Mike Deroche Jr, known as "MJ" to family and friends, was born in the late 70's in the bayous of Cajun Country, Houma, La. Raised in south Louisiana, he started fishing at a very young age with his dad, grandfather and uncles for everything from Bass and Crappie to Redfish and Speckled Trout. They got him involved in small local events early on as a child but MJ didn't really get into the competitive side until he was 16. In the late 90's, MJ followed in his father's footsteps becoming a career Firefighter/EMT with the Houma Fire Department and a Safety Instructor for On-Site Training, an oil-field safety school. He is also currently pursuing a degree in Occupational Safety and Health from Columbia Southern University. MJ also likes to dabble with web designs in his down time. His plan is to retire from the fire service within the next few years to either go into safety or design websites full time. In addition to fishing, MJ enjoys spending his free time with his family, traveling, camping, and is a Disney World fanatic.
MJ is a member of American Bass Anglers, Fishers of Men, MLF (formerly FLW), and a lifetime B.A.S.S. member. He had the honor of serving as Staff Director for Fatsack Outdoors Inc from March 2016 - Dec 2019, as well as Marketing Manager and Staff Director for GATOR STIX Custom Fishing Rods from July 2016 - Sept 2019.
In his early teenage years, MJ watched one of his uncles compete in several of the Bassmaster Top 150 series, as it called back then. This fueled his desire for competitive fishing. Having fished in local tournaments since he was young, his focus was now on the bigger stage. He wanted to fish the Bassmaster series. MJ continued to fish local events for years to come, finishing 2nd place in a saltwater tournament and 10th place in a charity bass tournament. Then in November of 2009, his dream to fish a Bassmaster tournament came true. MJ competed as co-angler on the Bassmaster Central Open on the Atchafalaya Basin just 30 miles from his house. The following year MJ started a saltwater tournament series, with the help of his cousin Peter, along the Louisiana coast for Speckled Trout. Unfortunately, after just 2 events, their series was cancelled due to the BP oil spill in May 2010, which closed waterways and fishing in south Louisiana.
MJ started competing again as a co-angler on the Bassmaster Opens series in 2013 and 2014. but on the Southern division. He then competed as a co-angler on theFLW's BFL series in the Bama division in 2015 and 2016. MJ finished 102 out of 184 in the BFL Bama division points standings for the 2016 season, after dropping out in mid-May when his dad passed away. In 2017 he only fished local events, while doing marketing and promotions for GATOR STIX custom rods to help them get started.
MJ decided in 2018 to team up with long-time family friend Chris Jackson to fish the South division of the Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series. The ABT is an officially sanctioned B.A.S.S. team trail, consisting of 225 teams per division. Both division, North and South, fish 5 events with their top 75 in points fishing the ABT Championship in the fall. The top 9 teams from each division move on to the Bassmaster Team Championship to compete for a berth into the Bassmaster Classic.
MJ and Chris had a rough first year together on the ABT, finishing 201 out of 225 in the points. The following year looked better for MJ and Chris after placing 11th in the second tournament on the South division. They finished the 2019 season 131 out of the 225 in the points.
MJ took the 2020 tournament season off as he and his wife welcomed their third child. MJ also required a major knee surgery that had him on crutches for over 2 months and out of work for almost a year. But he has since recovered and is teamed up again with Chris in the South Division for the 2021 Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series. He is also fishing co-angler on some of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League events hosted by Major League Fishing (formerly FLW).
Since 2009 MJ has worked numerous shows, including the Bassmaster Classic and ICAST, promoting sponsors. He truly enjoys working booths at these shows to promote products he believes in. MJ also promotes his sponsors on Facebook, Instagram and of course here on his website.
MJ wrote a couple of blogs in 2013 for a former sponsor, Pink Fishing. Back in May 2016, The Rod Glove did a profile blog about MJ on their website. Then in 2019, he began doing video recaps of his tournaments, or vlogs, and uploaded them to his YouTube channel as well as here on his website. Next year MJ plans to start writing blogs about his travels & tournaments again, as well as doing the video recaps of his tournaments. He will post those blogs on here and his Facebook fan page, while his videos will be posted on here and his YouTube channel.