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As I write this blog I can’t believe it is almost time for another season to start on the FLW Tour. Shortly after the New Year I’ll be making the trek to Okeechobee for the Everstart and FLW Tour events. I love starting off the year in Florida, the surrounding community welcomes us and revolves around tournament fishing and it is always nice starting off the year in shorts and flip flops.
The one thing that’ll be different next year is Alabama won’t be playing for a National Championship during my trip down south, but another team from Alabama will be representing the state on the national scale. The last month has been extremely busy but I did get some time to watch some college football. How great was the Iron Bowl? Although the Tide lost, it’ll still go down in history as one of the best final winning moments - ranking right up there with the Doug Flutie Hail Mary and the Cal/Stanford game where the Stanford band was storming the field in the final seconds.
This past month has been a lot of off the water work as I just got back from Chattanooga Fish N Fun and picked up my 2014 Ranger Z520C with an awesome new Evinrude E-TEC and I absolutely love it. I’ve also been working hard this month on obtaining sponsors for the upcoming season and things are starting to come together. Although I’ve secured some good sponsors that are back on board for 2014, I am still looking for a wrap for the boat next year. One of the new sponsors I’ve picked up is Duckett Fishing. I have always been a fan of their rods and with them moving their headquarters to Guntersville just down the road it is a perfect fit for the both of us.
I have got on the water some and the bite has been hit or miss on Guntersville but I have had the opportunity to try some new rods, techniques and I have been messing around with some prototype lures that I think will be a big hit next year. Speaking of fishing I spent about 10 days down in Panama City, Fla., working on getting my captain’s license at Sea School and will be offering instructional trips on both Lake Guntersville and also Lake St. Clair, Mich., in 2014. I am planning on visiting my family back in Canada for a week during Christmas and might even get to do some ice fishing, I love bass fishing but there is something about waking up in the freezing cold, catching a bunch of yellow perch and eating them for dinner that night. I know it sounds crazy but until you’ve actually been ice fishing it is tough to describe how much fun it really is.
Looking at the calendar recently I realized it has been almost three years to the day that I left the automotive industry as an electrical engineer and can’t believe what a ride it has been. When the plant shut down it was my goal to try to make a living outside the automotive industry I’ve been fortunate to do that fishing tournaments with FLW and have been truly blessed to have had the opportunities that were afforded to me because of fishing. In the past three years I have made some great friends from my days as a co-angler to fishing as a professional. It has been a hectic three years having fished 20 FLW Tour events, 16 EverStarts and 15 BFLs but it has been a great experience.
I know there are others debating following their dreams and I am glad I was blessed to be able to chase mine. Another great thing that has come along in the past three years is how social media with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube can connect us with fans of the sport and most pros are one only click away from connecting with them. I know some anglers have marketing managers or social media experts that run their pages for them but I have always been a believer of running them myself so when you send a message to Casey Martin Fishing or @CaMartfishing on Twitter you are connecting directly with me.
Speaking of social media, the exposure I received from the online reality series Circuit Breaker was awesome and I met some great friends along the way. It was really cool to have my first season as a pro documented especially to be able to go back and watch the win on Lake Chickamauga. At the beginning of the year I wasn’t exactly sure how it would turn out or what to expect but I think they captured the ins and outs of what a touring pro goes through. The sport is definitely evolving with social media and I look forward to what the future brings. The next few days will be spent organizing tackle and making sure I have everything I need for the 2014 EverStarts and FLW Tour events.
Until next time, Casey.