Linden , NC
Competition Team: A
2020 National Standings
2020 Division Point Standings
2020 Service Team Standings (American Fishing Tour Only)
2020 Tournament Results
What Truck, Boat and Outboard does Steven run?
Triton 21 TRX Patriot Elite, Mercury Pro XS 250, Dodge Ram 2500 Crew Cab
I have been lucky to have sponsors in the past, however, as an Army officer deployments overseas, to include Iraq and Afghanistan, have cost me sponsors and missed tournaments and championships. I am lucky to have friends who are Elite Series Pros who take the time to help me. I also am on the field staff with Morgan McCain of McCain Fishing and as a Coalition Pro with Army Bass Anglers. Army Bass Anglers is a great organization and they are affilitted with several organizations that help Soldiers and thier familes. I am hoping that with my retirement and more time to devote to fishing I will be able to help more companies sell thier products and in return pick up sponsors to help me fish.
What Steven does for a living:
I am currently an Army Special Forces officer of 26 years stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. I will be retiring next year in order to pursue a career opportunity within the fishing industry. Are you hiring? Laughing!
What you should know about Steven:
For all the money I spend and time I devote to fishing you would think I would have already won a Bassmaster Classic...laughing! I do love fishing and I am always excited to learn more about the sport from other anglers, magazines and even bad tournament days!
How Steven started fishing
My grandfather used to take me to our fishing cabin on the St. Lawerence River. We used to always have a 5$ entry fee for biggest fish over the weekend. One time, I beat everyone else in our family and actually won! It was the easiest money I ever made and I was hooked!
Aspirations or goals with fishing
After retiring from the Army, I would love to become a more successful tournament angler and find a job in the industry. I also want to find more time to support military anglers, wounded warriors and take a youngster fishing.
Favorite way to fish
Topwater of course! I hate fishing slow so its always going to be a technique that lets me cover water quickly.
Most exciting fishing experience
My daughter was 10 years old and we were fishing a lake close to our house that was loaded with Crappie. One day, we were in the magic school and she began catching fish. Over 100 fish later and all her laughter it made for my best day on the water; and as the song says, she thought we were just fishing!
How Steven preps for a tournament
I do what most other anglers do, pre-practice, internet searches, review past trips to the lake, talk to some trusted anglers and prep my gear and boat and pray of course!
Three favorite search baits
Splash-it, a Lucky Craft shallow crank bait, and a bladed jig!
Best tournament finish and what you did that day when you were fishing.
I actually won,....a tournament that is! Laughing,. I was fishing a military tournament from Fort Bragg, NC that consisted of around 150 anglers most of whom were my friends. More important than the derby money was the bragging rights that would come with a win. I went through two boats that year because I kept having engine problems and so I had taken a lot of ribbing from my friends. However, once the tournament started everything came together. I had a limit within 15 minutes and had over 21lbs by the end of the day. The satisfaction of doing well in front of my friends and listening to everyone at work talk about it for the next week was the ultimate vindication over my boat mishaps...Laughing.
Most challenging part of tournament fishing
For me, its finding fish once they move offshore. Finding offshore fish and structure is the hardest thing in fishing to me. I continue to put time in learning my electronics but even when I think I have everything right it seems I still have trouble getting fish to bite. This is where I have to improve and ultimately increase my confidence. I find comfort in the words of James Niggemeyer, a professional angler and friend of mine, who once told me that in most any tournament there will always be winning fish up shallow. I have never forgot that.
When tournaments don't go my way
Being a Type A kind of guy in a very demanding profession competition and the drive to excel forms a basis of who I am and what I have devoted my life too. No matter which kind of zen techniques I try (laughing) or hugs from my daughter it always stings when I finish less that where I had hoped. I learned a long time ago that life is about experiences and those come in two different flavors, good and bad, I try to always learn something, reflect on the decisions I made and actions I took and ultimately use the disappointment to feed my desire to excel in the next event. in life there will always be setbacks but a man who would face life and death setbacks following in the footsteps of Moses was told time and time again by our ultimate cheerleader to "Fear Not!". So thats what i try and do.
Advice to give to an aspiring tournament angler:
This is a humbling question for someone that is not a professional angler, however, I would say don't base your ability or success in the sport on winning and losing, but instead on consistency. I think I read somewhere that Kevin VanDam, the most successful angler in history, only won less than 10% of the events that he entered. When you look at it that way its his consistency in competiton that makes him such a dominating force. Even in local club fishing, consistency can provide you the respect, recognition, and still small voice to silence your doubts when things arent going your way. Consistency lasts a lot longer than any single win! Still, it is always nice to hear your name yelled out with the winning weight!
Some shared general bass fishing techniques for people just getting into the sport
I would say there is more to fishing than a bobber and worm, yet at the end of the day it really doesnt matter, from the bank or a $70K boat, its always fun when you catch a head on one end, tail on the other and wiggle in the middle! Laughing! Take a kid fishing!