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  • Steven C. Rockweiler of Luling writes:

    RE: Martin's AOY win Congrats to Scott Martin for his AOY title. Scott seems like a great fisherman, family mana nd person. A really good guy for our youngsters to emulate.

  • Errol Duckett of Charlotte, NC writes:

    RE: Balog's guide fee There's a time and place for a co-angler in the back of the boat, but it's certainly not on the pro level. Imagine a co-golfer teeing it up with Tiger Woods on the final day at Augusta. Come on guys, let's try to elevate this sport to level it deserves.

  • Maynard Logan of Fort Wayne,IN writes:

    RE: Fukae's sportsmanship Congratualtions to Shin Fukaie at the FLW Potomac event. What an act of sportsmanship giving his boat to Clark Wendlandt. This is the type of sportsmanship that should take place in BASS and FLW events in regard to fishing spots on the ledge impoundments. Whatever happened to respect for self and others. Great job Shin!

  • Jeff Hodges of Apex, NC writes:

    RE: Balog on Ike I agree with you, Joe. My first impression of Ike was much the same. However, over the past few years I have really come to respect Ike on many different levels. I find myself doing late night paper work all the time while playing Ike Live! in the background. Go Ike!

  • Rob Dixon of Lewistown, PA writes:

    RE: Balog on Ike I know a lot of older folks don't like Ike. He dresses different than your average bass fisherman. He gets animated in a way that only younger people seem to relate to. He swears, he used to party a bit, but aside from all of that he has done more to promote the sport of bass fishing than any pro who's ever come before him probably more than any pro who will come after him as well.

    Ike is a legend in bass fishing that we all owe a debt of gratitude to. I hope he wins another Classic and AOY because there's not a single person out there who deserves it more than he does. He signs more autographs in a week than the rest of the Elite Series does in a month simply because he will not leave a launch until he has signed for every single person who wants him to.

  • William McDonaugh of Thorndale, PA writes:

    RE: Balog on Ike I agree 100 percent with Joe's article. Most times Ike is the last person to leave an Elite tournament site because he cares about the people attending. Many times Ike and people wanting to shake his hand, get an autograph or talk to him are the last ones in the parking lot. I was at one tournament when he left a young man drive his boat from weigh-in to the ramp. I don't know who was happier, the young man, or his family members that were at the ramp. The trip to NY was just a routine day for Ike.

  • William H Barnes of Mercersburg, PA writes:

    RE: Balog on Ike I agree with Balog's assessment on Mr. Iaconelli. Initially I was put off by his antics, but as he matured and demonstrated his fishing abilities I have grown to respect and even like him.

  • Charlie Hartley of Grove City, OH writes:

    RE: Balog on Ike Joe, based on your columns, I consider you a "wise man." I have a very similar opinion of Ike. Keep writing the good stuff!

  • Jason May of Huntsville, AL writes:

    RE: More FLW Tour withdrawals So anglers pull out and they cut the payouts right before the tournament? That makes me wonder about the whole financial situation of fishing.

  • Jody Mullins of Glen Allen, VA writes:

    RE: Potomac River FLW Definitely not the Potomac of old anymore. The numbers have steadily been decreasing over the past few years. Hope we have not seen its best years!

  • Bill Wolf of Center, MO writes:

    RE: Balog on nets I wonder why B.A.S.S. and MLF both claim to be most concerned about the health and proper care of bass that they do not mind if an angler basically just bangs a bass on the deck or bottom of the boat. I also think "pros" themselves think it takes to much time out of the catch to use a net. What a shame on all parts.

    BassFan says: While MLF does not permit the use of nets, it does assess penalties to anglers who allow fish to make contact with their boats.

  • Carter Northcutt of Frankfort, KY writes:

    RE: Balog on nets I have to agree with you on net use. I never understood the reasoning behind banning nets. They can make it so that only the fisherman, not his co-angler or anyone else, has to be the one doing the netting.

  • Cooper Hall of Park Hill, OK writes:

    RE: McGuckin profile Cool article for a cool guy. I haven't spent a lot of time with Guck, but the times I have he's been such a down to earth, calm, collected individual. I hope to get a few more campfire sits with this guy!

