Nothing like a fish off

A fish-off is obviously an exciting event, like overtime where every little move becomes so critical that you can’t bare to watch at times.


Bass fishing needs more of them, but of course that’s up to the fish and the scales.


The last fish-offs that I’m aware of came in 2009, both in the Central Open (what’s up with that?)


Each one of them involved an Elite Angler as well (Another, what’s up with that?)


The two were:


Edwin Evers versus Mark Smith at the Atchafalaya Basin. Evers won that contest.

James Niggemeyer versus Gerald Pringle at Toledo Bend. Niggemeyer won that contest.


While I’m sure there have been others over the course of time, the most exciting fish-off I’ve ever seen was in 1996 at the MegaBucks contest.


Ironically, it was not too far from Lewisville on White Rock Lake. Jeff MaGee and Denny Brauer had finished in a tie after seven days of fishing.


I can remember thinking, please not another day. I guess we were all in that frame of mind. Instead of bringing those anglers back for a day of fishing, they sent them back on the water for a “sudden-death” shootout.


The neat thing about it was there were several thousand spectators on the bank. Each of those anglers had a B.A.S.S. tournament director in the boat with them. I know one of those was Trip Weldon. For the life of me, I can’t remember the other director.


Each of them had a radio, and each of them gave a play-by-play of what was taking place on the water. All those spectators stood in front of the weigh-in stage and listened to what was going on out on the lake.


“Magee is trolling toward a laydown log, trying to get in a position to make a cast.”


“Denny had just pulled up to his bait, and he set the hook.”


The crowd roared as they heard that transmission. When the fish turned out to be a non-keeper, it was followed by groans.


Not long after that MaGee caught the first keeper and won his only Bassmaster event in a pretty interesting fishing career. Brauer of course kept winning all kind of things.


The crowd knew who was going to win before they ever got there, but they remained loud and racous, realizing they had been a part of one of the more amazing fishing events in a long while.