Earlier than he started teaching Southwestern Michigan Faculty’s new Bass Anglers staff, Invoice Mathews established himself as a YouTube fishing sensation.
The SMC admissions counselor created content material with greater than 9 million views, together with two million-view movies. His YouTube channel lured nearly 46,000 subscribers.
A Southwestern Michigan Faculty Fishing Crew video preserves the SMC Anglers’ inaugural first-place end in a school fishing match. The membership additionally had groups end second, third and fourth in solely its fifth match.
Whereas an SMC pupil in 2016-17, Mathews, 26, tutored within the Carole A. Tate Educating and Studying Heart in Fred L. Mathews Library, the place he discovered himself Sept. 21 sharing his origin story for a “Lightning Speak.” His spouse, the previous Courtney Hartline, additionally labored within the library.
The New Lenox, Sick., native lived at Sister Lakes whereas attending SMC and labored as an expert tutor for accounting and statistics.
Fishing’s enchantment for Mathews is “it’s like an interactive puzzle.” Factoring lures, circumstances and time of 12 months in an eight-hour match produces “an adrenaline rush.”
Mathews, who joined the SMC workers in April 2021, grew up on the water at his household’s Cable Lake cottage. Whereas his household hit the seashore or ventured into city, “I fished from sunup to sunset, coming in just for lunch. I used to play video video games. I don’t anymore. I dropped every thing however fishing. YouTube was an outlet for me after I was studying to fish,” simply as he relied on the Google-owned video sharing and social media platform established in 2005 to show himself to create and edit content material.
“My first match I didn’t catch a single bass,” stated Mathews, a state champion at 14. “That drove me tougher. I pored over YouTube movies for hours earlier than the following match, discovered extra stuff and acquired second place. Not catching something was perhaps top-of-the-line issues that ever occurred to me. You possibly can by no means know sufficient about fishing, however I had discovered the principle methods. Individuals have been beginning to come to me for data — even my dad, who’s been fishing for 50 years.”
“It dawned on me that I ought to document my fishing data and put it on YouTube, since I discovered from others,” Mathews stated. “It was a two-pronged strategy. One, to show others. Two, and the explanation I nonetheless do YouTube, is preserving recollections, like my school movies” at Grand Valley State College, the place he earned a bachelor’s diploma in advertising. He fished tournaments in Texas, Florida, Arkansas, New York, Tennessee and Kentucky for GVSU.
Some early exploits, Mathews is perhaps tempted to overlook. He launched his channel in January 2013 and posted his first video in February, so it’s developing on the tenth anniversary.
“I had no gear and didn’t know how one can do something relating to making YouTube movies,” Mathews stated. “No digicam, no laptop computer, didn’t know how one can use enhancing software program, audio or framing pictures. I had my iPhone 4. I downloaded a $5 app and edited on the cellphone, which was horrible. There are not any motion pictures as a result of you’ll be able to’t strap an iPhone to your chest. I’d catch a fish, flip the cellphone on and speak about it. At the moment there weren’t numerous YouTubers making fishing content material. I used to be fortunate to get 100 views.”
He splurged on a GoPro Hero 3 and a laptop computer for enhancing. “That was the game-changer as a result of my content material acquired so significantly better,” he stated.
His breakthrough got here at Paw Paw Lake at his expense when he landed what proved to be a “huge carp” as an alternative of an enormous bass. However in a single day, the brief clip amassed 10,000 views, because of a share by Discipline and Stream.
Opposite to regulate content material creators can exert in a studio, fishing movies “are on the mercy of an animal that lives within the water that has a mind the dimensions of a peanut,” Mathews stated. “Consistency was key. If a video explodes and also you don’t put up one other for 2 months, you’ll be banished to the shadow realms. It’s necessary to maintain that snowball rolling doing YouTube.”
Mathews makes cash at his facet hustle, “however I by no means pursued corporations. You need to align your self with the identical area of interest, so let manufacturers come to you. I began by plugging merchandise with a number of corporations totally free gear, however from the start I solely labored offers with manufacturers I consider in or use their merchandise. Chewing tobacco corporations reached out, however I don’t suppose that has something to do with my channel. The important thing with influencer advertising is your viewers trusting you as an professional in your area. If I plug random issues, I’m going to lose viewership and credibility.”