BassWestUSA - January/February, 2010, Page 52

til you can prove to people that you can go out and catch the fish, do the job and help them promote and sell product, they’re not going to take a big chance and give you a contract. But, it is a great way to get your foot in the door.” There’s no question that over the last two years, the economics of fishing have become increasingly tight. Even so, in the eyes of Denny Brauer, it’s still a trade-off from the “good ole’ days.” “It’s probably easier to make a living nowadays if you’re talented. I don’t think you can get away from that word no matter when you start- ed. When I first started in 1980, first place was a $5,000 Ranger boat and $5,000 cash. And the entry fee was something like 200 bucks. In 1984, I won my first BASS event. I think it paid $28,000. So you can see once TV started to get in- volved; they got involved in 1984, there was growth of the purses.” Although the playing field was smaller 35+ years ago, there were plenty of fresh trails to blaze. Roland Martin was a teach- er, army officer, writer and photographer, but he confesses, “Fishing was my love. I was one of Ray Scott’s poster children. I saw that springboard of opportunity. I couldn’t pass that up. I just kind of ran with Ray, and with that came the television and the film work.”

Scott Martin and Roland Martin

» a compeTiTive

Having a father who is recognized throughout the fishing world can be a dou- ble-edged sword. The good news is that name recognition attracts public interest

edge?

and opens doors with sponsors. The bad news is that competitors sometimes take extra delight in beating a well-known last name and the rumor mill gets more mile- age out of fame than anonymity. Although things have changed since he’s established himself as a pro, 28-year old Richard Dobyns found that when he began, anything short of victory was often met with negativity. “When I first started fishing as a pro, if I had a bad tournament, guys would say, ‘What happened? Your dad didn’t tell you where they are? You’re Gary Dobyns’ son, you shouldn’t have bad tournaments. You must not be that good of a fisherman.’ There are still guys out

Gary Dobyns and Richard Dobyns

there who want to beat you because you’re Gary Dobyns’ son. It’s kind of a self-satis- faction they get if they beat a Dobyns.” Gary also noticed that, early on, oth- ers took extra enjoyment by besting Rich- ard or didn’t give him his due when he suc- ceeded. Time has changed that, however. “At first, guys said things, but not anymore. The other guys who have fished with him know what a good fisherman he is.” Troy Lindner has discovered a certain humor in how others perceive him. “My co-anglers probably expect me to be on big bites that in a lot of tournaments I haven’t been on. Going into the tournament, they think, ‘Oh, he’s the son, he’s got to be on fish,’ which isn’t always the case. I’ve also heard rumors that my dad gave me some baits and told me where to go and what to do. It was funny be- cause it was a lake that he’d never even been on.” Thirty-four year old Scott Mar- tin has won three FLW tournaments, fished in nine FLW Tour champion- ships, is married to an attractive wife and has four healthy children. “I love my life,” he states, “and wouldn’t want to change anything or not be the son of a famous fisherman.” His very suc- cess, though, has at times stoked the fires of the gossip mills. “Sometimes I’ve heard com- ments that are jealous or said in a spiteful way, and it hurts. Some peo- ple think my dad can do anything in- cluding putting a fish on my hook. I’m the one making the decisions. I work hard and want to be successful at what- ever I’m doing.”

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January/February 2010

Photo by FLW Outdoors

Photo by FLWoutdoors and Bassmaster com