UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Tips for fine-tuning portfolios

Resume services can help take anglers to the next level of professional career development

In several editions of The Bottom Line, there has been much written about the importance of resumes, portfolios and quarterly reports within the business side of fishing. But compiling an entire fishing career into a concise portfolio is a challenging task. Consequently, a few readers of The Bottom Line have inquired about resume services that are tailored specifically for tournament bass anglers.

Enter Joe Balog and Millennium Promotions Limited.

If the name Joe Balog sounds familiar, there is a reason: he won the 2001
Everstart Championship on Lake Pickwick. Also, Balog is a familiar face at sports shows working seminars on the famous Hawg Trough mobile fish tank. A 10-year veteran of the outdoor sports show circuit, Balog now travels the country, Hawg Trough in tow, working 15 to 20 shows per year.

In 2000, Balog combined his knowledge of tournament bass fishing and his experience in outdoor sports marketing to create Millennium Promotions. The primary focus of his business is to help individuals who are trying to further their exposure in the outdoor sports market.

Most of Balog's clientele are professional bass anglers. Balog essentially "packages" anglers for a target audience. What makes his services appealing to bass anglers is that he customizes each resume package to fit the angler. He identifies each angler's unique promotional capacities and then he condenses and quantifies those abilities into a package that is designed for a specific audience.

"For example, I have an angler in the Northeast who fishes 20-plus tournaments a year on the Great Lakes. He wins about 80 percent of them," says Balog. "His fishing techniques involve drifting deep, open water - techniques that require particular rods, fluorocarbon line, rough water boat handling skills, and oxygen injected livewells - all of which are unique promotional opportunities for products.

"Some anglers are professional guides," continues Balog. "Their unique promotional capacity lies in being able to put products in the hands of consumers on a daily basis. I have one angler who is neither a guide nor a tournament angler, but he works dozens of sports shows in a season and he can sell products."

Once Balog identifies an angler's promotional value, he then considers the audience of the resume package. Due to Balog's extensive experience in the fishing industry, he knows what companies are looking for in anglers.

"Tailoring a package for the intended audience is just as important as defining the promotional characteristics of an angler," says Balog. "A resume package going to a non-endemic (outside the industry) company would be much different than a package for a company that makes fishing-related products. A package going to the media is much different than a package going to a company.

As an example of tailoring packages for specific audiences, Balog points to his own portfolios. His own resume package includes his background, promotional show experience, major media coverage, and his tournament performance. But his Media Support Package focuses on fishing article ideas for writers, useable quotes for the press as well as a selection of color photos which can be removed from the package and used by the media at anytime.

Balog also provides a quarterly report service for anglers. He realizes that tournament anglers do not have the time to keep up with their own "paper trail" of media exposure. Anglers who use Balog's quarterly report service simply phone Balog to tell him when and where an exposure occurred.

"We get every known fishing publication at the office," says Balog. "And I can pull news and photos off the Internet. The only things I cannot cover are daily newspapers. If an angler is featured in a newspaper, he is responsible for sending me the clipping. From there, I can scan it and incorporate it into his update."

Whether it is a 10-page resume package, or a single page progress report, Balog's final product is top notch. He maintains a battalion of cutting edge graphic design technology that allows him to create impressive portfolios. Every package is spiral bound with color photos and dynamic page layouts.

Portfolio tips

Balog offers some resume tips for anglers who are interested in compiling a resume package.

* Use plenty of photos in a variety of settings. "Photos are great, but do not overuse tournament stage photos or `grip n' grin' photos. Some of the most effective photos for industry companies are ones that show the angler actually working a show or demonstrating a product to a consumer."

*The fishing industry does not revolve around tournament performances. "In many of my resume packages I do not lead off with tournament performances and I rarely go back more than the last three years in tournament records. I often start packages with contact/biographical information, promotional experience and media coverage, followed by tournament records."

*Use sponsors' logos instead of a black and white sponsor list. "If an angler already has sponsors, I always list those sponsors with the companies' color logos."

*When showing media coverage, focus on the headlines and product mentions. "Sometimes I use newspaper and magazine articles as page backgrounds. I will lay it out so that only the headlines and pertinent product mentions are highlighted."

*Include quotes from radio shows and videos. "Always get tapes of radio or video coverage and then list product quotes in your package. This demonstrates an ability to get a product mentioned in the media."

Anglers who are serious about preparing a resume package, media kit, or quarterly reports can contact Joe Balog at joesoutfishing@aol.com

Rob Newell is a freelance outdoor writer from Tallahassee, Fla. He has been actively involved in tournament bass fishing and the professional bass-fishing industry, both as participant and a writer, for more than 10 years. He currently fishes as a co-angler on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour and contributes to FLWOutdoors.com, FLW Outdoors magazine and other fishing publications.

