Hooked


| 8/15/2018 8:29:00 AM


Country MoonFishing has always held a special place in my heart. My Dad worked second shift in the factory as well as farmed. He had five weeks of vacation time per year, two of which he took in the spring to get the crops out, two in the fall for harvest and one week he saved for July to take us kids fishing. We had our certain spots on the St. Joe River by Colon, MI, that we went angling for blue gills. I am not sure if they were more fun to catch or to eat. I lived for that week.

That was, and still is, fishing at its finest for me but, for some, it's a whole different ball game. For many, bass sport fishing or tournament fishing is the big lure, pardon the pun. Tournament fishing requires long hours of practice, little sleep sometimes, days of travel, fuel money and lots of equipment. So, why do they do it? Mike Adkins, who belongs to the Whitewater Valley Bass Masters club of Richmond, IN, sums it up best, "It's the thrill of catching that big one and reeling him in after a big fight. It's the fight, not the fish."

Fishing tournaments have become the fourth most popular sport in the country with large and small mouth bass being the anglers' most sought-after catch. All fishing offers anglers the chance to get outside and spend time away from electronics and with friends. Fishing tournaments add a little more thrill by offering prize money and the chance to have caught the most or largest fish.

Actually, the first televised fishing competition, the Bassmaster Classic, was dreamed up in a hotel room in 1967 by an enterprising fisherman who saw no reason why fishing tournaments couldn't be televised just like basketball and other sporting events. He started drafting the rules that would promote the ideals of ethical angling, conservation and safety. The first tournament was held at Beaver Lake in Arkansas.

It doesn't happen in my neck of the woods, but in some areas of the country competitive bass fishing is sanctioned as a high school sport. Illinois was the first state to recognize it in 2009 and in its first year more than 800 students competed to represent 217 high schools at statewide competitions.



Various tournaments use different factors in determining winners. Some are based on the largest fish caught in length, many go by weight and some are based on species and number of fish caught. The one thing that most all tournaments have in common is being catch and release. Most have strict rules on keeping the catch alive until they are officially weighed and then releasing them gently. Usually nets are not allowed and the fish must be lowered to the bottom of the boat before they are released to prevent any further injury to them.

NebraskaDave
8/15/2018 7:12:48 PM

Lois, I have many fond memories of fishing as well. Mine stem from a grand father that happened to take me with him fishing in Minnesota. That was when I was about five years old. From that time forward up through my teen years if some one was going fishing, I weaseled my way along. I like the whole experience. I like catching, cleaning, and eating the fish. Never was I interested in tournament fishing but I don't have any thing against the tournament fishermen/women. I just like to eat what I catch. Many times we (grandpa and I) would come home with a ice chest full of cleaned fish ready to freeze and eat when we felt the urge. After grandpa passed on at an early age (53), Dad took up the torch and every holiday weekend we went fishing with the family. My uncle and great uncle were fishermen as well. We fished lakes, rivers, farm ponds but the best memories come from the Minnesota lakes.I never could get any of my kids or grand kids interested in fishing. It's kind of sad when an era ends. I always have intentions of going back to those favorite lakes and seeing how much they have changed but some how something always comes up to redirect my focus. ***** Have a great fishing memory day. ***** Nebraska Dave


NebraskaDave
8/15/2018 7:12:48 PM

Lois, I have many fond memories of fishing as well. Mine stem from a grand father that happened to take me with him fishing in Minnesota. That was when I was about five years old. From that time forward up through my teen years if some one was going fishing, I weaseled my way along. I like the whole experience. I like catching, cleaning, and eating the fish. Never was I interested in tournament fishing but I don't have any thing against the tournament fishermen/women. I just like to eat what I catch. Many times we (grandpa and I) would come home with a ice chest full of cleaned fish ready to freeze and eat when we felt the urge. After grandpa passed on at an early age (53), Dad took up the torch and every holiday weekend we went fishing with the family. My uncle and great uncle were fishermen as well. We fished lakes, rivers, farm ponds but the best memories come from the Minnesota lakes.I never could get any of my kids or grand kids interested in fishing. It's kind of sad when an era ends. I always have intentions of going back to those favorite lakes and seeing how much they have changed but some how something always comes up to redirect my focus. ***** Have a great fishing memory day. ***** Nebraska Dave