Callie On The Job: Crappie Masters - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Callie On The Job: Crappie Masters

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REND LAKE --  Fishing can be a way to kick back and relieve stress, but for some it's a career. Each week fisherman shell out thousands of dollars to compete in the world of professional fishing. Callie learns more about their lifestyle in this week's Callie on the Job. 

Do what you love and you won't work a day in your life. That's the saying, but even professional crappie fishermen will tell you they put a lot of work into what they do. 

Mike Vallentine is the president of Crappie Masters, which is a National Crappie Fishing Tournament trail and promotional company for crappie fishing. 

"Nobody is going to consistently just roll into town, pay their entry fee, go out on tournament day and have success. You have to put time on the water and just get used to the habits crappie, how to catch them different times of the year and all those things," Vallentine says. 

Crappie Masters recently held a tournament on Rend Lake.

"Tournament fishing is a little bit different than just going fishing. You're in search for quality fish. Big crappie. Numbers is not a big deal. You may spend 8 to 12 hours a day for four days in a row preparing to figure out how to catch seven big crappie. It's a grind," said Vallentine. 

Some of the anglers get to the tournament location four or five days before the tournament starts so they can pre-fish. They wake up early each morning and head out to the water.

These anglers are spending on average $1,500 a week on tournaments, so you can understand their competitive spirit when it comes to wanting to win tournaments.

Usually the top three places in each tournament win prize money.

Crappie Masters season runs January through September. 

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