Local Pro Angler Todd Hollowell Joins Fishing League Worldwide Broadcast Team
This year Indy-based fans of Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the largest tournament fishing organization in the world, will hear a local voice when tuning in to catch the league’s televised action.
Todd Hollowell, a Hoosier native and current Fishers resident, was invited by tournament officials to join the FLW Live coverage team, bringing seven years of competitive fishing experience and an impressive list of tournament successes to the job.
“I’ve been fishing professionally since back in 2011, and to have this opportunity is fantastic,” he says. “It adds another layer of excitement for me because I follow these events and talk to the anglers anyway.”
Hollowell’s father taught him the basics of fishing when he was in elementary school, and he grew up whetting his competitive appetite by participating in weeknight fishing tournaments on Geist and Morse reservoirs.
After a successful run in baseball, including Division I play at Murray State University, a few years of professional play for independent league teams in the late 1990s and coaching stints at Anderson and Belmont universities, Hollowell switched gears into the business world in 2002. He’s worked at Fishers-Based Ray Insurance Group as an agent since 2008 and says fishing provided a means to channel his competitiveness after baseball had run its course.
“Somehow I found my way to the Walmart Bass Fishing League in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2002 when I got out of baseball, and that first year I made it to the BFL All-American, which is kind of like the Super Bowl of amateur bass fishing,” Hollowell says. “I’ve been hooked ever since. That was 17 years ago now, and I’ve slowly and steadily worked and learned.”
In 2011, Hollowell qualified for the FLW tour, and since then has compiled a lengthy list of achievements as a competitor, including seven top-20 finishes and a second-place performance at the Costa FLW Series Championship on Kentucky Lake in 2017.
In 2013, Hollowell and his wife Rebecca conceptualized a televised fishing show called The Bass Dr., partnering with several businesses throughout Indianapolis to help make the show a reality. For each weekly episode, Hollowell traveled around the U.S. to fish for smallmouth and largemouth bass, and it was that show, along with Hollowell’s competitive experience, that led to an invite from FLW leaders for Hollowell to join their broadcasting team as a live color commentator for the 2019 touring season.
Hollowell is providing live commentary for five of the eight FLW events for 2019 and says he expects the experience to inform and enrich his own skills as an angler.
“It’s a six-hour broadcast and there might be hours where guys are not catching fish, so it’s important to have someone that can tell a story and help the viewer understand what the people are actually doing,” he adds.
In addition to his broadcasting duties, Hollowell will be competing in the FLW 2019 Costa series, represented by Red Gold Tomatoes, his title sponsor since 2011. He points to two key elements that have helped his competitive fishing career — persistence and perpetual learning.
“Fishing is a sport where you fail more than you succeed, a lot like baseball,” he says. “So when you come home from an event and you’ve failed, the key is to figure out what you missed and to learn from it and go back and do it again. So it’s that commitment where you just have to keep going even when you’re exhausted, like climbing a mountain. You need that persistence.”
Hollowell adds that constant support from his family and professional colleagues has been instrumental in his high level of success in professional fishing.
“If someone wants to accomplish great things, they need great people around them,” he says. “It’s one of the most important things in life to have people around you that support your mission and your goals. My family, my good friends, the Ray Insurance Group and Red Gold Tomatoes have all been a critical part of that journey and I owe so much to them. They’ve all treated me like family and they’ve all played a tremendous role in my life.”