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Editor: I recently was introduced to an exciting young Nevada angler- Carter Doren- by our friend and Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame angler Bill Siemantel. Carter is a very accomplished high school angler and was just named by B.A.S.S. to the All-American High School Fishing Team. I am thankful that Carter had the time to sit down with us to discuss his fishing journey, Bill’s Big Bass Zone Junior Tournament Series, and a variety of other topics.

iBass360: How did you get started fishing? Who have been your mentors?

Carter: I started fishing when I was introduced to online content creators. I credit video makers like Jon B. and Lake Fork Guy with first getting my interest focused on fishing. I would say my mentors have been a fisherman who fishes local events with me from whom I have had the privilege of watching and learning, and Bill Siemantel.

iBass360: Was there a moment, an event, something that made you realize that you and fishing were going to have more than just a casual relationship?

Carter: I remember a defining moment that marked the turn in my life towards a bass fishing career- it was my first tournament. We won that tournament with over 20 pounds. I keep the plaque from that event in a prominent place as a reminder of how far I have come since then.

iBass360: You live in Las Vegas- a place known more for casinos, showgirls, and golfing. How is the organized fishing community in your state and how welcoming has it been for young anglers?

Carter: There are 3 different clubs here in town and 2 main circuits. We have Nevada Bass Nation, which is the circuit I have chosen to fish, and the TBF Nation. Ever since joining as a 14- year- old kid, I have felt nothing but kindness and friendship from the club members and Nation members. We are truly a tight knit family that relies on each other due to our small size.

iBass360: Your fishing success has covered some territory- Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho among other places. These are not quick trips to the local lakes. How do you find the time to learn these bodies of water, fish the events and balance that with the normal demands placed on a high school student?

Carter: With online schooling, like we have in Las Vegas, it’s easy to take school anywhere. But in normal times it can be a struggle to balance fishing and schoolwork. It takes practice to achieve that perfect balance. Before even making a trip, I spend numerous hours on all sorts of websites and programs trying to learn as much about the structure of the lake and how it fishes- all without being on the water. I also throw baits in which I have confidence and that I believe I can use to catch big fish. This tends to help me fish better and results in me worrying less about my bait selection.

iBass360: In achieving what you achieved so far, what do you think you have done right, and what were the mistakes from which you have learned the most?

Carter: I believe I owe a lot of my success to surrounding myself with very highly skilled anglers and being observant and learning all I can from them. I fished as a co-angler every weekend for 2 ½ years, and I believe that is where I gained a lot of my knowledge. I think one of my biggest mistakes was not buying proper gear when I was new to the fishing world. I wish I had saved up and bought better equipment than the multiple budget friendly setups that often “broke down” and failed to help me learn to use the right equipment in the right situation.

iBass360: You have had success in the Big Bass Zone tournament series. How did you hear about it and what advice would you give to young anglers about getting involved in tournament fishing?

Carter: I learned about the BBZJC from Facebook promotions posted by Bill Siemantel. This is an opportunity for teen anglers to get some real experience and at the same time earn some prize money. The biggest piece of advice I could give someone interested in competitive fishing is to always be prepared when you are on the water. You never know when a big one might bite, so I always have my ruler, card, and phone- charged- whenever wetting a line. I submitted 95% of my fish in 2019 and 2020 while fishing other tournaments. When I finished weighing my fish, I would take photos and submit them- doubling up on one fish!

iBass360: Your jersey sports some good brands in the fishing community. How have you gone about gaining sponsorships and the money it takes to commit to tournament fishing? What advice would you give to other young anglers in this regard?

Carter: I think of a sponsorship as more of a partnership that is mutually beneficial to both parties. I don’t partner with companies if I don’t have 100% confidence in what they produce and what they stand for. As far as the finances, fishing may be expensive, but I see the money I am spending as an investment in my success. For example, a $300 rod or a new boat may seem expensive upfront but a good quality rod will pay for itself in more fish caught and will last longer than a budget one. A high- quality boat will last for years if you treat it right and will also pay for itself by giving you the tools to be organized for doing well in tournaments. I would tell any new angler to save their money and purchase good quality equipment because it will pay for itself in money saved, money won, and memories that last a lifetime.

iBass360: You were recently named to the 2021 Bassmaster All-American fishing team. What does that mean and how does a young angler achieve such an honor?

Carter: Having the title of “All-American” is such a