Ish Monroe, 2-time B.A.S.S champion, and 7-time Bassmaster Classic Qualifier, spoke about “preparing for the biggest event of your life”, recounting his experiences, and admonishing FPT anglers on how not to let the pressures of a “big event” get inside their heads.
Next came the west’s all-time money leader Gary Dobyns, a legendary angler with over 2 million dollars in career earnings to his credit. His advice about finding a “championship” bag of fish on Oroville was brief but found its mark, as he summarily turned his subject from tournament strategies, to one that gave a personal acknowledgment to those that helped him at the start of his career, and about how he wanted to be part of helping others get started with theirs.
And it is a good bet that an overwhelming majority of the seventy three qualifying anglers in attendance at that classic celebration dinner found themselves speechless as Gary announced that he was appointing five Future Pro Tour anglers to his Dobyns Rods promotional staff.
John Gann, Jim Markham, Paul Parks, Wayne Antoine, and Don Petty, veteran FPT anglers from both the small and big boat divisions, were all astonished to find out that they had been selected to be part of an elite promotional team that would help get the word out about one of the best bassfishing rods on the market.
“These are guys that I have the utmost confidence and respect for”, stated Gary. They fish in an organization I personally believe in, have the opportunity to compete against a large field of good anglers, while presenting the benefits of our rod to tons of grass root level anglers. It’s a “win-win” situation for everyone”.
Even now, as the Future Pro Tour season gets ready to launch it’s season opener March 22nd on Lake Berryessa, for these guys, the glow and excitement of being a Dobyns Rod promotional staff team member still resonates with all of them and had been a big source of inspiration as they approach the new tournament season.
“We can’t tell you what it means to be part of this promotional team”, commented Jim Markham and Paul Parks, who as a team, have qualified for the last four Future Pro Tour Classic championships. Being part a promotional staff, and working with Gary to help promote a product we use and completely believe in makes this task an easy one”, they added.
John Gann from Redding California, was just as pleased to be part of the promotional team and welcomes the opportunity to work with Gary in spreading the good word about the effectiveness and craftsmanship of Dobyns Rods. “As person who has made jigs for retail customers for over 25 years (Gann’s Jigs), I know what it means to set quality standards, and I know I can communicate the quality of these rods to other anglers both on and off the water”. And for throwing jigs...there’s not a better rod made”, he added confidently.
Wayne Antione, 2005 Future Pro Tour Classic winner and former president of bay area bass club B.A.N.C. (Bass Anglers of Northern California), expressed his excitement in getting the product out to club level anglers, many of which who don’t fully understand the importance of good rod selection. “I’m just an everyday fisherman”, stated Wayne. And when I buy rods, I get the best that I can afford. These rods are not cheap, but I am convinced that when those anglers new to the sport try one, they will make a way to ensure that they have a least one of these high-quality rods in their tackle arsenal”.
“It ain’t about the boat…it’s about the skill of the angler”, stated promotional staff member Don Petty, who won the 2007 Angler of the Year title in the FPT’s small boat division. My partner (Kenny King) and I fished all year in the small boat division and did very well for ourselves using Dobyns Rods – even before this assignment to the promotional staff. Promoting this product will be as natural for me as throwing a spinnerbait into submerged timber!”, he added playfully.
So there it is…five amateur level anglers all given the opportunity to work with one of the west’s legendary anglers to help promote and build a product they all use and believe in. It doesn’t get any better than that!
We want to wish all of these guys the best as they get their “feet wet” and take the journey into the world of promotions, as I am convinced they will all find their stride and do extremely well.
And you never know….Gary just might plan to add more Future Pro Tour anglers to the promotional staff for 2009!
See you all on the water!
President/Director, Future Pro Tour Tournament Trails
3117 Merrywood Dr.
Sacramento Ca, 95825