I love following Matt Razey. I find his Freak Finder project and concept really cool. I am intrigued with how he thinks about fishing from a bigger perspective. Keep reading to see what I mean…
Lets start with the saying at the top of the Instagram. “Luck favors the prepared”. How does that saying apply in very practical ways to your approach to fishing?
So I am always a believer in controlling what you can control. We can’t control the weather, the fish, the conditions, but we can control our mental approach, and our equipment. If you put the time in and prep for your day of fishing; whether its going through your tackle, your boat, or looking at maps to get a mental picture of how you are going to start the day, all of that will lead to a more successful day on the water.
A lot of people associate luck to this sport; luck has a lot to do with it when it comes to catching a big fish, but luck has nothing to do with catching them. It takes work, dedication, and mastery to go out a piece the puzzle together and find the fish each time you go out on the water.
Tell us about your Freak Finder project. What is that all about?
Our Freak Finder Fishing project is a multi media project that aims to highlight the things we all love and associate with this sport. We do how to videos, product reviews, short films, production films, and technique specific videos. We are trying to do things that the normal everyday weekend angler cares about from the weekend angler perspective. We aren’t professionally trained, we don’t get equipment handed to us, we don’t have our own film crew. We are two guys that have a strong passion for this sport and we just try to produce content that we think people will relate to and that looks good. There is a lot of buzz in the world of fishing that sweeps people up to think that you need a 80k bass boat and a tackle shop in your basement. We come from a much different mindset.
What can we expect to see from the project in the future?
We are introducing aerial photography next season as another level to our films. No pun intended but the sky is the limit for us. We are also looking to tie in our filming with guided fishing trips. A client would book a 5 or 8 hour fishing trip with us and we would film the entire thing. The customer would have some high resolution photos and a highlight video recreating their day on the water with us to keep to remember their day. We can bring the Freak Finder experience to new fisherman and avid fisherman alike.
Your article “The Cool Kids at the Party” talks about the state of bass fishing, especially competitive bass fishing. What does bass fishing need to do over the next 5 years to continue its growth as a competitive sport?
Bass fishing needs to come back down to earth. As I said before, there is a lot of misconception out there that you need an $80,000 rig and a garage full of tackle. Unfortunately the media in fishing has painted this picture for a lot of people. The sport has become too expensive for a lot of people to compete in. Boats have way over inflated price tags and gear has been on the steady increase over the past 10 years as well.
The sport needs to be more cost effective for the majority if it is to truly grow. Most major tournament trails started in the “grass roots” and I think we need to get back to that model. People can have all the talent in the world but their cash is going to run out before their true talent is seen on a major stage. That shouldn’t be the case. We all have to “pay to play” but it shouldn’t take putting everything you have on the line for throwing your hat in the ring and trying to compete.
How do you see your own role as a recreational and tournament angler in that evolution?
That is one of the major reasons why I was so excited for the opportunity surrounding this Freak Finder project. The core concepts of what we are trying to do, highlight, and showcase are fully aligned with the movement that the industry has to take. You read magazines, blogs, watch shows on tv, etc. all that is fine and good but what is relatable? Don’t get me wrong I love watching fishing shows and I take advantage of just about every fishing publication out there; but everyone that is featured in those outlets are in the top 5% of the sport. We are trying to do things and show things from the perspective of the majority of people that fish. We work full time jobs, we don’t get new boats every year, we stop fishing to film and we start our fishing days at 3:00 am and come home at 8:00 pm on our “days off.”
I love your Quik Flicks videos that feature short spots on certain targets. What do you think is the most underrated bass fishing technique?
The most underrated technique for me is Topwater fishing. A lot of people just think this is a technique for certain times of year and certain times of the day. Sure it shines first thing in the morning and right around dusk; but I have had some great days of fishing where I have had a topwater ready to go all day long on the deck of my boat. It is something that I have a ton of confidence in and is a great way to trigger bigger strikes. Plus the excitement that goes along with that style of fishing makes every fish feel like a good one!
You run a busy tournament schedule fishing some of New England’s best waters. What do you consider your favorite New England tournament body of water?
Lake Wentworth in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire is always going to be a soft spot for me. It is basically where I learned how to smallmouth fish from my dad. My family would vacation in a cottage on that lake when I was 5-15 years old. My favorite tournament body of water is Lake Champlain in New York and Vermont. That place is just amazing; 4 lb largemouth and 4 lb smallmouth all co-mingling with each other. That lake is so dynamic with a little bit of all your favorites; any “bass head” can go up there and have a blast. There is no surprise it is always listed as one of the top lakes in the country. It is a fish factory.
You have a ton of sponsors. There are a lot of anglers trying hard to get sponsored. What have been your keys to obtaining those sponsorships?
I have always looked to align myself with companies that are growing. I always looked to put myself in a position where I can grow and help companies grow; a win-win symbiotic relationship for both parties. I also never have approached a sponsor who’s products I didn’t use, love, and have confidence in. If you don’t know the products that you are endorsing in and out, and if you don’t believe in it; people will see right through you. We aren’t fishing on TV and it is not about how you finish in tournaments, it is how you can market yourself and thus market companies. You are essentially an extension of the company and an employee of that company; don’t look for handouts and truly ask yourself how can I help this company sell more products and grow.
Lastly and maybe most importantly, tell us about your Cast for Kids program. What is it all about and how can others support your efforts?
I started Cast for Kids a few years ago in hopes to raise some money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Those hospitals do so many wonderful things for the children that go there and their families that there with them. The funding that comes from Children’s Miracle Network helps child life programs in hospitals like music therapy, art programs, animal therapy programs, and birthday/Christmas toy drives. This allows kids to forget they are sick and in a hospital dealing with potentially life threatening issues and also makes life on the rest of the family members a little bit easier each and every time they go into a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Many retailers and companies out there help raise money for Children’s Miracle Network; every little bit helps, so donate when asked. That will help the cause.
This last part is so important. Fishing gives us a lot but we also have the power to use it to give back. Thank you Matt for all that you are doing with Cast for Kids as well as the sport of fishing. It was an honor to get a chance to interview you and I look forward to following your continued success.
Also, make sure to take a look at Matt’s sponsors and everything that they offer.