Tags: business-of-fishing  rob-newell 


Top 10 Patterns from the Ohio River

Here is a closer look at how the rest of the top 10 fished in the Championship, which was hosted by the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau and the City of Paducah Oct. 28-31. READ MORE »


Hanselmania 4.0

Saturday, in Paducah, Ky., on the shores of the Ohio River, Ray Hanselman rewrote history for the second time this season. After winning all three 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division events, which had never been done before, Hanselman came to Kentucky and won the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. READ MORE »


Hanselman on the Verge of Four-Peat

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River was fished primarily on the nearby Tennessee River and resulted in a major shuffling of the leaderboard. In the end, Ray Hanselman rose from second to first and will lead the top 10 into the final day with 30 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 2

After two days of competition, Ray Hanselman leads the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River, but as the leaderboard has reflected, the river’s hefty smallmouths are certainly capable of producing some fireworks and providing some surprises. READ MORE »


Barnes Blasts 21 on the Ohio

On day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River David Barnes Sr. of China, Maine, hauled exactly 21 pounds of smallmouth across the stage to take the lead on a day that was tough for many. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 1

Shortly after David Barnes electrified the Rayovac FLW Series Championship weigh-in with his leading weight of 21 pounds of smallmouths, Ray Hanselman followed suit with an all-smallmouth limit weighing 19 pounds. READ MORE »


Top 10 Patterns from the Forrest Wood Cup

If you don’t believe that summertime bass fishing in the dog days of August is all over the map, just take a look at the top 10 patterns from the best bass pros on earth at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Brad Knight captured the Cup by mining one small creek end for four days. But beyond that, the rest of the top 10 patterns ran the gamut, from targeting schoolers over 40 feet to wolf packs of bass on the bank to brush piles to grass to mud flats and everywhere in between. Here’s a rundown. READ MORE »


Knight Slays Ouachita

Lancing, Tenn., pro Brad Knight won the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart on Lake Ouachita with a four-day total of 51 pounds, 12 ounces. In front of a standing-room-only crowd at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs, Ark., Knight weighed in 11-07 on day four to surpass Jacob Wheeler, who started the day with a 12-ounce lead. Fishing in just one area all four days, Knight locked up the first win of his FLW career. He earned $500,000 for his victory and pushed his career earnings total to more than $688,000. READ MORE »


Wheeler Back in Front

Jacob Wheeler loves Lake Ouachita. It’s where he fished his first Forrest Wood Cup in 2011, and it’s where he’ll take the tournament lead into the final day of competition at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Wheeler, the 2011 Cup champion, led this tournament on day one and slipped a couple spots on day two. He now has a very slim 12-ounce lead over Tennessean Brad Knight. The anglers will square off tomorrow on Ouachita starting at 7 a.m. against the rest of the top 10 pros for the top prize of $500,000. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 3

Jacob Wheeler may have regained his lead in the Forrest Wood Cup on day three, but Brad Knight is right on his heels. Going into the final day, the two pros are separated by just 12 ounces. The margin is tight, and what’s going to make the final day fun to watch is the difference in the two anglers’ strategies. Wheeler is running a topwater pattern on the main lake, and fishing new water is part of his plan. Knight, however, has caught almost all of his weight from one 250-yard stretch of bass-rich creek channel. He literally knows every target he is fishing by heart. On the surface, Knight’s area looks to be the better bet. But he has shared the general area with Brandon Cobb and Mark Daniels Jr. for three solid days. And the bad news, at least for Knight, is that both Cobb and Daniels will be sharing the water with him again on the final day as both made the top-10 cut. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 2

At times, bass fishing can be a lot like real estate, where the three most important rules are location, location and location. The 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita presented by Walmart is starting to become a bit of a real estate game where location is the primary consideration in who climbs the leaderboard. And those mining the backs of creeks and tributaries are on the prime pieces of real estate. Consider that after day two, four of the top five pros are concentrating their fishing efforts in the back ends of creeks or rivers. All of these areas fit a classic late-summer, early-fall pattern where shad pack into the back of creek ditches that meander through shallow flats. READ MORE »


Wheeler Hunting History

It’s never been done before, and it hasn’t happened yet, but Jacob Wheeler is in prime position to become the first two-time Forrest Wood Cup champion in history. Wheeler, of Indianapolis, Ind., brought in a 16-pound, 2-ounce limit of Lake Ouachita bass on the first day of the Cup, which is presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 1

