At 37 years old, Ben Parker is finally ready to give fishing full time a shot. Although, it seems like he has been at it since he was a boy growing up in Denver, N.C. You see, Parker is the son of the legendary fishing icon Hank Parker so to say fishing is in his blood would be an understatement.
Parker now resides just up the road in Mooresville, N.C., and is gearing up to fish all three events of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division. He has spent most of his time fishing local derbies but now feels it is time to make the transition.
“I absolutely love the schedule of the Northern Division of the FLW Series,” said Parker. “I really enjoy the family environment of FLW and I knew that it was the right place to start my career in tournament fishing because it feels like home.”
It’s not shocking by any means that Parker is drawn towards his father’s footsteps. He has spent the majority of his life fully submersed in the fishing industry.
“I learned so much from being with my dad on his TV show when I was a kid,” recalled Parker. “I basically grew up fishing on the program, I even helped co-host it a few times. I got to meet so many great people growing up, from Michael Jordan to Bill Dance and it was so cool seeing their passion for fishing. I still keep in touch with some of the people that I’d met and that whole experience really helped me learn about the industry. My dad throughout my life has also taught me to understand life challenges both on and off the water which has made a big difference for me.
“Of course my dad has been a huge factor in me learning what I know, but the other mentor I owe a lot to is Poss Drum. He is one of the best fishermen I know and has coached and trained me to get where I am today.”
When he turned 22, Parker began working for his dad traveling around and helping with the show. After working that gig for five years he made a move landing a job as an outdoor sales representative, which he has done up to this point. Parker has spent the last year fishing as much as he could to prepare for the Rayovac FLW Series.
“I have always wanted to fish (tournaments) full time. I love being competitive. My grass roots are in fishing local tournaments and I still want to be involved with them. But now I want to take it to the next level. Ultimately I want to be able to fish the FLW Tour, but time will tell for that.”
As he readies for the 2014 season, Parker is still on the hunt for sponsor opportunities. He is receiving some help from his family but says he is keeping an open mind.
Parker does some part-time guide work on Lake Norman for bass, stripers, perch and crappie.
His strengths on the water involve anything with a jig but is very comfortable in any situation.
Parker is in the process of finishing up his website and charity which will be launched soon. To stay in touch with Parker you can email him at email@example.com or follow him on his Facebook page by clicking here.