For as long as he can remember, Hayesville High School senior Caz Anderson has had a fishing pole in his hands. His lifelong commitment entered a new level when he began representing HHS in high school fishing tournaments. As a result of his passionate pursuit of the illusive bass, Anderson has been named to the B.A.S.S. All-State team for North Carolina.
Anderson says the love of fishing was inherited from his dad Michael. “My dad always took me fishing from the time I could walk, so it has always been given to me as an opportunity because he loves it as well.” Even though it was an activity he shared with his dad, it didn’t take long for the hobby to steal his heart. I was never into it like I am now until he took me in my first tournament when I was eight years old, that was when I fell in love with it.”
It’s that love that motivated Anderson to pursue the sport and the possibility of competing on the highest level. Once he started competing in high school tournaments, his desire to become a pro angler went into overdrive.
Constantly looking to master his craft, Anderson says he can usually be found on the lake in a boat. “I average at least five days a week on the water, more now that I have more free time.” Even though he’s still competing in high school events, the Yellow Jacket Angler has turned his love of fishing into a money-making venture. “During the summer I am out there every day doing trips for my guide service and trying to stay on the fish for the sake of the success of my clients.”
When a tournament rolls around, Anderson’s mindset shifts from fun days out on the lake to competitor mode. “The hardest part is mentally adjusting your mind to a tournament mentality; when to stay and leave spots, why fish are doing a certain thing. You don’t necessarily have to think about these things as much if your fishing just for fun,” said Anderson.
While his results are quickly making him a well-known name if fishing circles, Anderson also utilizes social media to help build his brand. His Facebook page features videos of Anderson reviewing products, giving fishing tips and pictures of some of his latest catches. “In this day and age an online presence is a must. You can stay ahead of the game and your content goes further than you could ever imagine if you do it right” Anderson said.
Looking ahead, Anderson has started making his post-high school career plans which could be record breaking. “I plan to fish the Bassmaster Opens as a boater next year in hopes of qualifying for the professional tour and being the youngest to ever be a professional. This will be hard as I will be in college but I have to keep working towards my dream.
If his track record is a sign of things to come, Anderson looks to be well on his way to achieving his dream.