North Carolina's Wayne Hauser, a regular competitor on triple-A circuits over the past several years, will compete on the FLW Tour in 2013.
"It's something I've thought about my whole life," he said. "I've been fishing since I was 5 years old, and in high school I'd be out fishing for bass or competing in local tournaments when other kids were going to sporting events.
"I kind of got off that track when I went to college and then started a business career. But I took a left turn when I was 40 and decided to do something different, and I've been trying to develop the skills to allow me to compete at the (tour) level. It's taken me longer than I thought it would – those guys are good and I didn't want to be out there wasting my money."
Now 46, he's left his position in the banking and investment sector and is fishing full-time. He finished 10th in the Bassmaster Southern Open points in 2011.
"I don't have delusions of grandeur – I don't think I'm going to go out and become the next David Dudley next year. But if I can make four checks out of six tournaments I can break even, and if I make five checks I can make a few bucks. I want to get some experience at that level and then go on from there."