UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

A Creative Approach to Quarterly Report Writing

Here is an adage from the world of professional fishing: "Getting a sponsor is easy, keeping a sponsor is hard."

In the business world, anglers seeking sponsorship have a difficult challenge: they must prove to companies that their presence in the marketplace has value.

The initial sell is the easy part. Anglers go before companies asking for money with promises of product promotion, exposure, and market impact. Thoughts of increased market share excite companies, so they sign the angler on.

But unfortunately for anglers, companies have profit and loss statements. After paying an angler for some period of time, a successful business entity wants to see exactly how expenditures on the pro staff helped market share. Pro staff programs that show no added value go to the chopping block. Which is exactly why keeping a sponsor is the hard part.

The specific problem in proving added value is measuring, in a quantifiable way, the influence a promotional angler has on the public's purchasing decisions. Since such a complex task requires the help of a qualified marketing firm, the next best effort an angler can make is to document his or her promotional work and forward it to a sponsoring company.

In fact, many fishing related companies require pro staffers to submit reports about their fishing and promotion activities at least once a year, if not quarterly.

Curt Lytle, an innovative professional angler from Suffolk, Virginia, has developed a unique approach to quarterly report writing for his sponsors. Lytle, and his wife Brandy, produce Curt's Current, a quarterly newsletter about Lytle's fishing and promotion activities.

"It started just as a way to keep family and friends updated on all my fishing activities," says Lytle. "Then I noticed that some of the information that I include in the newsletter is the same information sponsors wanted on quarterly reports. So I decided to consolidate the processes."

Lytle says that he had to check with each of his sponsors to make sure they would accept his newsletter in lieu of form reports and each company supported the newsletter.

In each issue of Curt's Current, Lytle carefully documents his media coverage, personal appearances, seminars, and tournaments, for the quarter. He also gives readers notice of his future activities in the upcoming quarter with a printed calendar of his tournaments and seminars.

For each tournament event fished, Lytle provides a brief synopsis of the fishing conditions and his over all performance. Whether he wins or brings up the back of the pack, he relates the important lessons he learned at each event.

Curt's Current is four pages and folds neatly for easy mailing. The newsletter is highlighted with color pictures and informative snippets from the bass fishing world.

While Lytle is a bit guarded about the specifics of producing and formatting his unique newsletter, he reveals that it can be done on most home computer systems and that desktop publishing software is readily available.

"It takes a while to get the first issue laid out, after that it is easier," he says. "It is a great tool for sponsor updates, soliciting potential sponsors, media contacts, friends, family, and even fans," he says.

Lytle is also quick to admit that he is not the only source of ingenuity behind Curt's Current. "My wife, Brandy, does a lot of the newsletter work. I have her to thank for each issue that goes out."

Curt Lytle may not be able to double a company's profit margin as a promotional angler; however, each issue of Curt's Current proves he is doing his part to represent his sponsors to the best of his ability. And that makes the hardest part of sponsorship a little easier.

Tags: rob-newell  business-of-fishing 


FLW Podcast 128 - Mark Rose



1000 Islands Day 3 Midday Update



1000 Islands Midday Update Day 2

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands got started on a slightly different note this morning when FLW’s tournament directors declared Lake Ontario off limits due to hazardous conditions. The change threw a few of the top pros off their primary plans, but regardless the 137-boat field will be cut down to the top 10 after today, so adjustments need to be made in order to qualify to fish the weekend. READ MORE »


FLW Podcast 126 - ICAST



2017 Walmart FLW Tour Schedule

In what has become an annual tradition at FLW, the 2017 Walmart FLW Tour schedule was announced at a press conference and industry gathering held Thursday on the show floor at ICAST in Orlando, Fla. READ MORE »


Si Se Puede ... Yes We Can

Mexico’s Lake Zimapan is different in many ways from the lakes to the north such as Florida’s Lake Okeechobee and California’s Clear Lake, but one element it has in common with those famous fisheries is big bass. READ MORE »


