2014 Bassmaster Elite at Delaware River Delaware River - Philadelphia, PA, Aug 7 - 10, 2014


Don Barone

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

“Behavior in keeping with…”

Dateline:  Philadelphia Maneto

I have a bone to pick.  I’m going to rant some here.  If that’s not your thing, turn your eyes, put the children to bed, slip granny something in her milk.

Buckle up.

I am not happy, no, back up, let me take that back, try this, I’m freakin’ outraged at some of the postings I have seen on social media by our anglers about fishing in Philadelphia.

I’m not the only one, here’s a couple Facebook posts I’ve received:

John Watts:  I have wanted to shout "get a grip" to everyone of the whiners. They are FISHING…even if they blank every day it's a good way to spend your day !” 

David Snedeker:  “…so tired of hearing pro's whine.. Just shut up and fish!!”

Brian Brooks:  “Disheartening what I'm hearing from "ELITE" anglers that I used to admire.”

And then, probably the most telling quote of all, “It’s the thing, the one thing I hate the most about the sport, all the whiny that I constantly hear, all the negative, just don’t want to hear it.”

Oh, that quote, exact quote, I wrote it down, wrote it down as it was being told to me by, Rick Clunn.

Yeah, we are both PO’ed.

Deal with it.

“…good taste…”

Have we really become whiny athletes, if that is what people are thinking out there, you the Elite anglers should be scared to death.

Let me tell you something, from covering sports for over two decades if there is one universal constant complaint I have always heard it is simply this “whiny Athletes blah blah blah….”

I was once on the sideline of a NFL game where it was snowing like a Nor’ easter, swirling, blowing, frigid.  Standing next to me was a player jumping up and down to stay warm during a commercial break.  As I looked at him he said exactly this to me, “Man I hate playing in the snow.”

And this is exactly what I said back to him, “If I could play in the NFL and make the money you do I would play the game on top of a glacier.”

I’ll translate that remark I made:  Shut The Hell Up.

I have friends, I have family spending 30 years bolting bumpers on Fords, spent 30 years filling in pot holes, 30 years laying cement, laying roofs in summer, friends, family ending up with change in their pocket after all the bills are paid, hating every morning walking out the door, every hour pouring molten steel, every week trying to sell an appliance, every month laying in grease under a transmission, every year pouring coffee.

Shut The Hell Up.

No matter how much you think what you do or where you do it sucks…trust me, it don’t.  I’ll trade you your fishing rod for a jack-hammer, come back in a year and tell me what you think.

Erick, a Big-Whig at sponsor Livingston Lures, “I told my guys to stop complaining, complaining just wastes time, it takes you away from focusing, don’t do it.”

Rick Clunn:  “Other sports don’t allow whining like this, we have become the biggest bunch of whiners, in other sports you have coaches, they would bench you if you whined like this, tell you, you don’t like the game, get out.”


At registration yesterday I walked the line of Marshal’s signing in, held the line up some and I apologize for that to the B.A.S.S. staffers waiting to sign the folks in, but I wanted to talk to the Marshal’s, hear what they had to say.

To a person they told me how thrilled they were, from a guy named Ray, “I never believed in my life you would come to my town but here you are, I’m like a little kid all over again, Thank You.”

Jersey guy after Jersey guy said the same kind of thing.

Pennsylvania after Pennsylvania guy said the same kind of thing.

But they also said this, THEY DIDN’T KNOW WHAT YOU WERE AFRAID OF.

Yeah, most, not all, but most had read the posts, Danny from Philly, “I’m thinking maybe the guys need to get out more.”

Rick Clunn:  “You are not the best, nor will you be the best until you challenge yourself at all levels, Mind, Body, Soul, how can you badmouth the water, what you are really doing is badmouthing yourself.  You become great by being great at the tough ones.”


What bothers me the most, and the toughest thing I have tried to wrap my head around is simply this:  Several anglers never made the trip here to Pre-Fish the event.

One, maybe two, had good excuses, the rest, just wow, wow is all I can say.

Please respect this sport, please give it your all, please.

I know it sucks to drag your boat all the way up here, the cost of all that, the time of all that, I know, but I have never heard of professional athletes missing batting practice.

In my heart, my soul, I worry you took a play off, and that is tough for me to forgive.  Tough for a fan, your fans, to understand.

Rick Clunn:  “We need tournaments like this time to time to balance out what we do.  Yeah, everyone can catch fish in a slugfest, even you db, but if you’re the best, if we are supposed to be the best, we need to practice, we need to come here and catch fish as well.”

A quote from a sponsor who didn’t want his/her name used, “I am going to ask all the anglers we sponsor if they came here to pre-fish and if they did not why, and there will be consequences, trust me.”

The “sport” comes before you, comes before me, if either one of us mails it in, we need to leave.