Paul Michele has caught a lot of big fish from a lot of different bodies of water all over the Northern Hemisphere, but there's a renowned bass venue that seems to have his number.
"I've been to the California Delta three times and I've yet to catch anything over 4 pounds," said the gravel-voiced national sales manager for Navionics, the highly innovative marine navigational firm. "Something about that place doesn't like me."
The 45-year-old Michele (pronounced mick-a-lee) has spent his entire post-college life in the fishing/boating industry. He's been with Navionics for eight years and in his current position for the last six. Prior to that, he did a stint with Folsom (a major hunting and fishing distributor in the East and Southeast), served as national sales manager for SPRO/Gamakatsu, was a vice president at Yo-Zuri and headed up East Coast advertising for Florida Fishing Weekly magazine.
However, catching any type of fish that swam in fresh or saltwater was his obsession long before he was ever paid a cent for any of those professional endeavors.
"I grew up in New Jersey and my grandpa got me into fishing when I was 3 years old," he said. "I started in saltwater and eventually got into bass.
"I had numerous jobs in high school and my friends always used to say that I cashed my paychecks at the fishing store. As soon as I got paid, I'd be in there buying more tackle and then taking it out on the water somewhere."