Cutrer’s dream comes true, becomes pro boater at age 32 next yearPublished 12:02am Sunday, May 25, 2014
NATCHEZ — After fishing as a co-angler for six years in the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society tournaments, Brent Cutrer will fish as a professional boater when the new season begins next year.
Cutrer, 32, is a Natchez native that’s been fishing since he was 5 years old. He’s wanted to fish professionally since he was 18.
“I said, ‘man, I want to get into that,’ but I didn’t know how and didn’t know anybody,” Cutrer said. “I had to do a lot of research to figure out how to enter these tournaments.”
It took him eight years to put things into motion in an attempt to pursue his dream, entering one tournament as a co-angler the moment registration opened in 2008. He did so in a boat, fishing with a friend of his on Lake Okhissa. What transpired next for Cutrer was a foreign journey filled with question marks.
“I didn’t have a clue,” Cutrer said. “I knew how to talk fishing, but I didn’t know how you’re supposed to go about doing things. I was pretty nervous.”
Using MapQuest as his source, Cutrer printed out directions to his first tournament in Shreveport, where he met up with his boater and was given directions. Cutrer’s anxiousness built, but everything settled when Cutrer did what came most natural to him — fish.
“I fell into it like I’ve been doing it my whole life,” Cutrer said. “Once I got into fishing, I was relaxed.”
In his first tournament, Cutrer placed third against 240 boats and earned a sum of $3,900. Suddenly, it donned on him that he could hang with fellow professionals on the water.
“I was like, ‘this is pretty cool,’” Cutrer said. “The next one, I pretty much had the same finish. The first nine tournaments I was in, I made money. I’m thinking, ‘man, I guess I’m doing pretty good.’”
He didn’t rush the process. Instead of pursuing to become a professional boater, which is a step up from being the angler, Cutrer learned the waters, gained experience and prepped for the eventual move. Over time, he realized that knowing the waters is the greatest resource of all.
“You see these guys on television, and you think they have these super tricks,” Cutrer said. “It’s not that way. You just have to find them. That’s the hard one. Catching fish is pretty easy, but you have to know where they are. That’s the key, location, location, location.”
Today, Cutrer gets to fish for a living while working at a chemical plant in Donaldsonville, La. Before accepting the job with the plant five years ago, Cutrer made sure his boss knew of his other obligations.
“He said, ‘You can get off whenever you want for fishing, no terms,’ so I said, ‘man, we’re going to get along great,’” Cutrer said.
Cutrer’s earned $12,839.67 in 12 total tournaments with three top 10 finishes on his resume. He used some of his earnings to purchase a 201 Pro Elite Boat with a 200 SS Mercury.
Cutrer’s journey toward becoming a professional fisherman began in a boat six years ago, and it’ll continue in a boat he purchased with his winnings once he ventures onto the lakes next year as a professional boater.