Well, I’m not on the outside, I’m the guy writing these words, pointing out all the negatives, and I absolutely know the answer to “What was I thinking?”
Let me take a shot at it and start by saying that I am 76 years old, and if rules didn’t stand in my way, I would be the first one in line for the Bassmaster Opens registrations. I would plan on fishing these Opens for enough years to finally qualify for the Elites then fish them until I made the Bassmaster Classic. That would be my plan. I have been everywhere and done everything, but I still dream of walking across the stage at the Bassmaster Classic, and if it were possible, I would go through all the snow, dead batteries and busted credit cards you could throw at me.
You see, there comes a time in every bass fisherman’s life that he wants to know how good he is. I’m here to tell you that bass striking a lure, any lure, is a wonderful thing. When you experience it, you never forget it, and you work hard to get better at it. You try to repeat it over and over again. The rush this bass strike gives you doubles when you catch a fish during any kind of contest where you’re trying to find out how good you are.
The further you take the competitive part of this and the higher up the ladder you go, the bigger the rush is. You can finally get to the point where just knowing you might catch a bass pushes you through the most negative times. Of course the more you do all this, the more you want to learn. If you in fact do learn more, the better you become and suddenly you think you can whip Skeet Reese and Edwin Evers, and you want to prove it.
You are now becoming not just a good bass fisherman, but a good competitive bass fisherman, and you are hooked. Catching bass better than the next guy on waters you have never been to before is addictive. Finding bass where no one else has looked and knowing you can catch them when you need to is addictive.
The roadblocks for becoming a professional bass fisherman, that I reeled out earlier, are not good reasons for backing off of taking a crack at this. I encourage you to attack these roadblocks. Overcome them and become successful in the most unique sport out there.
You have so much control of how good you become. Work hard, learn everything you possibly can, practice, and did I mention work hard? Do all these things religiously, and you got a shot. I hope I’ve answered part of the question of “Why would you do this?” The big answer though is this. “Man, bass fishing is a great sport.”
Originally published October 2012