TOM ROWLAND PODCAST
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On sponsorship: “As anglers, if you want to make a living as a pro-angler, you have to be in the mindset that you’re an ambassador. You’re not a tournament angler; they’re paying you to be an ambassador for the sport.”
- Miles Burghoff
Miles Burghoff is a College Bass Fishing Champion, traveling professional bass fisherman, and co-host of Sweetwater, a show dedicated to freshwater fishing. I have worked with Miles for several years and enjoy talking with him. I have been a guest on Sweetwater as I took the boys fishing for big redfish in Venice, LA and fished with Joey and Miles.
One of the challenges both Miles and I have faced is learning about sponsorship and becoming sponsored. Miles and I both agreed that sponsorship isn’t about the amount of tournaments an angler wins, but rather the ones that are connecting with their audiences. This can include talking to fans, giving free or paid seminars, and really reaching out to promote their love of fishing. With “being a professional angler, anglers are the only real platform for other anglers to be interested in” (Burghoff), so it’s easy to attract anglers with your sponsored brand, but genuinely, it is important to be an ambassador for the sport.
We also discussed what it’s like to be hosting our shows Saltwater Experience and Sweetwater. When filming, the key is to covering one fish really well versus catching a lot of fish. One of our favorite aspects in the show is having producers who aren’t fishermen, but are true professionals at their job in film. The producers are able to find the art in the fishing, and truly make our TV shows captivating to our audiences. Miles believes that from his experience with Sweetwater, he has become a more intuitive angler from observing his surroundings and learning his strengths.
Miles still competes in fishing tournaments today and says it continuously makes him a better angler. With time restrictions, and rules such as types of tackle and using live bait, it becomes a humbling situation to have the same result come from different approaches.
Over the years, Miles has trusted his own instincts when it comes to fishing, especially when it comes to listening to what your gut tells you. The best fishing is to be fishing in the moment, rather than worrying about everything else outside of the present moment. Another key to fishing is to acquire a strength in your fishing technique, but to keep practicing on your weaknesses so they can become your strengths as well.
See you on the water,
- Tom Rowland