‘Gone fishing’ with ProData!

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In this ProData Q&A, we talk to Chad Randles, an aspiring full time professional bass angler, who fishes the top bass circuits including FLW(Fishing League Worldwide) Tour, FLW Rayovacs and B.A.S.S. Opens.  Chad is currently sponsored by ProData as he travels the country from lake to lake, in search of some big bass catches in some big tournaments.  He has a Facebook page called ‘Chad Randles Outdoors’.  ‘Like’ this page to follow his breakdown of practice and tournament days with a focus on the techniques, the equipment and tackle, plus his strategy for practice and throughout the tournament.  All this in hopes of accomplishing his goal of qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup and more!

Chad’s upcoming tournaments are as follows:

FLW Tour
Lake Toho – Kissimmee, FL – March 5-8
Smith Lake – Jasper, AL – March 26-29
Beaver Lake – Rogers, AR – April 23-26
Lake Eufaula – Eufaula, AL – May 14-17
Chickamauga – Dayton, TN – June 11-14
Potomac River – La Plata, MD – June 25-28
FLW Rayovac Central Division
Grand Lake – Grove, OK – April 16-18
Kentucky Lake – Hardin, KY – May 7-9
Lake Dardenelle – Russellville, AR – September 10-12
Shelli:   When did your interest in fishing first begin?

Chad:  I have always liked fishing. My Aunt and Uncle had a place at Grand Lake when I was little and we all used to go down and spend the weekend. When I got into high school, my parents bought a place at Grand Lake. I can remember spending every weekend at the lake after baseball season was over until winter.

Shelli:  What kind of fish is the most fun to catch?
Chad:  My favorite type of fish to catch is black bass. There are 3 predominant species of bass: Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted, depending on the lake. The Largemouth bass species are the biggest of the 3 species. The world record is 22.4 lbs. The biggest bass I have caught is 10 lbs 7 oz. The biggest Largemouth bass I have caught in a tournament is 8 lbs 2 oz. The Smallmouth bass species are known for their aggressive and strong fight. One of the best places to Smallmouth fish in the world is on Lake Erie. The biggest Smallmouth I have caught is 6 lbs 3 oz.

Shelli:   What is your favorite lure?
Chad:   My favorite lure is the Megabass Vision 110 jerkbait.

Shelli:   Where is your favorite fishing spot?
Chad:  My favorite lake that I have ever fished is Lake Champlain in New York. Not only is it a beautiful lake, but you can catch tournament winning Smallmouth or Largemouth in the lake depending on the species you want to target. Even a big field of 200 or more boats can spread out far enough to not have to fish on top of each other.

Shelli:  When did you know that fishing could be more than just a hobby?
Chad:   Actually, there are two answers to this question.  <grin>

First, my cousin Randy Blaukat has been fishing professionally without having to get another job for 30 years. So, with following him throughout my lifetime, I have realized that fishing tournaments could be a career from a very early age.

Secondly, because of this, I have always wanted to be a professional fisherman. But I have always lacked the time and finances to succeed in the sport until about 10 years ago. Fishing can be as inexpensive or expensive as you want to make it. But to be competitive with the best anglers in the world, you have to have the best equipment on the market so that the likelihood of your equipment failing is slim to none. You never want to have to worry about a backlash, reel that won’t engage, rod breaking, or line breaking when you have a big fish on.

Shelli:   Who has been your greatest influence/mentor in the fishing world and/or in life in general?
Chad:   In fishing, Randy Blaukat has been my mentor from day one. He has over one million dollars in career winnings. Has fished nearly every lake from coast to coast and can catch them everywhere he goes. I have always tried to emulate him and learn from him anytime I get the opportunity to go fishing with him.

In life, it would be my mom and dad. They have been there for me through the ups and downs that life offers and have always supported me no matter what I have tried or wanted to do in life.

Shelli:  How have you done over the years on the tours?
Chad:   My first year on the FLW Tour was not a very successful campaign. I just showed up to the tournaments and went fishing…and my performance showed just that. I was unprepared. I had no idea the conditions of the lake, what baits the fish were biting, or any of the other variables that tournament fishing require. I took a couple years off and fished several local and regional circuits to hone my skills and refocus my goals for the future. Successfully winning and cashing checks on a regular basis…I came back to the FLW Tour in 2014 refocused and with a new determination. The new focus paid off nicely too. During the 2014 season in 6 tournaments, I had 2 top tens and 3 top 25’s place finishes helping to secure a spot in the Forrest Wood Cup in which I finished 24th to end the season.

Shelli:  How did you become involved with ProData?
Chad:  I was hired to work in Sales in 2005.

Shelli:  How does ProData benefit from sponsoring you on the circuit?
Chad:  The biggest way I help ProData on the circuit is talking with business owners. I occasionally talk to computer guys, but mostly I meet a lot of business owners. Good business owners may not know “HOW” DBU works, but they do see the value and need for DBU. The simple ability to analyze data quickly and efficiently is crucial to them.

Shelli:  What kind of interest to you get from people when they see ProData as a sponsor?
Chad:  The most common question I get from most people is “What is ProData?” or “What is DBU?”  Most of the people that I talk to don’t know what DBU is.  But the people that do know DBU tell me that they use it daily and love it.

Shelli:  Do you run into any computer people out on the circuit?
Chad:  Most of the computer people I run into are website developers, but I have found a couple of programmers that work with the IBM i.

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