UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

Tuesday Tour Update: Jarabeck just getting started

Next cast Jarabeck hooks a better fish.

While most people in their early 20s are still figuring out what to do with their lives, 23-year-old Philip Jarabeck has already accomplished his goal - being a professional angler. After wrapping up his first season as a pro on the Walmart FLW Tour, Jarabeck doesn't plan on making a career change anytime soon.

It all started in the small town of Richfield, Pa.

"Growing up I went fishing with my father a lot," said Jarabeck. "A lot of people think that because David Dudley is my uncle that I learned a lot from him - which I have - but my fishing hero has to be my dad. We would fish mostly small ponds and lakes but occasionally we would go to the Susquehanna River. I just loved to get out with my dad wherever we could go."

Castrol pro Philip Jarabeck caught this kicker on a spinnerbait to move him up the leaderboard rounding out the top five. It wasn't until Dudley joined the family that Jarabeck realized just how far he could take his passion.

"I guess I was kind of blessed that my aunt got married to David when I was 10 or 12," said Jarabeck, who is also on the Castrol team. "After meeting him I realized what could happen if I kept working hard to take my love for fishing to the next level.

"I spent the next eight or nine summers traveling to tournaments and practicing with him. Don't get me wrong, I learned a lot about fishing but even more importantly I learned what it takes mentally and physically to fish professionally."

While spending his summers traveling around with Dudley was fun, Jarabeck knew he had to start making some money.

"My uncle David actually ran a charter fishing business in North Carolina before he really started to fish tournaments as a career. Once he started fishing full time he let his father run the business. David told me I should get my captain's license and if I did I could go to North Carolina and run a boat for him. It's Castrol pro Philip Jarabeck hopes to pluck a few bass of beds with his shaky head. kind of funny actually because I had my captain's license before I had my driver's license in high school. Three days after graduation I moved down to North Carolina to start running charters when I was 18.

"I did that business for about two years before I thought it was time to move towards my passion of bass fishing. With being around David for so long I developed a pretty good relationship with Castrol. They decided to bring me on as a co-angler to fish the FLW Tour. Even though I was fishing as a co-angler my goal was to still make it on the pro side. That is all I ever wanted to do."

Jarabeck spent 2011 and 2012 getting his feet wet from the back of the boat. Over that time he racked up five top-10 finishes. Jarabeck finished 19th in the points race in 2011 and followed that up with 12th in 2012.

When the 2013 season rolled around he knew it was time to step to the front of the boat. Castrol kept him on as a team angler and Jarabeck headed down to Okeechobee to fulfill his life's dream.

"I was extremely excited when I stepped up on the deck of my boat at the Big O. I understood what it meant to be in this situation from watching David and it felt right."

Jarabeck went on to finish in 10th place at his very first tournament as pro on the FLW Tour. Despite a bumpy remainder of the season, his 54th position in the points at the end of the year was nothing to be disappointed about.

Castrol pro Philip Jarabeck sits in 12th place after day one with 17 pounds, 8 ounces."Not one time this year did I feel uncomfortable. I was very comfortable with the decisions I made even though I didn't have the best finishes. David told me to be confident and be relaxed. To make it in this sport you need to be consistent. I fished all six Tour events and an EverStart and out of those seven tournaments I took home four checks. That helps me stay confident and know I'm doing OK.

"I know that the more time I spend on the water the easier it will be to make decisions. This is a sport that is always evolving and it's encouraging to know that I am constantly getting better. I just need to keep doing the best I can and good things will fall into place."

Even with it being the slow time of year for many pros, Jarabeck still manages to keep busy.

"I work for a company called Commercial Steel Erection (CSE) right now doing different things for them. But otherwise I try to stay in the outdoors as much as I can. I love to camp and hunt when I can but my favorite thing to do is go striper and steelhead fishing. My family and I take a trip around my birthday every year which is coming up at the end of the month. It's just a nice break from everything and we have a great time.

"I have to say that there is no way I could have arrived where I am without the people I have around me. I can't wait for next season. I look forward to each lake on the schedule but I am going to take them one at a time. My focus right now is on Okeechobee. When I step up on the front deck next year at the first event I know I will be better than I was before."

Tags: kyle-wood  article 

/tips/2016-02-12-fishing-the-all-american

Fishing the All-American

My wish is that everyone who competes in BFL tournaments will get to experience the All-American. It truly is an amazing experience, and a goal that everyone who competes on the weekends should strive to achieve. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-11-eric-jackson-q-a

Eric Jackson Q&A

We caught up with Jackson just prior to his Tour debut on Lake Okeechobee to learn more about his background in the outdoors and how he got started in tournament fishing. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-11-flw-podcast-111-bradley-hallman

FLW Podcast 111 - Bradley Hallman

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-05-an-ill-wind-at-okeechobee-

An Ill Wind at Okeechobee?

