source of knowledge about the history of the lure business.

We’re lucky we got an hour of his time. Bobby has shepherded many baits to market in his career. If you're an aspiring pro angler you probably dream of having your own signature line of baits one day. And this is a story you should listen to.

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 11 with Neil Paul

If you are an aspiring pro angler, chances are you live near a good bass fishing lake. And if you live near a good bass fishing lake there is a tourism department somewhere on that lake that is trying to attract visitors to the area. That tourism agency is a great potential partner. Our guest on the Fishing Business Podcast today is Neil Paul - the Executive Director of Visit Anderson South Carolina. Anderson, SC is on Lake Hartwell and Neil does a fabulous job of promoting fishing on Hartwell. He's a key player in putting together the deals that have brought the Bassmaster Classic to Greenville, SC in a unique partnership with Anderson. Neil’s an avid angler and he has impactful partnerships with pro anglers Brandon Cobb and Brian Lattimer. He has a deep knowledge of fishing tourism and he’s gracious enough to share some of that knowledge with us today. We're talking fishing tourism today y'all and it's a big deal.

Don't forget to download my free workbook "How to Develop Your Personal Brand"  here.

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 10 with Rick Clunn

Rick Clunn could be the GOAT in fishing.  He is to me.  The Greatest Of All Time.  He's been fishing since the 70's and he is still winning.  He won a Bassmaster Elite Series event in 2019 on the St John's River in Florida. 

Rick is known for his mental toughness and that is a skill that we all need to cultivate, hone and pay careful attention to developing. In today's show, Rick talks about what mental toughness really means and how you can work at getting better at it. 

We also dive deep into passion and how it can drive you forward to your goals.  Even though Rick is mostly talking about these things as they relate to being highly competitive in tournament fishing, these qualities also relate directly back to the business side of fishing as well.  Big time.  

Listen to this episode as if you are listening to the wise shaman of the tribe...because you are.  Stay open at the top and think about how you can take what we discuss here and apply it to all aspects of your life - from competition to business to your personal life. 

This is a good one, y'all. 

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 9  How Non-Endemic Brands work with Anglers

It sounds kind of simplistic to say but Toyota is one of the best brands in the world. Our guest today, Matt Ozawa, is one of the best marketers at Toyota.

Matt is the Engagement Marketing Manager at Toyota Motor North America so he is responsible for Toyota’s involvement in bass fishing, the Stagecoach music festival and the Dew Tour among others.

Here's the thing. We can all learn from the best of the best no matter what they do. This podcast is loaded with nuggets from Matt that can be applied to our own marketing, whether we are marketing a product or our own personal brand.

We break down what experiential marketing really means, what brands look for in athlete partners, how brand culture affects their relationships with the personalities and properties with whom they partner.

Listen to this conversation with an open heart to learn from someone who is among the best at what they do. Think about how you can take the concepts we discuss and put them into play in your business. Try to distill this information into concepts you can develop for your own partners.  This is a great opportunity to grow and learn from the best.

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 8 with Jim Sexton from B.A.S.S.

Digital advertising will account for 53% of ALL the advertising dollars spent in 2020. Worldwide, digital advertising will likely hit $336 billion. That’s a lot of zeroes. So it’s no wonder that everybody seems to be trying to figure out how to create more content. After all, content is necessary for digital advertising. If you don’t have digital content, you don’t have a place to run ads.

Jim Sexton might be the foremost expert on digital content in the fishing industry. That's because he runs all of the digital platforms for B.A.S.S. which is the largest media platform in the bass fishing industry. 

Great information here and I've also put together a free resource for you to download that puts everything you will learn today together for you.  You can find the Fishing Business School's Guide to Working with the Media at

Download this free guide and let us know what you think.

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 7 with Melinda Mize from Huk

Melinda Mize has worked in marketing at Pradco (Rebel, Booyah, Bomber, Yum and other brands), Costa Del Mar sunglasses and Huk Performance Apparel. She's also a tournament angler whose father AND mother are tournament anglers.  

You might think she had the golden ticket to work in the outdoors industry, but she got in the door the old fashioned way - through networking. Today Melinda take us through her journey to get started in the fishing industry and shares her best tips for how you can do it too. 

3 Angie T's Keys you will hear in this episode are:

- Go to where the brands are in order to meet the right contacts
- Be willing work hard and have a great attitude
- Know your strengths and play to those strengths

This is an insightful conversation about fishing sponsors and fishing sponsorships but will also help anyone looking to get a job in the fishing industry. 

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 6 with Dan Quinn from Rapala

Dan Quinn manages the pro staff of Rapala - an iconic fishing lure brand that is known for it's relationship with its pro staff, its customers and its partners. Dan dives deep on what's important with his pro staff and how anglers can find their way as sponsored pros.

