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  • Martin D. Lamb of Albia, IA writes:

    RE: Chaconas opinion I almost laughed at this opinion piece. Problem is, it is not funny in the least. To begin with the ramps, tackle shops, repair shops, the local DNR, as well as the local tax collector depend on revenue from the boaters, but their success hinges on the use by everyday anglers, not the revenue from 50 fishermen over a few days. Those monies were a drop in the bucket compared to the funds received from locals.

    I grow so weary of folks comparing professional fishing to everyday careers. There is a difference between private enterprise and competing on public waters. There is a reason professional ball players compete in privately owned stadiums. If professional fishermen want those perks, then they need to finance private fisheries and charge admission. If they were forced to have fans pay for attendance to pay their salary, then we would see who should be thankful for whom.

    Were it not for the "wannabes," as you so eloquently put it, the pros would be working normal jobs and fishing local derbies like the rest of us unworthys. I think most of the elites have forgotten that without us little people purchasing the products that they promote (unethically more often than not) they wouldn't have the sponsor dollars and products they enjoy, nor the opportunity to fish professionally.

    Somehow this keeps getting painted as a local invading the pro's space when exactly the opposite occurred. Had Anthony been there first, everyone would be preaching how you do not move in on another angler. The same should apply to the "professional."

    I wish a venue would close the lake for a professional tourney. The repercussions would alienate the very base touring pros need to survive.

  • Jerry Fulkerson of Concord, NC writes:

    Based on the comments I've read, it seems as if a not insignificant number of the readers of are of the opinion that professional bass anglers and professional bass tournaments in general are a blight on the sport of bass fishing. Given that, I have to wonder why those readers are spending time on a site dedicated to professional bass tournaments and anglers? Just wondering.

  • Walter Oppelt of Frankfort, KY writes:

    RE: Chaconas opinion The majority of the locals wont even know about this article. It would be nice if this article would appear in each local newspaper for the duration of the tournament in the city they are fishing. I dare say most of these folks do not own a computer.

    While I'm at it, what about all of the locals in their boats following some of the pros? I've seen upwards of 50 boats follow some pros, many taking videos and camera photos for triangulation of the pro's spot. Common courtesy? Forget about it.

  • Burton Bosley of Sutton, WV writes:

    RE: Gagliardi's run-in As a retired bass guide who loved to fish tournaments, you never have a right to a certain hole if someone is there. Basic courtesy, no tournament angler should behave in this manner.

  • Beau Bacon of Baxter, MN writes:

    RE: Chaconas opinion Well said. Couldn't agree more.

  • Larry Bonniwell of Seaford, DE writes:

    RE: Chaconas opinion Steve, very well put. Hopefully some of these folks will read this article and realize that everyone is better off for these tournaments on their lakes and rivers.

  • Lee Herlong of Saluda, SC writes:

    Gagliardi's run-in Please find out this idiot's name and us locals will handle it. There is no room for people like that on our lake, especially in a high-stakes tourney like the Cup!

  • George Kramer of Lake Elsinore, CA writes:

    RE: Chaconas opinion Since there will always be two opposing sides regarding the issue of "interference," I feel I can be equally ambivalent. One side of me says: Sometimes you just don't get to fish your stuff. Maybe it's the weather/rough water, or the fact that other anglers (regardless of how they found the area) are there first. Waiting in line is a way of life in the real world.

    Worst that ever happened to me, I ran 45 minutes up past Temple Bar on Lake Mead, ducked into my money pocket and there was a houseboat and three or four Jetskis. I wasn't going to be able to wait for them to leave so I did.

    On the other hand, I interviewed Don Iovino (doodling/finesse guru) at the onset of his bass fishing career (he was a trout guy previously) and it was telling. He squawked to me about some "tournament guys" crowding him at a reservoir near L.A. because they were "in a tournament."

    But in perspective he added, "These guys were the same '-holes' they were the week before they put on their bass patches."

    So yes, I understand the Golden Rule, the rule book and the concept of "unwritten rules." Unfortunately, not everybody plays by them.

  • Carter Northcutt of Frankfort, KY writes:

    RE: Chaconas opinion I do agree with some of what the author says regarding ethics and such, but I don't think some of the analogies he used are fair. No one would expect to be able to drive a car on a NASCAR track or play ball in a pro stadium. On the other hand, I would expect to be able to fish on a lake or river whenever I choose.

    I fish tournaments and I fish just for fun, too. The lakes used for tournaments by the major circuits are typically large impoundments or rivers. There is plenty of room for all. I think it is rude to just move in on a spot when someone else is fishing it, whether they are in a boat or on the bank. If I wanted to fish it I would ask if they mind if I fish through. Otherwise I would move on.

    In a sense we all own the water because of taxes we pay, but it does not give us the right to be rude. On the subject of closing the waters during the tournament, I have to disagree. Why should anyone be subject to that? Not everyone has the option of going to a different body of water when a tournament is being held on their home water. I think that closing of a ramp area is okay because who would want to go out of a congested ramp when others are available. Other than that, we all need to show courtesy to those sharing the water with us, whether that means passing on a spot because it is already occupied or, if on the spot but not in the tournament, then letting someone fish through if they ask politely. I doubt we will ever have a 100-percent agreement on this topic so we all need to work together to keep the peace.

  • Sean Skey of Sumter, SC writes:

    I find it interesting and slightly amusing that all of the "anti-tournament" fishermen would be commenting on articles from a website specifically designed for professional tournament fishing and is even called "The Leader in Pro Bass Fishing News."

    Anyway, couldn't the same argument be said about the other guy? He obviously knew there was a tournament going on, couldn't he have said, "Well, I live here, and can fish this spot anytime I want, and you guys are only going to be here for another day or 2, so I'll go ahead and ease on down the way."

