"My opportunity to work with the Cajun Rods crew is nothing short of a blessing. I’ve taken another big step into achieving my dream one day, and I’m eager to take the next!"
Cantley KrafftMy dad and granddad introduced my brother Keith and I into the wonderful world of fishing when we were very young. Shortly thereafter, fishing became competitive with my brother, whether we were fishing for bass, musky, trout… you name it. I remember my brother would do research on new lures by reading Bassmaster magazines and watching the fishing channels. When Keith would learn something new, we’d beg our dad or granddad to take us fishing and he’d show me how to use the new lures either before or after he’d kick my butt with them. To this day, Keith continues to teach me by opening my mind to new perspectives in the sport of bass fishing.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always dreamed of becoming a professional bass fisherman. To this day, I find myself chasing that dream one day at a time, both physically and mentally. Having grown up so close to the New River, my brother and I are what you might call a couple of “River Rats.” I personally believe that the New River has guided me in the right direction throughout my entire life, both on and off the water. It has driven me to pursue my dream of hunting Kimos, motivated me to work hard off the water (so that I might find more time to spend on the water), and has ultimately driven my interest in my career goals and academic pursuits.
I’m a sophomore at Virginia Tech, currently studying Fisheries Conservation and planning to pursue another major in Marketing Management. I’m also the Senior Sponsor Representative for the Bass Fishing Team at Virginia Tech, as well as a member of the American Fisheries Society. I’m blessed to be able to attend such a great university where I can pursue my career, and my dream, all in one.
If not for the Bass Fishing Team at Virginia Tech, I would never have met Jaesen; he and I met at a fishing expo in Richmond, VA back in 2015. Here, he convinced me to sign up for a contest, in which they were giving away a free Cajun Custom College Series Rod, which I won! After I designed the “Kimo Slayer,” one thing led to another, and thus I have found my place in the Cajun family as the youngest pro-staff member on the team. The biggest thing that I learned from that experience is to just talk with people. Simply interact with individuals, meet new people, and leave positive impressions on others – you never know what might come of it, or where it might lead you.
My opportunity to work with Jaesen, Stacy, John, and the rest of the Cajun Custom Rods crew is nothing short of a blessing. I’ve taken another big step into achieving my dream one day, and I’m eager to take the next! For now, I plan to continue to hunt Kimos, to make some noise at the scales both within and outside of the collegiate level, and to have fun with every second of it.
“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive, yet attainable; a perpetual series of occasions for hope.”