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Interview with Maryland's FLW Pro Melvin Smitson
Melvin Smitson is an up and coming pro from Maryland. He fishes the FLW and recently was invited to be part of the selective FLW Nationals. Melvin has a long list of sponsors with Zeko Shoes as his 2016 Title Sponsor. Melvin took some time to discuss tournament fishing with us as well as a few techniques for fishing his favorite body of water, the Potomac River.
GFN: First of all, congratulations on making the FLW Nationals. What does that achievement mean to you?
I'm incredibly honored that I received a TOUR invitational letter from such a 1st class origination like FLW and I encourage anyone that received this letter to fish if they can. Both FLW TOUR Invitational tournaments represent outstanding opportunities to advance your bass fishing career win, lose or draw. If I'm fortunate enough to fish one or both of these tournaments I will be looking to make a name for myself on and off the water. With television coverage, TV interviews, radio interviews, video interviews, podcast interviews, newspaper interviews, magazine interviews, website interviews, social media postings and blog interviews just like this one here at GoFishingNow.com. Who knows what all of the increased exposure on the highest level of the sport could mean for your bass fishing career but one thing is for sure...you will never know if you don't get yourself out there and try to make it happen. Follow your dreams...
GFN: How long have you been a professional fisherman?
I started fishing as a Co-Angler with FLW in 2007 and turned into a professional FLW angler in 2012.
GFN: What was your most memorable tournament?
My most memorable tournament probably would be the 2011 FLW TOUR OPEN Potomac River tournament that I finished 23rd place as Co - Angler in. That tournament gave me the confidence and the drive to someday compete on the FLW TOUR level as a pro. It also led to my first boat purchase the following season, 2012, so that I could control my own destiny.
GFN: There are a lot of fishermen and fisherwomen out there trying to get sponsorships. What has been your key to getting sponsors? And what do you recommend to those approaching companies for sponsorship?
My biggest key to attracting sponsors is having an active website, blog and multiple social media channels online. Any angler seeking sponsorship should have a bass fishing resume and a clear game plan on how they plan on promoting each company they apply for sponsorship with.
GFN: While there have been notable exceptions, in the past, like Dave Lefebre and Mike Iaconelli, there is only one angler from the Mid-Atlantic or Northeastern part of the US (Jacob Powroznik) covered by GoFishingNow.com on the BassFan Top 25 World Rankings. Why do you think it is so difficult for pro anglers from our part of the US and Eastern Canada to break through at the upper levels of the sport?
Yes, it has been difficult to break through to the top levels of the sport from the northeast in the past. However, I see that gap closing between northeast anglers and southern anglers in the coming years. The three main factors behind the recent up tick for northeast popularity are the increased number of major tournaments in the northeast, social media growth for individual anglers out of the northeast and a growing pool of potential sponsors from the northeast.
GFN: What are conditions that you feel you have an advantage being from the Northeast?
Weather conditions and the ability to adjust to different fishing situations on the fly.
GFN: You bio lists your favorite technique as whacky worm. Why do you like this technique so much?
I like the wacky worm technique the best because it is a very versatile technique. You can fish it deep, fish it shallow, fish it in the thicket grass or skip it a mile under docks and hard to reach places. Big fish love it.
GFN: Your favorite body of water is the Potomac River. Why is it your favorite?
I grew up fishing tidal rivers on eastern shore of Maryland.
Potomac river has elements of each of those rivers but has bigger fish.
GFN: For someone not familiar with fishing the Potomac, what 3 pieces of advice do you have to be productive on the River?
Learn to fish the tides. Know which type of grass is holding the fish. Use navigation units to find hidden structures that hold less pressured fish.
GFN: Thank you Melivn and we wish you the best of luck breaking through. We will be rooting for your. To follow Melvin's success, visit MelvinSmitson.com and follow him on Social Media.