Mike Corbishley: A “Break” Between Tournaments

Gaining an edge on the competition can depend on what you do when you don't have a rod and reel in your hand.

Contributing NPFL Editor, Mike Corbishley | Photos by Tanner & Travis Lyons

Firstly, I want to give a huge congrats to Brandon Perkins on winning our inaugural championship down at Amistad. While I didn’t have the finish I wanted there, it was an incredible event, and I’m going to do everything I can to make it back next year.

The Championship aside, if you look at the 2024 schedule for the NPFL, you’ll notice that the schedule leans heavily toward the post-spawn and that there is a three-month “break” between our first two tournaments – Logan Martin and Hartwell. While on paper that’s a long time, there is a lot going on for the anglers that can 100% make or break the rest of the season.

So, what are we doing during the break? One word. WORK. The reality of any professional sport is you need to work toward getting an edge on your competition – every. single. day. In this game, that ranges from time on the water to map study, researching new techniques (especially relating to forward-facing sonar/Active Target), organizing tackle, making sure your reels, rods, and everything on your boat is well-maintained, and the list goes on. It’s imperative that during this three-month “break,” you’re outworking your competitors, and when you go to make that first cast in practice, the only thing you have on your mind is how you put yourself in a position to win.

You’ll notice everything I listed above is related to fishing, but honestly, some of the most important things that equate to success (and I am still learning every day) in professional fishing actually take place without a rod and reel in hand. First and foremost, you have to have your family’s support to stay mentally strong in this. My wife and family have been nothing short of incredible in supporting me, and I would not have made it three years in, let alone one season, without their support.

Secondly, our sponsors. Nothing comes free in this game. Despite what some may think of being a professional angler, every single one of the guys fishing a pro-level tour has another job in some form or fashion. The majority of anglers work for themselves doing anything from guiding to handyman work – anything they can to pay the bills and make sure they’re somewhat financially stable before going to catch fish.

There is a small minority of anglers who actually fish “100% full-time” … and those guys are realistically either traveling, running from tournament to tournament, or are working hard for their sponsors at shows, shooting content, etc. Others, like myself, work for a larger corporation and are fortunate to have the flexibility.

I get the best of both worlds as I work full time for Lowrance in sales. I work with some incredible boat builders around the country and am fully immersed in the sport in some way on a daily basis. I’m extremely thankful for that and am very blessed, to say the least.

Without getting too long-winded here… I’m PUMPED to go chase some bass at Hartwell and am ready to take another swing at getting an NPFL shield. Here’s to a strong 2024 season!

Mike Corbishley is competing in his 3rd year on the NPFL Tournament Trail