It’s not all that uncommon to hear the story of a college athlete who excels in his/her craft and decides to go pro.
It happens all of the time in football, basketball, baseball and everywhere else around the world of mainstream sports.
But when it’s a fisherman, it’s rare – except, of course, when it’s Tyler Rivet.
Rivet is one of the co-founders of the Nicholls bass fishing team, which has enjoyed well-chronicled success in its history and is now one of the top teams in the country.
Rivet is still a member of that team. He is a senior with one semester left. He recently qualified for his fifth Collegiate Championship Tournament in a row.
When it’s all over, Rivet said he plans to turn his hobby into a job with big hopes at going pro and becoming a professional bass angler – a dream he said he’s been chasing for most of his adult life.
“I plan on trying to make it as a pro,” Rivet said. “I am working on it as we speak by fishing the Bassmaster Open Tournaments and Federation Tournaments that can qualify you for the elites. My plan is basically to qualify for the Elites and see how it goes from there because I have a great support team that help me to accomplish my goals.”
For Rivet, this path is more than just some pipe dream.
He’s been living for this his entire life.
Rivet said he’s been an avid angler from childhood. Most people remember childhood memories like getting new toys. For Rivet, he remembers rods, reels, baits and catches.
“I’ve been fishing my whole life,” Rivet said. “Ever since I was a kid, I was either in the woods or in the water.”
Rivet said he was a young athlete who played other sports, as well. But he eyeballed one day in particular as one where he traded the bats, balls, pads and gear for his one true love.
“When I was old enough to start driving my boat, that’s when I was 100 percent dedicated to fishing and I quit all my other sports just so I could fish more,” Rivet said.
But high school graduation came which caused another road block that had to be crossed.
But Rivet wouldn’t be denied, helping to start the Nicholls Bass Federation. The idea, at first, was to have a small campus club that competed at smaller local events.
But through success, Rivet and others have helped to build the club to its current position as one of the top teams in the country.
Nicholls has placed at several national events and in just a few years, Rivet, himself, has helped grow his angling career to the point that getting to the pros is actually an attainable goal.
“The bass team is awesome at Nicholls,” Rivet said. “It has given me so much knowledge about fishing and I’ve met some great guys that I always keep in touch with. It’s awesome, too, knowing that I helped everyone that enjoys fishing to have a new club to join at Nicholls. Hopefully once I leave, we can leave it to some guys that can have some more success at the collegiate level and keep us known for our fishing.”
So while Rivet builds his resume and looks to continue to collect trophies and accolades to build up to the pros, he’s also using the education that Nicholls presented him to make his outdoor dreams come true.
In addition to building toward the pros, Rivet and his girlfriend, Allyson Marcel, decided to go into business together to open a tackle shop, called Prime Time Tackle.
The shop is opened and operating at 109 Canal Street in Lockport and it sells baits, tackle and other accessories that anglers need to be successful in their trips.
Rivet said the business is going good, but he stopped short of calling what he does ‘work’.
Because, of course, if you enjoy what you do, the old adage says that you never have to work a day in your life.
“I am truly thankful for everyone involved in supporting me,” Rivet said. “Without them, it is impossible.” •
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