2017 Here we come!

Everyone...Jeff Dobson here. I just wanted to jump in here and basically tell everyone what Jeff Dobson Professional Angler is about. I'm a family man with a beautiful wife of 14 years and an extremely talented 12 year old daughter. I'm the luckiest guy in the world when it comes to family! I'm also a very dedicated Commercial Construction Superintendent. I have talents in the construction industry that I love to put to work everyday. I am extremely fortunate to work for a company that will support me fishing the FLW Tour in 2017. Last but not least, I am an extremely dedicated tournament angler.
I started fishing local derbies in about 1996 with my best friend Bryan from my hometown. Bryan and I took a couple of years to get things going but once we figured it out we did really well. As a team we won several AOY Titles in a local club, and also we won the Grand Challenge in 2001, At the time this was the largest Bass Tournament ever held in Oklahoma with over 500 boats.
This was a turning point for me in my career, it gave me the confidence to know I could do well at a higher level. As I started to move up things were going real well, I was cashing checks and finished in a top 10 at my first BFL Regional at Beaver lake.
At that point I decided to make the move up to what was then called the Stren Series. I was very unfortunate and run into some bad luck at the first couple of tournaments that were out of my control. I seemed to take that as a sign that I wasn't ready. I backed off, started just fishing local tournaments and Marcy and I decided to start our family.
Well the itch just would never go away!!! I couldn't stand it because I knew what I wanted and knew that I was good enough to compete. The problem was I just didn't have enough money to do it. That's when I decided to start building a Resume and seeking out sponsorships. Part of this decision was to not really fish team events anymore.
I started fishing American Bass Anglers events that were close to my house. Desperately trying to make a name for myself I spent hours and hours prefishing and planning for these events to the point I was obsessed.
I was fortunate to win several of these tournaments and people were starting to recognize and respect who I was on the water. In 2012 I learned that the American Bass Anglers National Championship was going to be held on Grand lake. I knew this was going to be a huge opportunity. Later on that year I learned about how they did the AOY tournament and knew 100% that this was going to be my chance.
At this point I set my goal to win AOY for Dist 122 to qualify to fish this event. Trust me, there were several others that had the same thoughts in mind. Several guys from the Grand lake area traveled over to fish our Dist just to qualify, the competition was fierce. I ended up winning Dist 122 AOY again and it absolutely came down to the last two day event. At this point it was all about planning for both the AOY event and the National Championship.
The AOY event ended up being held at Hudson Lake which is just below Grand lake. It was a winner takes all event, so I decided to swing for the fences. Hudson has a ton of 3-5 lbs fish in it so I knew I had to bring it. I chose to fish off shore areas in hopes to find the bigger fish, I fell short one fish of a limit but my big fish plan paid off. I had two big ones that put me over the top. Prize that day was a 2102 Triton 21 XS boat valued at over $60k. I was so excited but I still had work to do.
The following day we started practice for the National Championship. This event set up perfect for me. The fish were in a fall transition slump and the weights were low for grand lake. I ended up finishing 2nd out of over 400 boats.
At this point I had some leverage to take to my sponsors, I started picking up some new ones as well. Only problem was they were only material sponsors and I just didn't have the money to take it to the next level. After learning that the following year Costa Series event was going to be on Grand I knew I had to figure out how to make it.
The owner of HydrillaGear stepped up and paid my entry for this event. I did pretty well and cut a check and actually made a little money. But I still wasn't ready financially to fish them all.
The following year I fished the same Costa event on Grand and cashed another check. It was at that point I decided it was time. The following year I fished the entire season of the Costa Series SW Division in hopes to qualify for the 2017 FLW Tour. The picture below was the weigh-in on the third day of the last event.
That is when I learned that I finished 3rd in points for AOY and had finalized my dream. My emotions were just uncontrollably pouring out. I had worked so hard, and made so many sacrifices to make this happen and it was finally over!
Next year is going to be awesome and I just can't wait to get started. Huge thank you to everyone that has helped me get to this point, no way I could have made it without the support!