  • Steve Kirby of Columbus, OH writes:

    RE: Release Me trailer brake key - Wow, why didn't I think of that! Seriously, have you ever noticed how it's the simplest ideas that turn out to be just the ticket? Great idea and the right price point. Congratulations.

  • Mike Bingham of Florence, MS writes:

    I think all the issues over use of nets goes back to the early B.A.S.S. days when "pros" were paired together and one guy would have to stop fishing to net the other guy's fish. And we know not everyone knows how to net fish, resulting in a fish lost. Some folks are slow getting the net ready and the other loses the fish and blames the netter. All issues that caused stress between partners. And some guys just got tired of spending all their time netting the other guy's fish.

    So B.A.S.S., I think in the '80s, banned nets in the name of fish care. But fisherman are hardheaded ... then they would still ask their partner to help them land the fish! And again, fish were lost by the partner and again causing hard feelings.

    To me, it always seemed like such a simple situation to fix. Allow nets, but make each guy responsible for landing his own fish. Simple. Make it a violation for the partner to assist. Remember DQ'S for pros having practice partners drive their boat while they looked for bedding fish? If a guy is a real pro, he should want to land his own fish. If something goes wrong and he loses the fish, he can't blame anyone else.

    One more thing: The use of nets will eliminate those scary moments watching guys try to land bass with a big crankbait or jerkbait sideways in its mouth. Are we really putting fish safety above humans? I mean, really, we just stuck a hook or hooks into them!

  • Randall Kramer of New Braunfels, TX writes:

    RE: Balog on nets I truly believe that those of us who watch tournaments as fans of the sport do not watch to see the anglers wrestle with the bass. Although it may create some extra drama, we know the true struggle is in locating tournament-winning fish and getting them to bite over 4 days of competition. We wake up early to tune in our TVs or stream it live while we're at work to see the anglers figure things out. We hope to learn as much as we can in hopes we can benefit from the techniques and tactics.

    If anything, all the flipping of bass in the boat and watching them careen off of windshields and flop on the floor probably turns more people off than it does good. I for one would prefer to see the use of nets and don't believe it would do anything to lessen the number of viewers. Most amateur or semi-pro tournaments allow the use of nets, so why are we asking the pros who we all look up to do something different? This sends the wrong message and the pros should be the ones to speak up and ask for this change.

  • Tony Arnold of Greenback, TN writes:

    RE: Balog on nets I say this very thing all the time. I don't understand why they don't use nets. Great article as usual, Joe. Maybe somebody at B.A.S.S. will read it.

  • Terry Bonsell of Keyser, WV writes:

    Why in the world will B.A.S.S. not adopt the conservation-friendly method of landing bass with a proper net? Watching bass bang against the side if the boat, windshield, or any other number of things is a dark cloud hanging over B.A.S.S.' "conserve the resource" message.

  • Chad Hill of Goreville, IL writes:

    RE: Balog on nets I totally agree with this view. I am tired of watching pros swing bass into the boat, giving them a hard landing on the deck or floor with them bouncing around all over the place. There's nothing unprofessional about a rubber-coated net.

  • Harold Sharp of Hixson, TN writes:

    RE: Balog on nets B.A.S.S. allowed nets in all tournaments until 1982. It was automatic when your partner hooked a bass you grabbed the net. This took you out of the game until his bass was safely aboard, then you could start fishing again.

    I remember a tournament that I fished and we stopped to fish a point. My partner hooked a 4-pounder on his first cast, so I grabbed the net just as he lost it. Before I could put the net away and cast he had another one on. He lost four in a row and I never made a cast.

    In 1982 an angler hooked a bass and his partner grabbed the net and got it hung on the depthfinder, It took a few seconds to untangle the net and while his partner waited, he lost the bass. He also filed a complaint against his partner claiming he caused him to lose the bass. That caused us to outlaw nets.

    If you allow the co-anglers and marshals to net bass for the pro and he has the net in the water and the bass jumps, throws the hook and falls in the net, should it count? If it comes unhooked at the boat and the co-angler nets it quickly before it swims off, should it count? Is there anything in any rules that allows the co-angler or marshal to help land a pro's bass? Does it look professional on TV for the co angler or marshal to dip a pro's fish?

    Isn't landing a bass a skill the pros must learn? Nets have no place in professional bass tournaments.

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