Joey Nania Bio
Joey Nania is thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to co-host Sweetwater Fishing TV with his friend Miles “Sonar” Burghoff. Joey discovered his passion for fishing at 2 weeks of age from his home on Liberty Lake in Washington State. His father took him down to the family dock for his first opening day in a baby carrier. His love of the sport and of competition grew as he dominated his family’s friendly competitions by catching a legal Muskie at age 6, stalked a 6 1/2 pound largemouth at age 8 and becoming the youngest family member to be named annual “Musky King”. Those fishing experiences fueled his competitive fire,.
At the age of 13 through Spokane’s Inland Empire Bass Club (www.inlandempirebassclub.com) Joey won the first ever 2005 Junior Bassmaster Washington State Championship, then won the 2005 Junior Bassmaster World Championship in Pittsburgh, PA. (His volunteer boater was Kevin VanDam) in all Joey won 5 Junior State Championships, fished in 5 Junior World Championships culminating his Junior career by winning an unprecedented second Junior Bassmaster World Championship in 2008 in Kansas. As a 19 year old Joey made the Washington State Bassmaster Federation Nation team and became team Champion fishing as a non-boater at the Arizona Western Region Championship. He was one of the youngest competitors at the 2010 Federation Nation National Championships finishing 24th.
In Joey’s first season as a pro he placed 9th in a field of 200 pro anglers at the Bassmaster Central Opens on Lake Amistad. He also placed 19th in the Professional Angler Association series that year. Joey realized that to truly be in a competitive position he needed to be closer to the heart of bass fishing, so he pulled up roots and moved to Cropwell, Alabama – dead center of the competitive bass angling world. There he continues to study under personal coach and mentor Rick Hughes learning to love fishing the Coosa River System lakes and spotted bass. Joey comments, “I can fish and guide here 365 days a year and stay close to tournament action at the professional level.”
When Joey comes to a tournament, he comes prepared and comes to win. He has an incredibly strong work ethic enabling him to persevere, put in the time on the water under any weather conditions and be successful at the professional level. Joey’s attitude and fortitude where highlighted in Bass Times and on Bassmaster.com, particularly as the subject of an editorial written by Matt Vincent, former Editor Bass Times following his 2nd Junior World Championship in 2008. Vincent wrote, “Once in a great while, a kid comes along who grabs your attention. Call it a gut feeling. Call it and educated guess. But I believe we may have glimpsed another young angler who might someday step up into the national limelight.” Joey continues to pursue Bassmaster Elite qualification fishing the Bassmaster Southern Opens.
Joey’s media experience also started at a young age in the Northwest where he hosted a number of episodes through ABC affiliate – Spokane’s KXLY “Outdoor Story Teller” and was the featured angler in several episodes of regional TV show “Columbia Country Sport Fishing”. He writes articles regularly for Alabama Outdoor News and Bass Pro Shops Resource 1. Giving back, Joey’s charitable work has raised over $20,000 for the Rypien Foundation “Providing Hope for Families Battling Childhood Cancer”, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Wounded Warriors.
Joey guides on the Coosa River System out of Cropwell, Alabama and can be contacted through his website contact form at www.joeyfishing.com. Vincent of Bass Times closed his 2009 editorial with this, “So wait a few years. But remember the name, Joey Nania.”
Fishing Career Highlights
• Bassmaster Opens Professional
• Fishing Guide – Coosa River System Alabama
• Website: www.joeyfishing.com
• 2 Time Junior Bassmaster World Champion – 2005 and 2008
• 5 Time Washington State Junior Champion
• Washington State Federation Nation Champion
• Federation Nation National Championship contender – 24th
• Bassmaster Opens Pro – Best finishes – 5th Arkansas River – 2011; 9th Amistad – 2010
• Mark’s Outdoors Champion 2014
• Television Host – Sweetwater Fishing TV; Columbia Country; Outdoor Story Tellers
• Outdoor writing – Bass One Source – http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-leeds-al/hot-new-fishing-products; Alabama Outdoor News; Angler Magazine – Alabama
• Charities: Rypien Foundation; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; Wounded Warriors
• Speaking/seminars: Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic; Numerous Christian outreach events across the southern US.