Alumni Grant Hinton carries SEMO club fishing experience into the real world
Southeast alumnus Grant Hinton joined the Southeast Missouri State Bass Anglers in 2013 and has taken his experiences from the organization to new heights.
“I started out doing club tournaments,” Hinton said. “It was just a couple of St. Louis guys [who] like to go out and fish and have a good time without being super competitive.”
Hinton said he loved seeing a club on campus promoting the outdoors and catering to people who are passionate about the outdoors.
“It’s a club that I could feel at home with,” Hinton said. “It was nice to build relationships with guys [that] go to SEMO and who also like to be outdoors and do the things I like to do.”
Hinton has used the experience he gathered at Southeast and in the Bass Anglers to help him move on to bigger competitions and pick up sponsors along the way. He is sponsored by Sta-Bil Marine, Omega Custom Tackle, Eco Pro Tungsten, Amphibia Eyegear and The Rod Glove.
“Without [my sponsors] I couldn’t do it,” Hinton said. “They are so supportive and drive me to be better in all aspects of life. And the support from my friends and family is beyond words.”
Hinton is competing in the Fishing League Worldwide Bass Fishing League, or the FLW-BFL for short. From Oct. 23 to 26, Hinton will fish in the BFL Regional Tournament on the Grand Lake of the Cherokees in Grove, Oklahoma. He qualified for the tournament after fishing in five BFL qualifiers and finishing in the top 45 in his division. The top six anglers from each regional will qualify for the BFL National Championship.
“I used the club to help better my craft of tournament fishing,” Hinton said. “Not only was I trying to get my degree, but on the outside, I was working on a secondary passion of mine and trying to make a ‘career’ out of that too.”
In BFL competitions such as the ones Hinton participates in scoring and final position placement are based on the cumulative weight of five fish. As it is the BASS Fishing League only four types of fish are accepted for weigh-in: largemouth, spotted, redeye and smallmouth bass.
Hinton said there are many factors that influence anyone competition.
“You have eight hours to go make things happen, so time of year comes into play, and the history of a certain place is something you need to know,” Hinton said. “You have to take what you already know but also be able to abandon it at a moment’s notice if need be.”
Hinton said his love for fishing stems from his passion for the outdoors and his drive to be competitive.
“I didn’t get into competitive fishing until I was in high school,” Hinton said. “I did it on my own for fun, and I always grew up doing competitive sports. Toward the end of high school, I combined my love for fishing and my competitive personality and began competing in local club tournaments.”
For more information about the Southeast Missouri State Bass Anglers, find the group on Facebook at Southeast Missouri State Bass Anglers.