If you’re looking for Marshall Williams, chances are he’s out on the water. If he’s not in school, doing homework or at church, the majority of his free time consists of being out on the lake fishing for that next great catch.
In a sport that is quickly gaining traction, especially in the southeast, Williams is making sure that he’s ahead of most of his peers. He’s already seeking out college offers to fish at the next level, and is establishing relationships with business for sponsorships, etc.
MARSHALL’S CAREER & PASSION FOR THE SPORT
When you watch Marshall fish, you’d think he’s already a pro. An avid outdoorsman with his dad, Russell Williams, Marshall has been tournament fishing for quite some time now.
“I started fishing tournaments when I turned ten years old,” says Williams. “I’m in my fifth season of Georgia Bass Nation, so I’ve been fishing six seasons.”
It takes probably one cast to see in person Marshall’s passion for the sport, as well as his knowledge. One such example of his passion happened a few years ago on his birthday.
“I wanted to go fishing for my birthday,” says Williams. “I caught a fish and grabbed him by the belly…and it flopped and I dropped the fish, and the hook got in my middle finger…it was buried real good. After the ER, we went back out fishing, and it was a great day of fishing.”
MARSHALL’S EQUIPMENT STASH
While out on the lake, Williams opens a latch on the boat’s floor to reveal a compartment that contains dozens of rods and reels, and another compartment with more bait, lures, line, and weights than you’d think you could ever use.
“We have so many different types of rods and reels because you have so many different baits,” says Williams. “Different kinds of baits require different types. We always have at least 30 with something tied on. Some might be a backup, because you don’t want to have to take time to re-tie a [setup] if they’re biting.”
MARSHALL’S USE OF TECHNOLOGY
Marshall’s boat is loaded with top of the line equipment and technology. The bass fishing sport requires that technology to be able to know where the fish are at and what lies beneath the surface of the water.
“There’s a lot of benefits to it,” echoes Williams. “You can still catch fish without it, but if you’re just coming in [without sonar], you’d have no idea [what’s under the water].”
AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION
Marshall isn’t content with just being good at catching fish, he’s out to gain an edge.
“To perform at my top level, I’m getting out on the water as much as I can…I try to every day. The more you’re out there, the better. I’m getting better because of that.”
While time on the water is important, he’s doing far more to stay ahead.
“I’ve been approaching sponsors and pro-staff companies that will give me discounts, and later on I can receive actual checks from them when I turn pro. I’ve been pretty successful with that, and I feel like most kids my age are not doing that as much as they could and should be.”
SEEKING A COLLEGE EDUCATION
“A college education will help me further my goal as a pro fisherman because I will be able to learn how to market myself as a business better…and run that business successfully.”
He understands early that a college degree will make him an asset to the sport even past his professional/college fishing career.
Williams’ goal is to fish through college after graduating from Tallulah Falls in 2020, and “hopefully fish professionally…and if that doesn’t work out, I can find a job in the fishing industry.”
There is no doubt with his passion and expertise that he will be able to do all that he sets out to do.