    Seems pretty reasonable to me.

  • E.A. Lunde of Richmond, VA writes:

    RE: Chaconas opinion This about the dumbest thing I've ever read. I really don't where to start on this.

  • Richard Fox of Front Royal, VA writes:

    RE: Chaconas opinion Steve should read the recent articles on why the Potomac fishery is in trouble. If the bass fishing keeps going downhill there won't be any fish for anyone. Tournaments at the wrong time of year have been a major factor, according to people who know.

  • Glenn Harding of Shrewsbury, MA writes:

    RE: Chaconas opinion I don't necessarily agree with the author's line of thinking. To say that the weekend angler should sacrifice his day on the water so the tournament pros can earn a living is short-sighted in my mind. Public waterways are just that public. Angler traffic needs to be treated just like any other factor in a tournament. The pros do not have a divine right to all spots on any lake.

    I have been told by local tournament anglers that I had to grant them access to the area I was fishing because they were in a tournament and they had a permit. The permit is to hold the event, not to own the lake for the day. As far as being indebted to the pros for what they provide, I disagree with that, too. The pros are paid advocates for product. Their job is to create a buzz around a product so it sells. Without the weekend angler buying this product, there is no sponsorship money.

    What we need on the water is mutual respect and sportsmanship. The lake belongs to all.

  • Mark Price of Franklin, TN writes:

    RE: Chaconas opinion I think that the most important part that you miss is that the waters that the tournament is being held on is public water. Pointing out the fact that you would not like someone sitting at your desk when you came to work proves nothing that is private property, not public.

    As more and more tournaments are held on public waters, the public and the vast majority of fishermen do not care about tournaments or tournament fishermen. You can hardly enjoy a day at the lake anymore with out being overrun by tournament fishermen and wannabe pros. Most of us non-tournament fishermen, and I will use Kentucky Lake as an example, would prefer that B.A.S.S. and FLW stay away. Let us enjoy a day at the lake in peace.

  • John G. Jensen of Melrose, MN writes:

    RE: Chaconas opinion The only statement in your article that holds any truth is that there is no feasible venue to hold major tournaments on with no "interference." The rest of your points and analogies are unrealistic.

  • Paul Wallace of Cambridge City, IN writes:

    RE: Chaconas opinion The problem, Steve, is that there is a bass tournament on most bigger lakes almost every weekend and not including weekly jackpot tournaments. When bass tournament fishermen at any level see the top guys do this, some of them follow suit, thus grinding the anti-tournament fishing sentiment even deeper into the recreational fisherman's mind ... and rightfully so. Until an organization can pay a state enough money to close a 50,000-acre reservoir down for a week to hold their tournament, this is going to happen.

    Don't kid yourself, either the states aren't making that much money off of tournament fishing or else they would do that. Kind of like shutting down Bethpage Black for the U. S. Open. It's a public course ...

  • Bill Williams of Tiffin, OH writes:

    RE: Chaconas opinion As a tournament fisherman, I want to be able to fish any spot I believe will hold fish. But do I believe other fishermen/women should not be allowed to have access to the water? Absolutely not! The locals pay taxes, access fees, and buy equipment to pursue their sport. Is it sporting for a local to not let a pro to have access to their spot? I believe it is up to the local's belief(s) about having a "pro" take/catch the fish from the local's fishing spot.

    I ask the writer does he believe the state(s) should deny access to all outdoor users? If so, what about the dreaded jet ski users, large pleasure-boat owners, marina owners and dock owners/renters, and what about the other businesses that may experience a loss of revenue because of a "big tournament" is in town? I agree that a tournament does have a positive impact for a location, but at what cost? Do the pros live or work there all year long?

    I suggest people are people and there will always be someone who will not will not give access to a tournament angler.

  • Jerry Bullaboy of China Grove, TX writes:

    Gagliardi run-in There are disgusting people with no regard or respect for anyone else out there. Even on small local lakes these people are out there who run across your fishing spot, ski around you, Sea Doo you. Just a pack of people who are out for themselves only. Hit them in the head with a hammer. They just don't get it.

  • Wallace Calloway of Toledo Bend, LA writes:

    RE: Chaconas opinion You are way off base. First, as I read Gagliardi's account, he had been driving by this spot each previous day, so the local was not "poaching" fish that Gagliardi had been working. Second, pertaining to ramp fees, at my lake, all ramp fees and park admissions are waived for the bigger tournaments. Chaconas gives the impression that local anglers should automatically give way when these guys come to their lake because it is their "job." Most locals work their jobs daily with only a couple of days off a week. On our lake, if you give way to Elites, Everstart, BFL, Bass N Bucks, four different Oilman's tournaments (500 boats each) and McDonald's starting in February and continuing each weekend through June and all encompass the weekend, when exactly should the locals try to fish?

    Also, at these big tournaments, the public is not able to use the public launch that I pay an annual fee to use. That's not counting all the smaller club tournaments. My last experience I had five tournament boats come in on me on a small hump. I could cast into each boat. As a result the fish shut down and none of us caught fish.

    Bottom line, these are public waters and we are the public. Respect earns respect.

  • Bruce Alexander of Spartanburg, SC writes:

    RE: Gagliardi run-in I am a casual fan of this sport but a not-so-casual fan of sports in general. This situation is fairly unique to tournament fishing for several reasons. There is already a significant and growing disdain among local fishermen to large, big-money tournaments invading their home lakes.

    I am pretty sure Gagliardi could not shove off before a designated time. The local fisherman could leave whenever he wanted. Gagliardi is making a living and representing sponsors that pay him big bucks to win tournaments. He is a professional doing his job. I get the sense that some (and maybe this guy is one of them) locals are looking to compete unofficially or even confront the pros. Shut up and fish!

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