Jake has always been synonymous with fishing. From his early days catching bluegill in a lake near his childhood home, to his high school years, his passion for fishing remained a constant. His first mobile phone, a gift from his mother, served the sole purpose of communicating his daily commute to this favorite fishing spot.
His involvement with the Teen Sportfishing Association (TSA) marked a significant milestone in his journey. The TSA's aim is to encourage youngsters without access to boats to engage in tournament fishing, and Jake thrived in this environment. He eagerly seized every opportunity to learn from local captains during monthly fishing expeditions. This education, coupled with extensive self-study via "YouTube University," shaped Jake into a competent tournament angler.
When he wasn't honing his skills on the water, Jake was often found watching renowned YouTubers like Connor McElvaney of BassAllYear, Gene Jensen (Flukemaster), and Jon B (j0j0barz). Inspired by their videos, he would fill his TackleWarehouse cart with the same baits they used, although he rarely made a purchase.
As Jake's interest and involvement in tournament fishing grew, so did the cost. His parents, keen on teaching him the value of money, nudged him towards finding his own income. Taking up odd jobs around the neighborhood, he learned the satisfaction of earning his own money, which he often used to buy more tackle.
This work ethic combined with his love for fishing led him to a golden opportunity at Mud Hole. Jake's friend, Baylor McDaniel, and his idol, pro fisherman John Cox, had both been building rods. Intrigued, Jake decided to follow in their footsteps. A fortuitous event led him to Mud Hole, where he discovered a half-completed rod. Seeing an opportunity, he purchased it, finished the build, and managed to sell it for twice the amount he'd spent. Posting his work on Instagram sparked interest from his peers, and soon enough, he was building and selling more rods.
By the time he was a high school senior, Jake was building and repairing several rods a week. Although the volume has fluctuated over the years, he has never fully halted his rod-building endeavors. His perseverance and passion eventually landed him a job at Mud Hole, a testament to his lifelong love for fishing. How he secured that position, however, is a tale for another time.