Bassmaster Elite Series Pro
Fishing goes hand-in-hand with growing up in the land of 10,000 lakes. A Minnesota boy, Josh spent his junior high and high school summers at his grandparents’ cabin. He’d get up early every morning to fish with his grandpa, golf with grandma during the day and then fish again every afternoon. Though his grandpa was mostly after northerns and walleye, a neighbor from Alabama taught him about bass fishing.
Josh distinctly remembers the first time he found three or four largemouth bass in his grandpa’s catch basket – he was instantly enamored. To a young Josh, they were the coolest things in the world and he would sneak out at night to lip them and then set them free. If his grandpa knew, he never said a word. Soon, Josh was out on the paddle boat every day stalking largemouth. A fishing trip to Canada for smallmouth with his uncle cemented his passion for bass. He was head over heels – and he knew that fishing was what he wanted to do with his life.
From those humble beginnings to making it as a pro angler, Josh’s passion and determination has charted his course. The years spent working in hospitality and guiding to afford his first boat and support his growing family, his initial struggle on the national bass scene, the tough climb up the tournament ladder – it was all worth it to live out his childhood dreams of being a Bassmaster Elite Series Pro.
“I’m not fishing for money, I’m fishing for a childhood dream so I want baits that are going to get me where I want to be. I want to be one of the best anglers on the planet and I feel Outkast wants to make the best jigs on the planet.”
~ Josh Douglas
Advice for Aspiring Pro Anglers
I wish I had been a co-angler for a few years before going pro. Everyone I know who did that learned so much and got to watch other anglers’ mistakes and successes – without spending a ton of money on the opens. Co-angling can help your development so much quicker without the financial or mental burden. The Open is the most savage circuit on the planet – 300 people competing for those top three spots and they’re all great fishermen. The mental and financial burdens are huge and people can burn out real quick.
Advice for New Bass Fishermen
You can learn how to bass fish like any other sport. You can read when, where and why and watch all the YouTube videos. Now more than ever it’s an information highway – which is awesome – but the key to it at the end of the day is instinct. For me, I need to be on the water damn-near every day so I’m thinking like them. With that comes an element that you can’t teach, you can only learn. The more you can be out on the water to experience different things, that’s the ticket to success – more so than any rig or jig or reel.
Why He Partnered with Outkast Tackle
Outkast was super present in the community when I was just getting on the bass scene and I was excited to partner with them because I was already using their jigs. Getting free bait was super helpful as I moved up the bass fishing ranks, and it was refreshing to have a sponsor who wanted to build things around the way I fish. Sponsors want their anglers to really feel their products are the best – and that’s the way I feel about Outkast. They’ve never been just about profit; they want to make the best jigs out there and help grow the sport.
Favorite Smallmouth Jig: Perfect Ned Head
Josh put in some serious time testing this ned head every which way from Sunday. The Perfect Ned Head is so unique because it can come through rocks better than any other on the market and has a great hook ratio. “It gets bit more and it lands more… and that’s what’s most important.”
Favorite Largemouth Jig: Pro Swim Jig
Waxing a bit nostalgic, Outkast Tackle was one of Josh’s first sponsors and the Pro Swim Jig in particular really helped him excel at practice, moving water and picking up bites. To this day, Josh swears by this super versatile jig and thinks it’s one of the best swim jigs on the market.