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Family, Fishing, and Following Dreams
To Devon, family is first and everything. This started at a young age, when he and his father would go fishing during the summers. One day, as a junior in high school, he was flipping through channels and realized he could get paid to fish. He made that his focus, reading magazines and videotaping the Bassmasters and Fishing League Worldwide events to learn from the pros.
Devon fished at every opportunity. He had pan fished, but bass fishing was a different beast. He needed to learn the techniques, about rods, weights and spinning reels, different types of lures and what type of line to use. In addition, he would spend hours at the Bass Pro Shop soaking up whatever information he could gather. To this day, he keeps a crate of those tapes and watches them each winter.
That same dedication goes into Devon’s preparation for competition. He starts preparing for events as soon as the schedule is released. “The process is intensive,” Devon says. “I start doing research and looking at old films and other strategies required to be successful before hitting the water. I look into the wind weights and the top baits of the previous years. I use Google Earth to find waypoints so upon arrival I have areas to check out. If I’m not successful, I want to know I did everything I could, and the plan just didn’t work out.”
Devon Banks is also a middle school administrator with an incredible ability to connect with a younger generation. The students follow Devon on social media, and began encouraging him to produce merchandise. Already having t-shirts in the works, he gave one to a student with the mantra he repeats to the students, “Hard Work Never Fails.” More students inquired about the shirts, so he created a line of T-shirts for the students. The whole school has gotten on board, with the creation of “Devon Banks Merch Day” or “wear your fishing clothing.” Above all, Devon’s constant message is to encourage the students to follow their dreams and passions.
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