Dayton Angler Neal juggles FLW Tour, school and business - WSMV News 4

Dayton Angler Neal juggles FLW Tour, school and business

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Rhea county's Michael Neal has mastered the art of juggling. At 21-years-old he runs and operates the Dayton Boat Dock which is hosting this weekend's FLW fishing tournament on Chickamauga Lake. On top of that he's a full-time student at Bryan college and yes he's a professional fisherman fishing in this tournament trying to earn a cool $125,000.

"Very few can juggle what he's having to juggle," said Neal's friend Tom Evans.

Dayton Mayor Gary Louallen added, "probably not a lot of sleep involved in what he does."

Let it sink in. Michael Neal is 21. He's on the FLW Pro Tour, a full time student and runs the Dayton Boat Dock grill and tackle shop.

Mayor Louallen said, "to balance what he's doing now, he's advanced. He's beyond his years he's doing something that a 35-year-old should be doing."

Louallen doesn't know how he does it, but he does it well.

Louallen says he's excelling in school, he's a rising star on the tour and since taking over the boat dock business has been booming, "they know they can come in get a meal, bait but the atmosphere itself just the boating and the facility, people laying in the sun and doing things. It's just such a good atmosphere around here right now and it's really been a good change."

Friends and family describe Neal as a cool, calm, collected and likeable guy.

Evans says it's amazing he stays calm with all this on his plate, "he's trying to please a lot of folks, people don't understand the pressure. And me I put pressure on him to do well and he's done well with it."

Evans says Neal has the ability to turn it all off.

Neal weighed five fish on day one for 17.06lbs and a remarkable 22.14lbs on day two to earn a spot in the final 20 in third place overall.

Fellow Rhea County pro anglers Andy Morgan and Wesley Strader also made the top-20.

The top-10 on Saturday will advance to the finals on Sunday. Both weekend weigh-ins are set for 4pm in the Dayton Wallmart parking lot.


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