Fishing Blind

Hats off to the guys who managed this year’s postseason. It was fantastic, exactly what a postseason should be. It didn’t determine the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year but it did showcase the best our sport has to offer. Well done!

There is one issue I’ve been asked about, however, that I think is important. That’s this business of whether or not we should know what the other guy has when we’re in match competition. Basically, it doesn’t matter much to me one way or the other. The advantages and disadvantages are marginal, at best.

If we know, it’ll affect how we fish. On some level that would be nice. The question I have to ask, however, is what can we do about it?

I suppose that if I knew I was leading by 10 pounds I might save a few fish for the next round, but that’s about the extent of it. Three or 4 in front and I’d still be afraid to back down. I mean you never know what the other guy might do in the last few minutes.

Remember, there’s no way to play defense in fishing. In basketball you can put your defensive players in to keep the other team from scoring, and maybe your best ball handler to run some time off the clock. In baseball you can bring your top closer in from the bullpen to keep the other team from scoring. Both those things help you hold on to a slim lead.

You don’t have those options in bass fishing. No one is going to go and mess with the other guys spot. Can you imagine one of us being a pound or two ahead and driving over to where another angler is fishing and doing donuts? The thought is disgusting.

That’s not the way our sport is handled. It’s also not the way it should be handled. I like to say that we play by gentlemen’s rules. So I have to say that knowing how much weight the other guy has is not the same for us.

And I can assure you that even if I knew I was 10 pounds behind I wouldn’t quit. True I might go for broke but that’s problematic. Swinging for the fences is something we all like to talk about but it rarely works. Panic is not a strategy.

Besides, we’ve always fished blind. That’s really all I know. I fish the moment, and I never give up. Information like we’re talking about might affect my fishing but I don’t think so. I’d like to think I’ll still try to catch as much weight as I possibly can and hope that’s enough.

If they change the rules next year I’ll probably throw a jacket over the data terminal and just keep fishing. It’s all I know. Either way, though, I hope I’m there. This year was cool!