After day one of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, several things have come to light. For one, this event is not likely to produce a runaway win for anyone like it did when Scott Martin won here in 2011. Second, when the pros said Ouachita was going to be stingy, they meant it – only 29 of the 50 pros checked in limits today. Third, firm patterns are hard to come by on Lake Ouachita in August. Jacob Wheeler took the lead on day one in the event that’s presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. With the help of a 5-pound bass, Wheeler weighed in a limit of 16 pounds, 2 ounces, but he had to sample a lot of different areas for his catch. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »


Top 10 Patterns from Lake Chickamauga

Considering the complexity of catching summertime bass on highly pressured Tennessee River impoundments, Michael Wooley’s winning baits at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Igloo Coolers on Lake Chickamauga were pretty simplistic. His win came on a Zoom Magnum Trick Worm fished on a 1/2-ounce hand-poured shaky head with a 5/0 hook as well as a 3/4-ounce Strike King football jig teamed with a Rage Lobster. Both lures were fished on 17-pound-test Seaguar fluorocarbon. Wooley dragged his baits on a shell bed in about 13 feet of water that dropped off to a channel some 20 feet deep. Here is a look at some of the other patterns that were working at Lake Chickamauga. READ MORE »


Mammoth Win for Wooley

One spot plus two lures plus 92 pounds, 4 ounces of Lake Chickamauga bass equals a $125,000 Walmart FLW Tour win for Michael Wooley. Wooley, a second-year pro on the FLW Tour who hails from Collierville, Tenn., spends most of his fishing time somewhere on the Tennessee River, mostly on either Pickwick or Kentucky Lake. Despite his deep knowledge of Tennessee River bass, Wooley’s win on Lake Chickamauga was about as straightforward as it gets. There were no big flashy spoons, secret hair jigs or new must-have crankbaits involved in his victory. There were no mega-schools or timing of tricky rotations. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga Day 3

While Michael Wooley has tapped a single hot spot for the tournament lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Igloo Coolers at Lake Chickamauga, his competition has had to hustle both deep and shallow just to have a shot at catching him. His lead is now more than 6 pounds ahead of second-place pro Stetson Blaylock. The patterns working at Chickamauga right now are all over the map. Shallow grass, bream beds, middepth bars in bays, river ledges and even some long-lining are all represented in the top 10. Here are the details for the top five. READ MORE »


Wooley Takes the Lead

The last time the Walmart FLW Tour visited Lake Chickamauga in June 2013, the term “mega-school” was thrown around a lot. At this year’s Chickamauga event, which is presented by Igloo Coolers, you will hardly hear that term at all at the weigh-in. Michael Wooley of Collierville, Tenn., knows the difference between mega-schools and the “regular” kind. After sacking 26 pounds, 2 ounces on day one and 23-05 on day two to take the tournament lead with 49-07, Wooley says his fish are certainly not swimming in a mega-school. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga Day 2

Two days into the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Igloo Coolers on Lake Chickamauga, one thing is for sure: The ledge bite along the main Tennessee River drag has not been much of a factor among the top 10. When interviewing the top anglers, the words “back in a creek,” or “back in a bay,” or “back inside” or “up shallow” have been used a lot more than the words “on the main river.” That goes for tournament leader Michael Wooley and most of the pros chasing him into the weekend. For whatever reason, the main Tennessee River flow is not the headliner at Chickamauga this week, especially when compared to postspawn tournaments on other lakes in the chain, such as Kentucky Lake and Pickwick. READ MORE »


Billy Mac Smacks 29

A combo strategy of running deep and shallow patterns helped Bill McDonald put together a whopping 29-pound, 12-ounce limit in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Igloo Coolers on Lake Chickamauga. McDonald took the day-one lead by 3 pounds, 10 ounces over Tennessean Michael Wooley, who brought in 26-02. While many pros say the Chick is fishing tougher than its reputation usually suggests, 15 pros still cracked the 20-pound mark. And 67 pros caught at least 15 pounds. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga Day 1

The story on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Igloo Coolers on Lake Chickamauga was not dominated by the mega-school juggernaut that occurred the last time the Tour visited “Chick” in 2013. Bill McDonald’s leading limit of 29 pounds, 12 ounces had nothing to do with a mega-school. In fact, two of his bigger bass – in the 7- to 8-pound class – came from shallow grass. This time around it seems as if the boats are spread out a little more compared to last time, when four- to six-angler clusters tried to share big ledge schools. Some pros say that’s because the current didn’t run until later in the day today, which had the main-river community holes off the pace of last time. Others believe a delayed spawn still has fish scattered from the bays to the river. READ MORE »