Competitive bass fishing at the high school level is taking root all over the country, and here's one neat thing about the sport that many might not have considered: The vast majority of the competition takes place far from the view of the athletes' parents. Even if they wanted to, most moms and dads lack the ability to show up in a boat at a huge body of water in the middle of the afternoon to embarrass their kids while the boys and girls are trying to focus on their performance
I was a mainstream sports journalist for 18 years before I came to BassFan in 2005, and during that time I witnessed at least a thousand high school athletic contests. There were quite a few factors involved in my decision to leave the newspaper business, and an ever-growing disdain for the parents of high school (and younger) athletes was right up near the top of the list. The vast majority of them weren't a problem, but there was always a small percentage at any given time or place who were straight out of a Dr. Phil episode. I miss those people about as much as the case of the chicken pox I contracted at age 15 that caused me to sit out two Senior Little League games.
There's undoubtedly a heavy dose of parental involvement in most of the newly formed fishing clubs – they'd never become established without it. But those types of parents, the ones willing to volunteer their time and resources, are rarely the source of the kind of negativity that often makes prep athletics a less-fulfilling experience for the participants than it should be. They're not the ones whose chief concern is that their children be recognized as "superstars," or the ones seeking a do-over of their own unsatisfactory athletic careers via the exploits of their offspring.
And to you parents who do have access to boats and time off during daylight hours, do your kids a favor and stay away from them while they're competing in a tournament. Go fish another part of the lake, and let them tell you about their day on the water once you're all back at the ramp.
There's little chance that bass fishing will ever become as popular as football or basketball on high school campuses. It's unlikely that you'll ever see a marching band or a cheerleading squad at a weigh-in and there won't be an assembly of the entire student body and an invasion of local media when the best angler in the school's history announces where he or she will attend college.
In some ways, that's a very good thing.
––BassFan Senior Editor
Snapcasts are brief opinion pieces produced by BassFan staff members. The views presented are the author's alone.