By Steve Graf
Some athletes are just born to be great, and some must work hard to develop their skills in order to be great. The great ones do things that are unexplainable and sometimes there’s no logical reason for what they do or why they do it. They’re blessed with natural talent and abilities that help them make “in the moment” decisions that seem to always work out. The great ones have unmatched character and determination, that in layman’s terms means….they hate to lose!
In the bass fishing world, there are anglers who fit the definition of a “natural,” like Kevin Van Dam, Rick Clunn, Larry Nixon, and Skeet Reece. These are just a few of the guys who, at one time or another, have made and continue to make a good living as touring professionals and have dominated tournament trails for many years. But every now and then, another one comes along that just seems to fish on another level with unmatched instinct and abilities that other anglers just don’t have…a guy who is totally committed to the process of catching bass. The latest angler to possess these God given talents is Nick Lebrun of Bossier City, Louisiana. He is a guy who has worked hard for years, through commitment and dedication, to refine his skills in order to compete at the highest level.
There’s a saying that I’ve heard for a long time and I’m not sure who really said it first…”Good things come to those who wait.” Well for Nick, the wait is over with his two latest ($100,000 each) tournament wins on the MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Tour. Nick became only the third person in MLF history to ever win back-to-back events. To win one time is a major accomplishment, but to win back-to-back events is the stuff legends are made of. His hard work, sacrifices, and years of tournament experience is starting to pay dividends.
Nick joined the Tackle Warehouse Pro Tour full time in 2019 after winning the 2018 FLW All-American event on his home waters of Cross Lake and has quickly made a name for himself, both as a very versatile angler and as a person. A devout Christian, Nick never takes full credit for his good fortunes. He gives all the praise and glory to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for putting him in position to be successful. The next person he gives praise to is his wife, Jolene, who has stood by his side with support and encouragement even when things weren’t going well. Like any professional bass fisherman, there are high and lows that can really strain a relationship, but Jolene has been the glue and the support that has allowed Nick to fulfill his dreams. Like they say, ”Behind every successful man is a supportive wife.” Jolene Lebrun is the perfect example of this quote.
The life of a professional bass fisherman is a tough way to make a living and is not attainable by everyone. Just like any other professional sport, many have tried and failed. There’s a very small percentage of anglers nationwide with dreams of fishing for a living that have actually made it to the highest level. A lot of anglers have gone broke and ended up in divorce court trying to achieve this dream. But if you are an up-and-coming angler and are looking for a great example of a person to follow, make it Nick Lebrun! Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!
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