Angler Spotlight – Sheldon Collings

1.      When did you start fishing?  What was the catalyst?  I started fishing at the age of 2 years old. That was when I caught my first fish on my own. I fished my first tournament at the age of 5. My Father got me into the sport of fishing. Ever since I was old enough, he took me out on the boat every time he had the chance. I was also his partner in smaller tournaments from the age of 5 on.
2.      If you could only use one rod and one lure, what would it be and why?  The one bait that I would choose to use would be a 3.8 Keitech Swimbait (Tennessee shad) with an 1/8 oz jighead. The rod I would use would be a 6’9 medium light FullRange Spinning rod by TailWalk. This bait will work 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
3.      If you could fish any body of water in the world, what would it be?  Lake Biwa in Japan.
4.      What has been the most unexpected surprise or challenge about fishing the FLW tour?  The obstacles I have to face before and during tournaments. Everyone thinks that it’s easy, but it’s very stressful.
5.      Who has been a mentor for you in the fishing industry that you feel has made an impact on your professional career?  Randy Blaukat is my number one impact. I fished with him when I was 15 years old, and he has taught me a ton of advice that I take into consideration every time I’m out on the water. We both also like to fish the same type of things, because we both grew up on Grand Lake in Oklahoma. Another person that has made a huge impact is Zack Birge. He’s my traveling partner this year, and we are a lot alike. We both think alike and fish the same, and Zack is always there for me whenever I need him.
6.      What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a pro fishing career?  If you want to start a career in professional fishing, the number one thing I can tell someone is don’t get distracted. And, what I mean by that is, you have to be thinking about fishing 24/7. Even when I’m out deer hunting in November, I’m thinking that I could be out on the lake catching them on a pro blue jerkbait, or what bank I would be fishing at that time. Do homework on the next lake you’re going to be fishing. Work hard on and off the water. I was able to grow up living right on Grand Lake. So, I had the opportunity to go fishing every single day after I got out of school. I learned a lot fishing this one cove from the age of 10-15. I learned how to catch fish several different ways and in different conditions. And, always remember, there is no better way to learn about fishing than being out on the water.
7.     Qualifying for the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup is a great accomplishment in your rookie season!  What does it mean to you to have that opportunity?  To have the opportunity to be one of the few anglers that get to fish the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup is an incredible feeling. I have dreamed of fishing this event since I have been 5 years old. It’s going to be a dream come true walking out on that stage in August. I’ve watched about every Forrest Wood Cup event you could imagine on TV, and every time I watched it, I told myself I wanted to be there. Being able to be fishing against the best in the world is a feeling I will probably never be able to describe to someone. I’m very blessed.