Joe Grafeman Credits Parents for his Fishing Success

Joe Grafeman
Joe Grafeman
Joe Grafeman

Parents Are Key To My Success

By Joe Grafeman

The sport of high school fishing is really growing with many anglers starting to get into the sport. I have been fishing ever since I was old enough to hold a pole. I have been tournament fishing since I was 13 years old and I am now a senior in high school.

One of the keys to be able to be gone a lot and fish tournaments all over is to have a great support system at home. For me the support comes from my parents. From the time that I picked up a fishing pole they have supported me.

This means a lot. Tournament fishing requires you to travel a lot and it also is a lot of time away from home. Having this support system means everything to me. My parents have always believed in me.

There will be many tournaments that you do not do well in but you can talk with your parents about how the event went. They are always one call away.

This past fall I had a major tournament in Eastern Tennessee. The drive was 11 hours long. I wouldn’t want to share that drive with anyone else but my fabulous mom. She went with me and we made it into a fun trip. We sang songs and took turns driving. My dad was working so he came later during the week when the tournament started. Having my mom and dad with me on this trip made it a lot more fun.

Without my parents I would not have started fishing. We were originally from St. Louis, Mo., and during the weekends we always came to the Lake of the Ozarks and camped. I fished a lot growing up but did not bass fish. Chasing bluegill and catfish was how I started.

My parents got me to the lake every weekend that they could. Then I started to get serious about bass fishing and the fire grew even more. They moved me to the lake when I started my freshman year of high school. My dad is a Ferguson, Mo., firefighter and makes the drive back to St. Louis so I can live and go to school at the Lake of the Ozarks. We loved the move and it has made me who I am today.