5 Rookie Lessons Learned

People have asked me what my first year on the Walmart FLW Tour was like. Well, it was like running headfirst into a hurricane for a few months. I came out the other side a little battered, bruised and smelling like fish. READ MORE »


FLW Podcast 125 - Scott Martin



Review: Lew’s Custom Speed Stick Lite

Recently I had the opportunity to try one model in particular – the 7-foot, 4-inch Magnum Pitchin’ rod. After fishing with it several times, I’ve concluded that it performs as advertised, is sensitive and lightweight, and is well worth the money. READ MORE »


Reunited, and it Feels so Good

This year I really had a reunion with finesse fishing. Most of my better tournaments came from fishing some type of finesse presentation. Finesse tactics seemed to always give me a certain confidence about the day. While finesse tactics are nothing new to the game of bass fishing, this year I regained the confidence and joy of catching bass on smaller offerings. READ MORE »


2016 ICAST Preview

The doors to ICAST don’t open until next week, when everyone gets out on the showroom floor in Orlando, Fla., but there are already plenty of snippets of information available. FLW’s media crew will be there in full force to bring you coverage of the hottest new products, as well as the annual New Product Showcase awards. For now, take a gander at some of the early birds. READ MORE »


FLW Canada Kicks Off at Tri-Lakes

Among these Canadian all-stars was the eventual winning team of Chris Vandermeer of Peterborough and Jeff Slute of Millbrook. Capitalizing on a strong day one shallow-water smallmouth pattern, the duo took advantage of the slick-calm conditions using a silver-hued topwater popping plug to agitate the lake’s bronzebacks into attack. READ MORE »


FLW Tour Pro Cooksey Recovering After Accident

Walmart FLW Tour sophomore Dalton Cooksey of New Concord, Ky., is recovering at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee following a single-car accident that took place Wednesday afternoon. READ MORE »


FLW Podcast 124 - Jeremy Lawyer



Stetson Blaylock’s Recipe for a Wacky Rig

From March until the end of the fishing season I’m going to have a wacky rig on deck. It’s a really effective way to fish anytime the fishing is tough, or if the fish are up cruising banks. Anytime fish are about 5 feet deep or less, I can catch them on the wacky rig. READ MORE »


Morgan Claims third FLW Tour Angler of the Year Title

MINNEAPOLIS – Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tennessee, added to his incredible fishing resume by winning his third Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year title Saturday at the FLW Tour's final 2016 regular-season event on Lake Champlain.... READ MORE »


Three Things by DD: Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake did not go the way I intended. I was pumped and ready to rock out a top-20 finish. I had great expectations of myself, but nothing seemed to come together. Practice was dicey, but I thought for sure I could put something together to make the cut. That was until day one came, and the whole vibe of my day instantly went from eager to agitated. READ MORE »


How to Catch Smallmouths with Hair Jigs

The “right” hair jig for smallmouths is a small 1/16- to 1/8-ounce marabou jig with a round or mushroom-shaped head. The jig is similar to marabou jigs used by crappie fishermen, but bass models will often have a larger, stronger hook and possibly a longer or thicker skirt. Naturally, anglers have their favorites, and there are subtle differences in jigs that make some better than others. READ MORE »


Two Exciting Events to Look Forward To

We are in the last stretch of the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour. Awaiting us is the Lake Champlain tournament in just a few days. A couple of things will be settled there: the pro field for the Forrest Wood Cup and the Angler of the Year. READ MORE »


Tagging Along with Sprague in Kentucky

Through the first four events of the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour season, Jeff Sprague finished inside the top 20 every time and challenged for the win at Beaver Lake. After stop No. 4 on Pickwick, Sprague took over the lead in the Angler of the Year race. This is the story of his first tournament as the AOY leader – stop No. 5 on Kentucky Lake. Currently, Sprague is preparing for the finale on Lake Champlain. He’s in second place in the AOY standings. READ MORE »