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Interview - Advanced Angler.com

Introducing the Advanced Angler.com, an interview with Managing Editor Dan O'Sullivan (continued)

Zander: I know you have worked with a lot of the sport’s biggest names, can you share one story with us of an interesting experience you had while covering one of the pros?


Dan: There are so many, but the first one that comes to mind is at a Strike King Lure Company writer’s conference in Tennessee, while I was doing a photo shoot with Denny Brauer. 


Being the flipper and pitcher that he is, I decided to get in my waders and get in the middle of a bush so he could pitch his jig towards the lens, and I would have the added ambiance of the brush in the shot.


Of course I’d read the story about him putting one of his wife Shirley’s potted plants in the corner of their home, so he could practice during a rainy period of layoffs from his union job as a mason.  The story told of him pitching at that bush in the corner so much that all of the foliage was of and the drywall needed to be repaired from him banging his jig against it all winter; but the result was one of the most accurate anglers on tour.


Denny Brauer and his deadly accurate jig pitches


After I got into the bush, and he got his boat positioned, Denny asked me if I wanted the jig in front of the lens or to splashdown in the water.  I told him to target the first one at the lens so that I could avoid the water droplets on the lens at for at least the first shot.


He unwound an underhanded pitch from about 10 yards with his 1/2-ounce jig and hit me square on top of the head.  He started laughing hysterically, and said it was an accident of course, but I knew better.  For being the competitor he is, Denny can be a little bit of a prankster, and it’s a lot of fun.


The truth is, I think you’d run out of bandwidth if I was to begin telling stories, I’ve shared a lot of laughs with so many people in our sport that I couldn’t even begin to tell them all.  It’s a great community and for the most part, everyone really enjoys it.


Dan interviews Pro Angler Luke Clausen


Zander: These days what is more of an achievement in your book, catching that lunker fish or getting a story published?


Dan: The truth is that my “Lunker Moments” truly come with my camera in my hands.  I really enjoy hearing people comment about articles that I’ve written, but the most immediate impact is usually about photography.


I initially took up taking pictures because I learned that I could make a little extra money on my articles when I submitted supporting imagery with them.  I grew to love taking pictures.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m nowhere near the level of photographers like Seigo Saito, James Overstreet and Gary Tramontina, all of them world class photographers that shoot for B.A.S.S., but I love playing with the equipment and angles to come up with something unique.


Dan get's a shot of Pro Angler Byron Velvick with his "friend"


I’ve taken some pictures that captured moments, or brought angler’s personalities out of them in ways that comes to life once it’s printed.  I’m not taking any credit for the way they turned out, I just try to have fun with the subject and see what happens.


Getting a jump shot in competition, or getting a unique pose or action out of an angler are the things that I have the most fun with.  I’ve had photo shoots where I’ve been hit in the head by jigs, had Skeet Reese holding a two pounder in his mouth, had Byron Velvick in the water up to his nose and had Brent Ehrler screaming at my camera while I was standing eight feet above him on a pump house in the Delta; those are the fun times.


A screenshot of the new site


Zander: Let’s switch gears and talk about your current project, your now the Managing Editor of a brand new site called “Advanced Angler.com, tell us what the site is all about and what readers can expect?


Dan: Advanced Angler.com is being built around what I personally call “Edutainment.”  The foremost feature of the site will be two things, how to articles with the pros, as well as angler blogs.


There are several great independent national fishing sites that cater to the bass fishing industry, and they all have their core segments that they cover.  Bass Fan was the trendsetter with creating a centralized place to get news and information, and they continue to operate as what I call the AP of the fishing industry.  BASS ZONE.com is the leader of tournament coverage and have truly taken the use of video and live streaming to a whole new level.  Wired2Fish focuses their charter around product and personalities of the sport, along with covering some of the industry news as well.


Advanced Angler is going to have a focus on helping the pro anglers and the industry communicate learning to the end user.  We will have timely instructional features that will help anglers catch more fish the next time they go fishing.  Whether they want to learn about fishing finesse styles with Skeet, Flippin’ with Brauer, Spoons with John Murray cranking with Kevin VanDam, shaky heads with Jeff Kriet or Bottom Buggin’ with Tommy Biffle – Advanced Angler will comprehensively cover those topics several times each week; we’ll want to work with all of the top level pros sharing their strengths.


Angler Blogs are going to be a steady feature on the site as well.  We’ve got several anglers that are contributing weekly blogs to the site.  The anglers will get an opportunity to show more about their lives than just what we see on the water and on screen during tournaments.  These anglers lead interesting lives, and people will get a chance to catch up with some of their favorites each week.


We will be having a Fantasy Fishing competition on Advanced Angler that will combine the eight Bassmaster Elite Series events and the six FLW Tour Majors into one season long competition.  The competition will be free to enter, and we will be awarding prizes to the competitors at the top of the standings.  First prize will be a new Stratos 176 bass boat, and we’re coordinating other prizes through the field.


