If you were watching "Bassmaster LIVE" Saturday when Stetson Blaylock put his first big bass of the day on a digital scale, you got a glimpse of the truth behind BASSTrakk.
"We're going to call that four pounds," said Blaylock about a bass that appeared to weigh closer to five pounds. When asked after the weigh-in what that fish actually weighed on his scales, Blaylock smiled and said, "It was a heavy four."
Blaylock's total BASSTrakk weight yesterday was 15-0. His actual weight was almost three pounds heavier, 17-15. The same was true for various anglers up and down the leaderboard. A few anglers will "big-eye" their fish and end up with a heavier BASSTrakk weight than actual weight on the official weigh-in scales. Some guys weigh each fish and report a weight that's confirmed to the exact ounce on the weigh-in scales. But most, like Blaylock, want to light on BASSTrakk and heavy on the official scales. It's a personal thing.
"I've seen it a lot of times where BASSTrakk has guys at more than what they actually weigh-in," Blaylock said. "I will never be that guy. I don't like to sand-bag, but I want to make sure I'm under. I've got a lot of family and friends watching. You don't want to be a disappointment when you come in, and they say, 'Well, you said you had this.' I'm just not going to do that."
The various ways these anglers record their BASSTrakk weights, in my opinion, doesn't detract from system. It provides some educated guesses about what is going to unfold on stage, while leaving room for intrigue and drama at the weigh-in. Maybe we should start posting a "sand-bag handicap" for each angler.
"When I weigh a big one, I'm always going to be about a half-pound shy," Blaylock said.