They Call Him “That Kid Niko”
Editor: iBass360’s Kevin Carwile had the opportunity to discuss fishing with an up and coming collegiate angler fishing for the well-known Bethel University Wildcats Bass Fishing Team. Niko
Romero is originally from Arizona and now lives in Texas- that is, when he is not at school in Kentucky or out fishing one of the many trails on which he is competing this year. When it comes to fishing, Niko is all heart and passion and we appreciate that he took time out of his busy schedule to bring us up to date on his fishing.
iBass360: So how does a fisherman from the southwest end up at one of the best known bass fishing colleges?
Niko: I was lucky to attend a high school with a good fishing team. It gave me a lot of opportunity to fish competitively, and I did pretty well. Fishing is in my blood, and I knew if I wanted to fish professionally, having a great collegiate opportunity would be a big help. So I picked Bethel not only for its reputation for putting out the next generation of elite anglers but also for the brotherhood of the anglers. It is one of the best run teams in the country. They offer team anglers school boats to fish out of, as well as fully paid travel for tournaments. Bethel is one of the few schools that is fully funded for fishing. If that was not enough, our coach, Gary Mason, is in his 12th year and he has built a world class program and mentored many young
iBass360: How do you find life at college and on the team?
Niko: Many might be surprised, but there are 35 guys on our team. It’s a big deal for the school, and our camaraderie is like a football team. It is fun but as members of this special team we take it seriously too. Our spare time is spent mostly doing school work. We have to maintain a certain GPA to be on this team, so I have to do well in the academic work to be able to fish. In that way it is just like other collegiate sports. We have a killer schedule and it looks like we will be on the road a ton. The team is feeling really confident with our mix of upperclassmen many of whom are hammers
who have already made a name for themselves at the collegiate level. Their achievements are highly motivating to us underclassmen who want to fill their shoes. I’m a freshman this season so I’m really trying to learn the ropes from the junior and senior guys
iBass360: What are future plans for your time in college?
Niko: My main goal this season is to be competitive, keeping myself in the mix for the College National Tournaments coming up at the end of the season
iBass360: We probably know the answer to this question, but, what are your plans after college?
Niko: My plan is to follow in the footsteps of KJ Queen, Cody Huff, and the Lee brothers and leverage my collegiate experience to become a Pro. My degree will be in Business and
Marketing, which I hope will help me in the industry. I would love to start my own company some day as a consultant in boat design or boat manufacturing.
iBass360: Do you have favorite lakes to fish?
Niko: It’s very hard to pick a favorite. I really miss the clear lakes in Arizona where I grew up, but I also love fishing ledges here in the south. If I had to pick, I would say Lake Powell is my go to. I have great memories made there with my dad growing up.
iBass360: Niko it’s been a pleasure, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with us. The 360Nation looks forward to seeing you move up the collegiate ranks as an aspiring Pro. Good luck in the future and always Live The Passion!