Dan interviews Ike at the 2008 Classic


We’ll have industry news, tournament news and regional resources for anglers to get weather, hire guides or find lodges where they’re traveling to across the country.  We’re also compiling the URLs for being able to purchase fishing licenses online and other resources.  We’ll have an area dedicated to radio archiving for shows across the country as well as college fishing news.


We have a pictorial section called Hookpoints that will provide anglers a visual step by step to tying on rigs.  They can be as simple as a shaky head to as complex as a Carolina Rig, or a Punch rig.  We’ll cover how to set up a jig and pig, to properly spooling line on reels.


One of the features I’m excited about is called “Beyond the Pond.”  It’s a section reserved for the support team behind the anglers.  There are families behind these pros who give up so much to be on tour with them, or support them from home while they’re on the road, and we wanted to give those wives their moment in the sun as well.


Dan talks with Skeet and the team at the 2010 postseason


Zander: Who are some of the other notable contributors on the site?


Dan: Tackle Tour Contributing Editor Tom Leogrande is the one building the site, so it wouldn’t exist without Tom’s considerable coding skills.  He will also contribute a few pieces when he can, as time allows.  A woman named Jody Only, who writes for the Stockton Examiner online will be doing the Beyond the Pond features, and I’m excited about her contributions.


Leo and Dan with Skeet after the victory, both will be working on the Advanced Angler


As far as bloggers, we’re thrilled to have featured contributions from Skeet, Ish Monroe, John Murray, James Niggemeyer, Dave Lefebre, Brent Ehrler, Mike McClelland, Chad Morgenthaler, Cody Meyer, Fred Roumbanis, Justin Kerr, Jarrett Edwards and a Lucky Craft team blog that will rotate contributors. Another contributor is Charles Plott, a Performance Consultant who has worked with pro golfers, and collegiate athletes as well as anglers to help them achieve their best performances. We have a few others in the works that we’re waiting final confirmation on.


Zander: Will there be any multi-species coverage or will it be primarily bass oriented?


Dan: Initially we will focus on bass angling in our features, but we will also be mixing in other species as well.  We’ll cover industry news from freshwater and saltwater markets, and we’ll also provide saltwater tournament news in our regional and national tournament news sections.


We will provide some how to pieces on other species as well eventually.


Dean Rojas bags a nice one


Zander: I’m excited to see the new site develops, what type of anglers are the perfect audience for Advanced Angler.com? 


Dan: Advanced Angler.com will have something for everyone from the hard core tournament angler to the guy who is learning how to fish.  Anglers are a demographic that covers a wide social spectrum and we’re trying to put something together that everyone can enjoy.


Dan with a nice fish of his own


Zander: Thanks for spending the time with us today Dan, is there anything that you would like to say in closing to our readers?


Dan: Well firstly, thanks for spending some time with me, it’s truly an honor.  Tackle Tour is an amazing resource and you guys should be proud of what you do.


Secondly, Thanks in advance; pardon the pun, to the readers who will visit Advanced Angler.com and give us a try, we’ll do everything we can to help you learn, get entertained and better enjoy their hobby.  Our motto is Elevate Fishing to the Next Level, and our charter is to produce content that will help make that happen.


Dan and his family out at Clear Lake


On a personal note, there have been a lot of people along the road that have been helpful in helping open doors for me; I haven’t done it on my own.   I wouldn’t try to list them all because inevitably I’d miss someone and I wouldn’t want to have someone feel that I didn’t appreciate their help and friendship. 


My point is that I try to be aware of other people, and to try to help them not because of what they could do for me, but because it is the right thing to do.  I’ve been blessed by the people whom I’ve run across and worked with in this industry for a lot of years; many of them are people I consider friends today. 


Like I said above, I feel that my duty is to be a servant to this industry and its people, and I’ve got to be a good steward of the opportunities the Lord has provided me and my family; I’ll carry those feelings through to Advanced Angler.com, because I want to give it, our readers, partners and contributors the respect that they’re due.


The sun is just rising for the Advanced Angler and we wish them success in the coming seasons


Conclusion: It is a rare occasion we profile another fishing site but when we learned about the Advanced Angler from our very own Contributing Editor, Leo, we knew this was a story worth telling. We have seen Dan's work in the industry for years and often cross paths at events. Whether it is at a tournament stop or industry only tackle show, Dan is always there with his camera and recorder in hand. While Dan has a unique story of his own we know him to be a humble individual that would rather let his work with the Pro's take center stage. That's why we have no doubt that this latest project will be all about the anglers, their sponsors and their messages as well as the readers.  

Check out the new site launching today at the Advanced Angler.com










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