Kim Reese, Beyond the Pond

Lews Fishing
Bucks Skeeter Yamaha
Strike King
Power Pole
Bucks Falcon Mercury

3/2/2011by Jody Only

“Dream on; dream until your dreams come true” – Steven Tyler, ”Dream On” from Aerosmith’s 1973 self-titled debut album

When looking inside a pro angler’s life, you must peer past the travel and tournaments, further than the fishing, bypassing the boat and the gear. When going…“Beyond the Pond,” one gets a glimpse of the people an angler surrounds himself with. When an onlooker wades through the waters and gets to the heart of Elite Series pro Skeet Reese, one thing becomes apparent; the Reese’s fully live their dreams and when their dreams come true, they believe there are more to come.

The Reese name is synonymous with bass fishing. Skeet Reese Inc. has evolved into an entity that has taken on a life of its own. However, more than a decade ago, before the success, in years past when “black and yellow” was only worn by the fans of the NFL team the Steelers, there was a whole different story to tell.

Remembering those days and how it all began, Reese’s wife shared how her husband’s dream became their way of life and what his dreams taught her.
Before becoming a Reese, Kim was already familiar with the life of a family that was torn by the absence of a parent that traveled to pursue their career.

Comparing her adult family life to that of her childhood Mrs. Reese stated, “My life now is parallel to how I grew up with my father on tour as a keyboardist with Carlos Santana.” She expressed that her childhood experiences gave her strength to live life as a wife and mom on the West Coast while her husband toured the country to make his living. She said she has gained strength from her mom’s experience; saying, “If she could do it, I can too.”

There was a time that they were on the road together. When they first met, Reese was on the brink of becoming a full-time touring pro and when he made the leap shortly after their relationship began, the two blasted off into what would become the Reese empire. They put everything they had in storage and piled what they could into a white van they converted into a traveling living space.

The vehicle; “The White House” as it became known was “home” for the first season of their pro life on the road and came complete with a two burner stove. Amidst the reality of boat breakdowns, frugal finances and emotional ups and downs; the future Mrs. Reese pre fished and campground hopped around the nation with her fiancé.

Up for the adventure, Mrs. Reese recalled, “I know now, 98% of wives would have knocked their husband over the head and said no, but I was blind to the pitfalls because I believed in him so much,” she said. “I was nervous for the unknown, but I knew we would make it work; we would do what we had to do to make it work even if I had to go to work at Burger King.” She then shared the bottom line of the whole idea, “I didn’t know what the full-time fisherman life was about, I just knew it was his passion, it was his dream and it would be fantastic.”

That first season in 1998 ended with a $6,000 paycheck for a seventh place finish in an Anglers Choice Championship in Shreveport, La. They followed that up with his first tour level paycheck in 1999, a $4,000 check in the Bassmaster Megabucks. Along with steady performances in Western Invitationals, his breakthrough win came in 2003 on Florida’s Harris Chain, which resulted in a $100,000 payday. That six digit victory changed their life as the Reese’s took their earnings and invested in the American Dream, making their first home purchase in the Northern California city of Auburn.

With the stabilizing foundation of a place to call home without wheels, the couple began a family. Fast forward eight years and the Reese clan now includes daughters LeaMarie and Courtney.

With two girls now in the family portrait both attending school, Mrs. Reese has given up the gypsy life of tour and resides at home to allow them a traditional learning experience. “We wanted our girls to have a traditional school experience,” she related. “There are families on tour that travel and homeschool, but that wasn’t for us.”

Raising good, respectful, hardworking children; having a good, solid marriage and keeping up with the work that goes into a Skeet Reese Inc. booth at the Classic are her primary focuses. She was looking forward to being in the audience of the Bassmaster Classic at New Orleans last week, because she knew the remaining tour stops would have to be watched by the family on Bassmaster.com.

Mrs. Reese is her husband’s biggest fan and still stands behind him as she did in the beginning. She is there for him regardless of their proximity and they talk several times a day. She states the only change in their life from “The White House Days” is their financial security and doesn’t think there are many differences in their life compared to other fishing families.

As she talked about what the ingredients are in a successful full-time fisherman’s life, Mrs. Reese stated she had “no secret recipe” but recommended that before diving headfirst into the pool of pro bass fishing, a couple needs to have a commitment to their marriage. She explained further, “It’s not easy; there are ups and downs and when a piece of the puzzle falls apart, people tend to think the grass is greener, but a super-solid marriage serves as a base to make good decisions, organize and not overextend financially.”

At some point Mrs. Reese sees herself jumping into her own business venture. She views her future endeavor as a blank canvas that will become clear to her when the time is right, the way her husband knew what his dream was and followed it. She explained, “After the kids are older, I will want a challenge and when I find it; I will definitely know.”

For now, she plans to continue to support her husband from the home front. Mrs. Reese is still inspired by her husband’s undying determination and credits him for being a role model of “dedication to his life’s passion.” She attributes their success to their drive towards aggressively pursuing a goal and reaching it. She feels it’s important to move forward from there; as her husband has shown her, establishing a new goal and striving for that.

For the Reese family, the dream never ends, they will dream on; dreaming until the dream comes true.

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