5X3 was started a mere 8 weeks ago in central Alabama initially by one person (me) and has since then soared to heights we never imagined. And here is the full story of it all. It has only been 8 weeks in the making but it has been one heck of a ride.
Here is a little about me. I am 35 year old Deputy Sheriff with 13 years on the job. I have tournament fished the last 18 or so years of my life and fished several larger and smaller trails but usually I am on the water at least 100+ days a year. I have seen the ins and outs of everything from local and amateur trails all the way to working with elite level pro fisherman as project managers. That's enough about me.
One night I sat in my living room looking around on facebook and thought to myself "I would like to see a page where you can see what makes the average fisherman tick." So as I sat in my living room I wondered what it was that we all had in common. I had fished my whole life but there had to be a common goal of all tournament fisherman. Then like a lightning bolt, it hit me. 5X3. I quickly wrote it down and knew this was it. No redo or rethinking it. 5 fish by 3 0'clock was what it's all about. Regardless of what level you fish that is what really matters. And then another idea, "no excuses." You always hear guys say "well, I had the bites but lost them" or "caught them yesterday up here" but really if you don't have the fish then there truly are "no excuses."
I quickly called a life life long friend that his wife does graphic design for a living. I spoke to her and told her what I wanted the image to look like for the purposes of a Facebook page. My initial idea was to simply put together a facebook page where I could highlight people like myself. Hardworking people that truly funded this industry with our $. I felt like it was time we shifted focus from the professionals to us. Don't get me wrong, I like and admire a lot of professional fisherman but it was time for a change. I know what your thinking. "How can one person change a billion dollar industry?" That's a question I myself hadn't answered, but I knew I had to at least try.
I started the page and it was slow at first. We gained a few likes a day and I kept plugging away. My girlfriend was a guiding light in all this as she constantly had faith in me. My lifelong friend and his wife were now on board and were giving 100% every day. We were determined to make this work regardless if it ever made a dime. We were going to be a voice for the men and women that spent their hard earned money on this industry. Sounds corny, at best. I know.
Word began to travel fast and the page started to gain speed. I began making "memes" as they are called. Funny pictures with quotes on them and it was really popular and helped the page become more popular. In all this we had a few "fans" that wanted to have shirts made. I hate the word "fans" and quickly changed it to "the Nation." Fans to me is a word where people almost idolize a particular person and that was not what this was about. It was about you. We at 5X3 seek no admiration or even care if you ever know who we are because we feel like it takes focus away from the true reason we are here. Locals and amateurs. Anyway, we had 100 shirts made and we kind of were skeptical. My friend's wife, and now a huge part of 5X3, set up a store and we put them up for sale. 100 shirts sold in 48 minutes! We were completely taken back. Almost rocked to our very core.
We all gained our composure and had a quick meeting of the minds and decided that we were here for a purpose and that was to shift focus back to where it belonged and that was "the nation" as we had dubbed it. Our intention in this whole deal was never to make a dime but we quickly saw that people responded to the logo and our goal and that if clothes helped speed up the process of us taking this to a national spotlight then so be it.
Let me say that during the last 8 weeks we have had stories that have made us laugh, cry and every emotion in between. People private message us with things that we never imagined possible and they all mark it up to 5X3. It is amazing what can happen with a simple logo and some initiative. We have made friends that will last a lifetime and memories that we will never forget......
Anyway, I get off course sometimes. In the last 8 weeks we have been on three radio shows, now have a constant weekly spot on Pro Angler Radio with Matt Driver, not to talk about us but to rather pick someone off the page to tell their story. You wouldn't believe the people that watch this page either. Elite pros, Presidents of large fishing related companies and even very high people in state government. Why? I am still not sure but they say its because we are truly onto something. And with all honesty, we have told them all that we are not interested in what they had to offer.
To this day I am still not sure how this happened or why but we protect this family with everything that we have to make sure that it doesn't unravel. That's not to say that we won't make people mad occasionally or that people won't leave but we try to be a voice for everyone, not a select few. With that being said, I for one will not sugarcoat anything. In this world today the last thing I believe people want is to be catered to and to be so politically correct that it takes away from who we are. Well, at 5X3 if you don't like it then you can kick rocks. If you don't like what we say then there is always the "unlike" button and feel free to use it. There are to many fishing pages that bend and fold to every whimper and that is not us.
So wow! Whats next? Who knows? We have had a lot of meetings with people concerning our clothing all across the south and even further out but its not our biggest concern at this point. Our concern is giving "the nation" a voice and a stage. What people fail to realize is that no matter your income or what boat you drive or what reels you fish, passion and love for this sport cannot be measured by material objects and we realize that. Everyone from the high school level up to right at the cuff of elites deserve a voice and if we can be that voice then so be it.
In closing, there is so much more to this story but we felt like we needed to share a little with you as we get asked a lot about who we are and why we do this and this just scratches the surface and what had truly transpired in 8 weeks. We are a core group that will never trade our values for the all mighty dollar and we will be your voice and spotlight until you decide otherwise but night or day if we can help we are only a message or email away. And from the very deepest depths of our hearts we want to say thank you and this is all very humbling to us.
Oh. Every person that "likes" the page, we actually click on you and try to see what you are all about. We figure if you took the time to check us out then we have the time to check you out.
Maybe in a few years there will be a best selling book on 5X3 because it truly has been stranger than fiction and we are 8 weeks into this. We have a lot of big things coming and we owe it all to you.......THE NATION!