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John's Journal... Entry 43, Day 2

The Rewards Of Reaching The Top

click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Twenty-seven-year-old Tim Horton of Spruce Pine, Alabama, has earned the title of 1999-2000 B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year. He accumulated more tournament points than any other angler and won more than $200,000 in tournaments and sponsorship. But Horton says the money isn't his real reward for his phenomenal year of fishing in 1999. The most satisfying part of the year in which he won the coveted title of Angler of the Year came when he saw his friends, family and the people he has guided at the last tournament of the year held on his home lake, Wheeler Lake, in Alabama. Horton's family probably assumed he was worthless and of no account after graduating from college and deciding to be a bass-fishing guide and a tournament-fishing pro.

click to enlarge"They thought I was crazy, but they've always been supportive," Horton said. "To have them here and as a part of the crowd cheering for me when I came in really was one of the highlights of my fishing career. I feel like I really reaped the rewards of all my hard work in fishing when I saw my family, friends, the fishing acquaintances I've made over the years and customers cheering for me to show pride in what I'd done," he said.

click to enlargeHow does Horton expect his life to change now that he's standing at the top of the bass-fishing world? "I think I need to learn to manage my time better. I can see already that I'll have a busy calendar. I've already got to speak at a number of seminars, and of course I intend to keep fishing as much as possible."

Horton's family life will change too. He won't have nearly as much time at home as he has had in the past. His wife, Melanie, will have to shoulder more of the responsibilities for the family while Horton goes on the road hunting and fishing. "Melanie always has been very supportive, even when times were bad," Horton explained. "She's very excited now, for me and us. In the first few years, as I tried to make it as a guide and a professional fisherman, we lived a meager existence. click to enlargeYet Melanie willingly did whatever she had to do to let me follow my dream and try to become a bass-fishing pro."

TOMORROW: How To Get Sponsors




Check back each day this week for more about Tim Horton ...

Day 1 -Tim Horton's Leap From Fishing Nobody To King Of The Fishing World
Day 2 -The Rewards Of Reaching The Top
Day 3 -How To Get Sponsors
Day 4 -A Tournament Angler's Life On The Road
Day 5 -The Tournament Lifestyle Of A Professional Angler

John's Journal