UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

FLW College Fishing: More than just fishing

FLW College Fishing: More than just fishing
Boater Miles Burghoff of Orlando, Fla., earned $5,632 as the winner of the Sept. 11-12 BFL Gator Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee.

Odds are if you are reading this blog, you are probably addicted to fishing.

I know I plead guilty to that one. Competitive fishing has been my passion and a strong focus of mine since I was 12 years old, so when FLW Outdoors and the National Guard introduced College Fishing, it didn't take long for me to jump on board.

My first season was 2010. I didn't have a particularly great season. I did make it to the FLW College Fishing National Championship, but had one of the toughest tournaments ever and finished a dismal 20th out of 25 teams.

So, I must have been pretty disappointed huh?

Absolutely not.

FLW College Fishing is one of the best things that has happened to me in my short competitive fishing career. The level of competition turned out to be way beyond my initial expectations; you get to fish national level tournaments for free; you make new friends from other schools around the country; and you get the opportunity to get the level of media exposure the FLW Tour pros get.

If it is your goal to become a professional tournament angler, I can't think of a better springboard for your career than the National Guard FLW College Fishing circuit.

Ambassadors of fishing in training

The UCF team of Len Gordon and Miles Burghoff show off their catch.Aside from the high level of competition in FLW College Fishing, the greatest opportunities that I see for an individual working to make a living in the sport are the exposure opportunities.

FLW Outdoors produces great television programs, maintains a great internet site and publishes one of the best fishing magazines out there. And if it wasn't for College Fishing, we college students/bass fishermen wouldn't have many opportunities to reap the benefits of exposure of such great media outlets.

Just like learning how to sharpen your skills as a tournament angler, if you want to make a good living in this sport, you need to learn how to hone your skills as a communicator and a promoter of the fishing industry.

Before College Fishing I had had limited experience being on TV mostly because I just hadn't been fishing the tournaments that got the television coverage.

But during my FLW College Fishing experiences, I learned very quickly how to have a good stage presence and how to act on camera - two skills that should never be taken lightly in this sport. I owe a lot of that progress to my experiences at the 2010 Southeast Regional and the 2011 FLW College National Championship.

One very important lesson I learned while fishing the televised College Fishing events was that you never know who is watching you.

I always have worked hard to keep a clean appearance and speak clearly and enthusiastically, but I never really understood the power of those simple things until I had companies coming up to me and offering me sponsorship opportunities - all because of my stage presence during FLW weigh-ins and television programming.

I don't think I would have had the opportunity to learn that lesson this early if it wasn't for College Fishing.

Building blocks

Building a career, to me, is all about making the right choices and working diligently to make sure you get the most out of those choices.

I am lucky that I was smart enough to make the choice to compete in FLW College Fishing. And I look forward to being able to work diligently to make the best of my last year fishing in the program.

I hope to see all of you out there too!

-SONAR

Miles "SONAR" Burghoff is a National Guard FLW College Fishing angler who competes for the University of Central Florida. To visit his personal website Click here.

Tags: miles-burghoff  blog 

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New Year, Same Feel

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