Q. How did you get involved with POP Yachts?
I got involved with POP about two years ago, just shopping for a boat through Regional Sales Manager Bruce Maddox. We shopped and shopped for about 18 months before I actually found and purchased the boat that I wanted.
Q. What did you end up buying?
A 20-foot Lake & Bay Boca Grande. It's awesome. It fits every need that I have in my career, in terms of guide fishing, tournament fishing or even if I want to load my family in it - it's good for everything.
Q. How is it doing in the tournaments?
The first tournament that I entered it in, I won the entire tournament. So I sent Bruce a picture of myself and my partner sitting in the boat with our trophy as a thank you note for everything he'd done for me. And that's when they asked if I was interested in being on a fishing team with POP Yachts. Our first sponsored event was the Sea Trout Shootout. We did win that.
Q. What are the big tournaments you're looking to place in?
My main focus is the IFA (Inshore Fishing Association) Redfish Tournament. It's a series of events carried throughout the year. The top 10 qualifiers are paired in a regional qualifier and fish against the 10 best. Whoever finishes at the top of those qualifiers goes to a championship to compete for $150,000. This year, due to my engine problems, I missed the qualifier by one event, but I finished 10th in my region.
Q. So you're doing some smaller tournaments until the 2013 qualifiers?
Yes, we're competing in some bass tournaments. I just fished one yesterday, there were 87 boats, and we finished 14th. It's not really my forte. But it'll keep you balanced and level-headed. What you look for in tournament angling is consistency. And generally, if you can finish in the top 10 in any of these events, you can get paid.
Q. And meanwhile, you're using the boat while running your guide fishing business?
Yes, it's Tagline Light Tackle Outfitters. We do inshore fishing along the Florida Panhandle.
Q. What do you see in the future for Team POP?
Within a year or so here, we're hoping to purchase another boat from POP Yachts to upgrade. Those are my goals - to make my business grow through this. POP has been a big part of that, as far as putting me in business because no one wanted to shop for me. I picked up with Bruce in October 2010. I never paid him a dime through the entire course. We built a great relationship.
Q. How can we keep up with your success?
Check out the POP Yachts Facebook page.