Interview - Advanced
Introducing the Advanced Angler.com, an interview with Managing Editor
||Bass Pros &
Introduction: We sit down with Dan O'Sullivan, an industry veteran
and Managing Editor of a new site, officially launching today, called the
Advanced Angler. This project is designed to create a place for anglers to get
information about tournament news, angler communication, industry buzz as well
as techniques to help anglers improve their own fishing effectiveness.
Zander: Hi Dan, thanks
for taking the time to talk to us, before we get into your new project letís
explore a little bit about your past and what brought you to this point. Letís
kick things off with when you first discovered a passion for fishing?
Dan: Iíve fished pretty
much my whole life in one form or another. My grandfather and uncles on my
Momís side of the family did some commercial salmon fishing for a while in
Oregon, and I was always interested in it. I started fishing for trout and
bluegill when I was around eight years old in Auburn after we moved there from
the Bay Area.
Meet Dan O'Sullivan
(center), experienced Outdoor Writer and now Managing Editor of Advanced
We had a little creek in
the hills behind our house that had bluegill in it, and a water storage lake
about a mile and a half away that we would ride our bikes to and fish for trout
in. My Dad was a teaching Golf pro at the time, and I started discovering bass
fishing in the ponds on the courses he worked at.
When I was 12, a friend of
my Dadís, who had fished several of the U.S. Bass and original Western Bass
events took me to Lake Oroville to fish for smallmouth out of his Monark McFast
5 bass boat. I couldnít sleep the night before, and we only caught one fish
that day on a Charlie Brewer Slider Worm, but I was hooked on bass fishing from
that point on.
Dan interviews Pro Angler Michael
Zander: I know that you
were also quite the baseball player prior to being involved in the fishing
industry as well, can you tell us a little more about that?
- I loved, and still love
baseball, I think it is the most poetic form of sport there is. Baseball has a
unique rhythm that is part symphony and chess match mixed with moments of
absolute violence when it comes to the explosion of a pitcherís release and a
hitter letting it all go in pursuit of perfect contact.
I played a lot of
different sports, and lettered in soccer, golf, baseball and football in high
school, and was even an All League linebacker and punter at Del Oro High School
in 1988. But, baseball was my first love.
After High School, I
played at The Masterís College, a Christian College in an NAIA league in
Southern California about 10 minutes from Castaic Lake. I was the starting
catcher for my team and first team All District for three years, and was named
to the NAIA All America team my sophomore and junior years.
I was scouted by all 26
Major League teams in high school, and most of the teams again in college. I
found out in the fall of my senior year that I had torn my rotator cuff that
would require major reconstructive surgery. It was then that I found
competitive bass fishing with my Dad, who had gotten into fishing by then too.
Dan spends a lot of time working
with the Pro Anglers, here he takes a victory shot of Pro Angler Brent Ehrler
Zander: Very cool,
letís transition now to writing and how you started out writing about fishing
and what were your goals were when it came to being a published outdoor writer?
Dan: I started writing a
column for an organization called New Bass in 1993 for their pullout section in
The Fish Sniffer Magazine. My first published column was called New Bass
Pro-File on a Northern California angler named Nate Lemons in early 1994 I
believe. The organization got several comments about it, so the column went on
for the next two years.
After that I began writing
for West Coast Bass News, then Western Bass again at The Fish Sniffer, where I
did the bulk of my work from 1998 through 2005 or so. During that time I
helped Vince Harris at Future Pro Tour build his organization for five years as
a staff member. I helped him run tournaments, and act as a communications
consultant when he needed it. In 2007 I got the opportunity to work with ESPN
Communications during the West Coast Swing of the Bassmaster Elite Series. It
was there that I met Mark Jeffreys of BASS ZONE .com, whom I worked for the rest
of 2007 and 2008 until I did a stint with the PAA.
