You heard the beef when FLW’s Red River tournament was shelved. Yes, the anglers missed a chance at cashing, but they missed something else. Each lost an opportunity to highlight his or her sponsors. Whether they were going to make the cut or not, whether they were going to get TV face time, or just be around a few days to converse with the locals, those moments were lost.

And that, in many ways (in this tougher sponsor market) explains why both inter-personal skills and visibility make a difference in one’s value to a company. Fishing skill is vital, sure, but every tournament field has some anglers at the top and other anglers at the bottom of the standings. Yet on any given weekend, they can either impress, or turn-off potential customers.

Ed Clarke at Maverick Premium Fishing Lures up at Clear Lake (click here) recognizes this and that is exactly why he added Tami Curtis, now living in Seabrook, Texas, to his pro staff.

“She has a true love for the sport,” he told me in a recent interview. “A lot of guys are looking to turn a hobby into quick cash. Tami is one you would like to put out as an ambassador. She’s always smiling; she gives of herself for the sport.”

When I spoke with Tami earlier today, she was very sensitive about her finishes in the two events she has tackled in 2010. On her own blog she wrote, “I thought Shasta beat me up…” referring to her struggle at the Delta as well. But every tournament stop allows her to improve her skills, learn new methods, and all the while, showcase quality products.

When Clarke came to her at Lake Oroville a couple of seasons back, he asked Tami to carry the Maverick banner. Clearly humbled by the offer, she said,  “Its helped me as a co-angler. It gives me recognition with a company that already has a good reputation.”

But then, something special happened. After Tami made the final top 5 qualifiers in the National Guard last season, Clarke, decided to capitalize on an obvious trend. With the bigger worms generating interest from California to Texas, he put out a 10-inch hand-pour called “Tami’s RockN Roller.”

Clarke told me, “Maverick is more than just a hand pour company. We have people trying baits and giving feedback. I give her (Tami) opportunities to name things and have feedback.”

Still, such a marketing move was more than a small surprise for the co-angler. “That was totally a shock,” she said. But better than that, it seems to be working.

And Tami is committed to keeping her part of the agreement. “The commercial I created for Ed has been a benefit for him,” She said. “I’m trying to be more creative in my arrangement with Maverick.”

And on the other side, Clarke says, “Tami is very good with worms. I can help her out and she can help me out,” adding his pleasure with the business relationship: “I’m really happy with it.”


6 Responses to “Texas co-angler gets NorCal sponsorship”

Hey George…thanks for the kind words and mention!

Tami introduced me last year to the shaky 8″ worm and said here try this on the “Delta”…I tried it with her present. After 15 minutes, turned too her and asked for Ed Clarke’s phone number….Ordered a 100 assorted colors for the waters I fish….DD None —-9’s (2), 8’s (4) 6-7’s (Many)

Rich Thiel
Professional Guide
California Delta

Rich, do they call you the Punisher up there? You hurt my feelings every time you post your big fish stats. 🙂

George, I’ve been on this body of water for so long, that I started giving names to them. Can even tell you where Ethel lives and which male she’s going to court. Their’s one spot down in the Southern part of the Delta that I call the “Flusher”, ask Tommy Cordova about that spot. Going for 5 over Ten this yr…See if I can crack a 15. Been’in Guyle caught a 14.60 its well possible.

It’s true…I’ve seen it first hand. Rich you are a big fish catching machine on the Delta! I enjoy fishing with you.

I would like to thank Ed for the care package he sent. I fish havasu and I love using the 8 inch shaker that’s my go to bait one the best worms out on the market I have used maverick lures now for 2 years and recommend them to everyone I fish with keep up the good work Ed