“If you want to be the best at something, you have to put the effort and energy in it.”
As a business dedicated to the marine industry for over 40 years, Frigibar has seen the hard work and commitment needed to be a boat owner. From boat upkeep to managing a crew, each owner has a unique story and motivations for what they do. When a boat owner is also the captain and lead angler of a fishing team, there’s a whole new level of devotion required.
Frigibar recently interviewed boat owner, captain, and 2008 Yamaha Professional Kingfish Tour’s Angler of the Year, Mark Henderson. Henderson started the Liquid Fire Fishing Team in 2005, just a year after participating in his first competitive event with friend Ben Beasley. “I was hooked.” A decade later, the team is still going strong and competes in 15-22 competitions each year on their Intrepid 375TE CC Open, powered by triple Yamaha 350s.
As team captain, Mark handles marketing, promotions, sponsorships, speaking engagements, and more in addition to angling. There are many responsibilities and things to consider for each captain, but according to Mark, nothing is as important as putting the right team together. “Having people around you that are dedicated and care as much as you do, that’s the most important thing as a captain.” Mark has compiled a team of skilled anglers he knows very well — his family. The team consists of his sons Joshua and Crockett, wife Audrey, and several guest anglers including his brother-in-law, Chris Waters. “Surround yourself with people that are passionate about the sport and who you can count on.”
Having a reliable team full of your family has additional benefits. The ability to spend time with his family while living out his passion is a dream come true for Mark, but it doesn’t make his job easy. Although Mark has an everyday job, he takes each aspect of leading a competitive fishing team seriously and advises hopeful anglers to do the same, because competitive angling is more than just a hobby. “The dedication of being a professional at anything is the most critical thing to have…you can overcome a lack of talent or anything else with hard work.”
The 21 events the team will compete in this year requires travel and flexibility depending on the weather, which Mark says drives decision-making as a captain. “You have to be able to monitor the weather to get the most out of your trip.” Teams are often given 2-3 days to choose from in a competition, and choosing a day with choppy waters or strong winds can put an end to your tournament chances before it begins.
Outside of making the big catch, competitive fishing is about preparing, studying, listening and being aware of your surroundings. “The misconception is that it’s all about fishing…the fishing part of it is what people see and read about,” Mark says. He also cautions amateur anglers to avoid getting caught up in how competitive fishing is portrayed on television or by other sources. “Be aware that it’s not everything that you see in a 30-minute television show or hear during an hour-long seminar.” To get a real look at competitive fishing, Mark Henderson recommends visiting the Southern Kingfish Association website, FishSKA.com, and to research and follow teams on social media. The Liquid Fire team has over 8,000 Facebook followers, and shares information and pictures regularly. To contact Mark Henderson, email him at Mark@FishLF.com, and follow the Liquid Fire Fishing Team on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Frigibar on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.