Three key takeaways from the conversation:

- It’s all about relationships. Dan says relationships are the foundation of the fishing industry. And I agree with that, but will take it a step further to say, ALL business is all about relationships. All SUCCESSFUL businesses are all about relationships.

Think about it. What’s your favorite restaurant, your go to spot? It might not be all about the food, in fact I bet it’s your favorite because the servers are nice to you, and the manager comes over to say hello and check on you. What about your car dealer? The woman who cuts your hair. You make so many choices as a consumer because of relationships.

And Dan has a true relationship with his pro staff, and his pro staff has a relationship with their fans and followers. Take a look at the Rapala pro staff and think about whether you feel an affinity for any of these folks….like you feel like you might know them personally.

- People don’t want to be told what to buy. A hard sell usually doesn’t work. People want to naturally curious about a product or they want to believe someone when they tell them it’s a good product. It’s the Know, Like and Trust factor again, y’all. People need to KNOW you, so they can LIKE you, and then they will TRUST you.

-Start on the first rung of the ladder and don’t think about skipping a rung. Start small, learn how to fish really well, start some relationships in your area and grow from there. Hone your craft of catching bass…..but also hone the craft of marketing!

Which is what we’re doing here on the Fishing Business Podcast.

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 5 with YouTube Fishing Instructor Jonny Schultz

Jonny Schultz has been involved in the fishing business for 17 years. He has a network of marketing executives at some of the top brand in fishing and a huge fanbase.  So it might surprise you that he is only 25 years old and he’s NOT a professional tournament angler.

 Jonny won the Bassmaster Casting Kids competition at the 2003 Bassmaster Classic in New Orleans when he was 8 years old which ignited his dream to one day fish for a living.  He went to every Classic thereafter, started fishing clubs in high school and college and after graduating the University of Arkansas with honors, he was accepted into the prestigious Sam Walton College of Business.  After college he went to work for Nestle and Neilsen and was on the fast track for upper management.  But Jonny had other plans.

After nurturing a YouTube channel for several years and building a devoted audience, Jonny quit the corporate world and is now a full time Fishing Instructor online.  His channel has over 60,000 sunscribers and his videos get up to 170,000 views. 

In this episode, Jonny tells us how he fulfilled his dream of “fishing for a living” and gives us some great advice about how to build an audience on YouTube.

Jonny and I have put together a free download for Fishing Business Podcast listeners that gives you our top tips and favorite tools for producing video.  You can find that downlod here

Or here

And you can see Jonny’s YouTube content here

Subscribe to Jonny’s channel and leave a comment letting him know you heard him on the podcast! 


Fishing Business Podcast Episode 4 with Jeff Kolodzinski of Johnson Outdoors 

Jeff "Kolo" Kolodzinski is the brand manager at Johnson Outdoors, taking care of iconic fishing brands Humminbird, Minnkota and Canon. His unique take on marketing and relationship building will inspire you to do better in business and in life.

We talk about why he's known as the Marathon Man, why the outdoors industry is the ever best category in which to work, and how the average angler can watch a killer, a goat and a old dog & how they handle themselves in order to learn to be better marketers.

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 3 with Michelle Kilburn of Mercury Marine

This woman y'all! She's an amazing marketing professional and an absolute expert in the fishing business. I think you will love this conversation with Michelle Kilburn, where she talks about how one of the biggest brands in fishing develops their fishing pro staff and manages their marketing message across over 2000 members of their pro staff.

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 2 with Dave Ittner of Yamaha Outboards

Listen in on an insightful conversation with David Ittner of Yamaha Outboards. Dave was the Pro Staff Manager for the outboard engine company for 12 years before recently being promoted into a Fleet Logistics role, which still keeps him connected to the fishing pro staff and sponsorship operations.

Dave is a wealth of knowledge on fishing sponsorship and the insights he shares can help anyone looking for a job in the outdoor industry or professional anglers hoping to improve their sponsor relationships. Dave talks about what he looks for in anglers to add to his pro team, what his dream angler does on stage for the brand, the importance of the angler's brand identity and how pros help humanize big brands.

This is a primer on fishing sponsorship from a seasoned pro and a smart marketer in the fishing world.

Fishing Business Podcast Episode 1

On the very first episode of the Fishing Business Podcast, we were lucky enough to talk Keith Daffron into giving us some of his time.  Keith is the president of Vexus Boats and he, along with his team, are some of the best marketers in fishing.  Not to mention they are some of the best PEOPLE in fishing.  

Keith talks about a variety of things here including what he thinks it takes to get started in the fishing business and how story telling is so important in brand building. 

Learn about the business of fishing

My goal with the Fishing Business Podcast is to give you more insight into the business of fishing and how the business works.  I will be featuring interviews with the movers and shakers of the fishing business as well as some practical advice from my 30 years in the fishing business. 

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