I spent three years
working with River2Sea helping them write catalog descriptions as well as some
marketing, sales, press release construction and distribution. In December of
2008 I went to work at Bass West USA with Tony Stoltz and MAM Marketing.
Iíve also worked with
Skeet Reese on his personal website since around that time, and was there when
he won the Classic in 2009. Seeing him achieve that milestone was amazing, and
being able to experience the elation through him, his family and friends during
that was something Iíll never forget. That brings us to the current time, Iím
sure Iím leaving a few things out, but oh well.
Skeet blasts off at the 2008
Whatís interesting about
that time was that I held a full time job as a Safety Coordinator at HP, Account
Manager of a Fortune 500 janitorial company and a Property Manager all the way
through May of 2008, when I went full time in the fishing industry. My wife and
I also owned Lim-it Lures of California, a small premium tackle company from
2002 to 2006, a company we purchased from our friend Bob Lim, and subsequently
sold to another friend Paul Cunningham, who still operates it today. Looking at
it now, I donít know how we did it all.
I knew early on in my
first few articles that I wanted to share stories with readers. I liked getting
the opportunity to take an anglerís thoughts and finding a way to help
communicate their message with the everyday angler that drives our sport.
When I first developed the
love of writing, I knew; like I had done in my baseball life that I would set a
goal to be involved at the highest levels. My Dad and I became members of
B.A.S.S. almost immediately after watching an episode of The Bassmasters on
Skeet's 2009 Classic Victory
When I started writing and
getting published, I started dreaming of writing for Bassmaster, and seeing my
name next to guys like Tim Tucker, Steve Price and Louie Stout, and Westerners
George Kramer and Mike Jones.
Steve Price and Louie
Stout are my personal favorite national writers currently, as is Don Barone who
writes for B.A.S.S. and Wired2Fish. Iíve gotten a chance to work around all of
those guys quite a bit over the past several years, and they are all true
professionals that I look up to. My only regret is that I didnít get a chance
to meet Tucker, I hear he was tough, but everyone who worked around him has
great respect for his work, and what he did for the profession.
I was published in BASS
Times for the first time in 2008 by then Editor Matt Vincent, and have done a
few pieces for them over the past three years. Ken Duke Senior Editor at
Bassmaster .com has become a good friend and been really good to me with space
on that website. Iíve recently had two submissions, well one submission and an
assignment by chance truthfully, accepted for the February issue of Bassmaster
Magazine by James Hall.
A Story called Off the
Wall Football will be in there as will a story about Philadelphia Phillies
pitcher Roy Halladay and his day fishing with Skeet Reese on Clear Lake will
also be in that issue.
Thatís a long way around
your question, but itís the story.
Another of Dan's shots from last
year's Classic where KVD was once again Champion
Zander: Is there
anything you donít like about being an outdoor writer?
Dan: About the profession,
no. I am extraordinarily blessed to be doing what I love, in an industry that I
care about. I get a chance to work with great anglers and tell great stories.
I get to try and find new ways to communicate topics that have been told for
years, and learn about the cutting edge products and tactics that anglers use to
win on tour.
I also get to share those
with the angling public, which hopefully enhances their ability to enjoy their
hobby. My ultimate feeling is that I get to be a servant to the industry I
love, to the anglers I respect and the readers who deserve getting as accurate a
portrayal of the news as I can.
Pro Angler John Crews with his
signature Little John crankbait
The biggest difficulty I
face is that the profession can cause a burden on my wife Christina and my three
daughters. There are days Iím not here, even when I am in the same house.
Deadlines stack up, projects need to be completed or I travel. While I
thoroughly enjoy the work and being in the middle of some of the great stories
our sport produces; I miss my family and know that it places an unfair burden on
Christina at times.
Fortunately, she is behind
me and supportive of the career choices. Aside from the occasional time that it
becomes too much and things get overwhelming, we seem to manage okay. I know I
can always improve, and itís never perfect, but we do alright. Her support and
knowing she stands with me in this are really the proudest moments I have in all
Being close to the action means
getting the shot
Section: First look at the Advanced Angler