After hitting a wall with ‘jerks’ who follow Elite anglers to see where they’re fishing, and move in on those spots to fish them, Michael Iaconelli took on the problem in his regular Bassmaster.com column. “Let me say it bluntly: These men are not true fans of our sport. We don’t need them,” Iaconelli wrote.
His words sparked a debate on our site and our social media accounts with over 700 comments on the topic. We’ve gathered a sampling of those responses here so you can see the highlights of the debate, without having to read all the comments yourself.
Take our poll to let us know where you stand on the issue:
“Wanna fish with the big boys make the elites.”
On Instagram man_vs_bass summed up a point we saw a lot in the debate, if these anglers want to out fish the Elites, then they should qualify for a tournament.
- man_vs_bass: These wanna be pros are pathetic … They have a point and all you sorry wannabes should stay out of their way. Wanna fish with the big boys make the elites.
- Kevin Brown: Let the Pros have their space. Mark a waypoint and fish it after the tourney. If you wanna outfish them qualify for the Elites
- Chad Bleeker: If the elites are on the water your pole should never leave the rod locker. Watch and learn. Have some respect
- Ryan Hoffmann: I'll never understand the impulse to mess with a person trying to make a living. Drop a waypoint and come back next weekend.
Tournament anglers aren't perfect
Several readers were quick to point out the bad behavior of Elite anglers.
- Woo Daves: You didn't mention the other anglers in the tournament. That do the exact same thing setting the example for the guys you mentioned
- Dave Carroll: My brother was fishing a spot last year on KY Lake during BASSfest our home lake and had a couple Elites run up in him and mark his spots. So this is a double edge sword.
- Robert A. Strickland: As a recreational fisherman, I have been cut off from my bank I was fishing by tournament anglers many times. They seem to think they own the lakes just because they are in a tournament. Most of them seem to be jerks to me not the other way around.
- Markus Rodriguez: Remember when You ( Mike Iaconelli ) fished right next to KVD during a tournament?? I sure do! Practice what you preach man!
- Roland Belzer: Ike I love the tournament fishing but you guys don't own the lake ? I would gladly move if someone were fishing in my spot, out of respect. But you guys run full blast thru us and shore with no respect that's where I draw the line.
“It comes with the territory of being a Bass Pro.”
Is this issue really a problem? Across all the comments, there was a common thread of ‘get over it’.
- Herman Kunz: As far as the tournament itself... get over it you chose your job, as a guide i know exactly I how you feel and it is a job and work but others don't think about it or even care you’re "having fun!"
- jporterfield20: The water is public, quit your bitching. If you don't want someone to fish your spot, fish a private lake. I put up with people hunting my holes on WMA land all duck season, it's part of it, quit complaining.
- cast_eazy: Personally, I would never do it because it's disrespectful and I would hate to have it happen to me. However, these guys are the elite of the elite Bass fishermen and they should be able to, as the best in the world, figure out an alternate spot or pattern. It comes with the territory of being a Bass Pro. Not to mention, quit whining, you get paid to fish!!!! That's my dream!!!!!!
- Buck Stephens: If you can't find them and catch them with a little pressure around you I guess you're not really a professional
- bengeee73: All of this isn't a big deal? Give the Elite anglers their space, and then if you want to fish in the same area then that's fine. Everyone is making a huge deal out of this which I don't see why. Let the Elite series guys fish what they have found, and if you want to fish, go somewhere in the same area and fish.
- jake_johnson1123: As @fishing_with_flair would say. YOU DONT OWN THE WATER BRO