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Havasu’s Roy Hawk is on a roll in his rookie year in the Bassmaster Elite Series

June 21, 2018

At some point in life, everyone finds something they are passionate about. Whatever that passion may be, the dream is always to turn it into a full-time gig that comes with a paycheck.

For Lake Havasu’s Roy Hawk the passion for fishing developed at six-years-old. Now at 47-years-young, Hawk is fishing at the highest level as a rookie on the Bassmaster Elite Series where even with a 50th place finish can come a nice payday.

So far this season, the rookie is off to a great start.

“I’m having a blast doing this. Each day it’s like getting shot out of a cannon,” Hawk said. “There are huge crowds at the weigh-ins and it is just such an adrenaline rush for me. I’m having the time of my life.”

Hawk has two top-ten finishes this season through five out of 11 possible tournaments in the Elite Series. In the first tournament of the season, he placed second in Alabama and third in the second tournament in Oklahoma.

Currently, Hawk ranks No. 1 in the rookie of the year standings among nine anglers in points. He also ranks No. 15 in the angler of the year standings out of 110 anglers in points.

Hawk has already won an angler of the year championship before. In fact, that is how he landed on the Bassmaster Elite Series.

Last year he won the championship of the Central Division in the Bassmaster Opens. Hawk said Bassmaster Elite takes the top five anglers in points out of 200 in the division. Since he was No. 1, he earned the bid.

Although Hawk said it was a dream come true to reach the highest level of the sport he was hesitant to accept the bid.

“It cost about $85,000 a year total to compete on the series,” Hawk said. “That’s a lot of money to come up with. But my wife and I talked about it and felt it was the right thing to do. I accepted the bid, talked to my sponsors and the doors started opening up and I was able to do it.”

The move has paid off so far for Hawk. In the previous years on various circuits, Hawk would compete in upwards of 40 tournaments a year.

On the Bassmaster Elite, there at the most 11 tournaments. It’s different, Hawk said, but it allows more time to spend at home in Havasu with his family.

“The tournaments are spaced out pretty good,” Hawk said. “We have a few back-to-back ones so occasionally I’m gone longer than I’ve ever been. Like two or three weeks. But I am able to come back and do nothing but hang out with the family for five days or two weeks.

“A lot of people say ‘Man, it’s rugged fishing the elites.’ But when you come from fishing 40 tournaments a year, it’s not that bad.”

The money —if you win — is not a bad thing either, although that is not why Hawk competes.

“I need (the money) and such to survive but I try to not look at it as the goal,” Hawk said. “But it is awesome. A bottom check in the Elite series is $10,000 with a 50th place finish. So its pretty good but if you are going to go out there and try and stack as much cash as you can you’re probably in it for the wrong reasons.”

Halfway through the season, the goals are still the same for Hawk as when he first joined the Bassmaster Elite. His main one is to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic, which Hawk said “is like the Super Bowl of fishing.”

Right now, that goal is in his sights as he ranks No.15 out of the top 35 anglers that will receive an invitation to the Classic who hold on to or earn the spots at the end of the season in October.

Hawk will be looking to hold on to his spot as he competes in the Bassmaster Elite at Mississippi River tournament in La Crosse, Wisconson today.