The wind can be a bass fisherman’s best friend or worst enemy. On its best behavior, it creates a temporary current, positions baitfish and helps an angler move around more stealthily in shallow water. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-04-aquatic-plant-id

Aquatic Plant ID

Val Osinski, the owner of Gambler Lures and winner of the 2015 Costa FLW Series event on the lake, knows as much about the Big O as anyone and is an expert on finding and targeting bass in its various grasses. When we had the opportunity to ride along with him for a tour of the lake and to learn to identify some of the grasses, it was a no-brainer to accept. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-03-flw-podcast-110-jt-kenney-and-kyle-monti

FLW Podcast 110 - JT Kenney and Kyle Monti

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-poche-services-set

Poche Services Set

Funeral services for Dylan Poche, the 18-year-old Bass Fishing League angler who was stabbed to death Saturday night, are scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. at Freedom Life Church in Natchitoches, La. Visitation will take place at Freedom Life beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-time-to-shine-for-setzer

Time to Shine for Setzer

With three years on Tour and a Co-angler of the Year (COY) award under his belt, Braxton Setzer believes now is his time to start casting from the front. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-01-ambassador

Ambassador

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-29-glenn-browne-s-timeout-is-over-

Glenn Browne’s Timeout is Over

By his own admission, Glenn Browne isn’t the most organized guy. After the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener on Lake Okeechobee, he spent hours returning stuff to its proper place and tossing out the usual flotsam and jetsam that accumulates in a bass boat during a tournament. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-flw-podcast-109-mike-surman

FLW Podcast 109 - Mike Surman

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-john-cox-gives-himself-a-makeover

John Cox Gives Himself a Makeover

Last fall there was a rumor going around that John Cox was entering the electronics age and souping up his boat with sonar gear. Just to clear the air, the Florida pro reports that though he did flirt with the notion of incorporating an offshore strategy centered on depth finders into his act, he eventually abandoned the idea. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-austin-felix-is-ready-for-the-big-time

Austin Felix is Ready for the Big Time

Back in the spring of 2014, Austin Felix and his University of Minnesota teammate Chris Burgan were on the top of the FLW College Fishing world. With a win in the National Championship on Lake Keowee, Felix was headed to the Forrest Wood Cup as a pro. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-flw-canada-sets-tournament-sites-dates

FLW Canada Sets Tournament Sites, Dates

FLW Canada, one of four partners in FLW’s International Division of the Costa FLW Series, recently released its 2016 tournament schedule. The season includes three two-day regular-season qualifying events and a three-day championship. Anglers fish as two-person teams. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-26-jigging-spoons-for-winter-bass

Jigging Spoons for Winter Bass

Of course, the application of the spoon hinges on finding bass in the first place, which is the biggest challenge. Walmart FLW Tour pros Jason Johnson and Clark Reehm are experts at finding winter bass in their respective regions of the country and offer FLW readers some advice on where to look and how to get them to bite the spoon. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-24-how-bryan-thrift-got-to-be-so-good

How Bryan Thrift Got to be so Good

My No. 1 focus out here is to support my family and make a living. Whatever I have to do to make that happen, I’m going to make a valiant effort. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-high-school-fishing-makes-the-grade

High School Fishing Makes the Grade

Jacob Smith and Daniel Clark are typical teenagers, at least in everything except bass fishing. In that, they are above average, as the two juniors from Travelers Rest High School in South Carolina proved in the TBF/FLW High School Fishing Florida Open held Jan. 17 on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-flw-mexico-at-the-starting-gate

FLW Mexico at the Starting Gate

Our excitement is so great that we wanted to share this important news with all of you. Believe me, fishermen in Mexico are talking it up as if it were dock talk surrounding the Forrest Wood Cup. What really matters at the end of the line is knowing that FLW is showing its true devotion to promoting bass fishing and making it a truly international sport. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-making-the-case-for-haynes-as-aoy

Making the Case for Haynes as AOY

As many have noted, the Walmart FLW Tour schedule for this season looks a lot like it did in 2014. Back then, in his sophomore year on Tour, Randy Haynes had one of the strangest seasons you’ll ever see. He finished 104th at Okeechobee, 149th at Sam Rayburn (ouch) and cranked out top-30 finishes everywhere else. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-21-flw-podcast-108-jason-lambert

FLW Podcast 108 - Jason Lambert

READ MORE »