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  • Tim Teale of Hot Springs, AR writes:

    For MLF winners to desire to return to B.A.S.S. makes me wonder why ... as a fan, these are good times, but I still prefer the five-fish format.

  • James Melvin of New Wilmington, PA writes:

    Hearing that Jason Christie and Greg Hackney are in good position, and want to return to the B.A.S.S. Elites really made my day. Two of only three anglers I truly missed with B.A.S.S.. I wish I could plant a bug in Andy Montgomery's ear. Swindle and BP coming back last year was great too, but I'm not a fan of letting anglers back in under some type of legacy criteria. Should have to requalify like everyone else. B.A.S.S. is better than that, or should be.

    A whole lot of anglers walked away from their legacies and future careers with B.A.S.S., only to be forgotten by a lot of fans. In my opinion, they only strengthened B.A.S.S. by doing that, but B.A.S.S. needs to stay true to its roots and not just invite guys in like MLF does.

  • Frank Tennity of Honeoye, NY/Lake Wales, FL writes:

    RE: Balog on live tournament coverage – I too am confused at times with some of the formats in bass fishing but the live fishing and interaction of the angler showing and telling which baits and why they are using them will help to elevate the sport. People will see the action right now and not from an edited show that may have taken days to record. Those fans with higher interest will keep searching for more help through books, magazines and videos, not to mention weigh-in attendance.

  • Gilbert M. Graham of Louisville, TN writes:

    RE: Poche's Seminole win – His anti-fishing FLW tournaments did not last long. I remember reading, on this site, I believe, that he stated he would not fish anymore of these since he was disqualified in one recently for not running a 150-hp motor.

  • Dennis Pentecost of Milford, IL writes:

    Fishing University with their show is almost as comical as Fish Fishburne's show was!

  • Mark Trego of Viola, IL writes:

    RE: Balog on fishing shows – Fishing shows today are just a commercial and someone happens to be fishing. "The American Sportsman" show with Curt Gowdy from years back had some good fishing segments with some adventure in the mix, my favorite show growing up and might be the adventure format you are referring to. In-Fisherman is the only fishing show I watch anymore and have watched it since Ron and Al started the show.

  • Paul Wallace of Cambridge City, IN writes:

    RE: Balog on fishing shows – There use to be a show called "The Outdoor Writers" or something like that. I think Spence Petros was one of the hosts. Each week they would discuss specific topics, a certain technique or lure. Talked about things old and new. Can't remember if they had guests or not, but I liked that show.

    I think having an in-depth discussion about bass fishing topics/competition and equipment would be the type of show that could find an audience. They could even discuss individual anglers and their careers.
    Doesn't need to be any fishing going on, there are plenty of shows with that. Talking about the details with hopefully unbiased hosts is what's missing. The Outdoor Writers didn't last that long, so I could be wrong.

  • Tom Tanner of Jonestown, PA writes:

    RE: Balog on fishing shows – I would love to see a show that is based on fishing around the country or other countries, more like the old Fishin' Hole show with Jerry McKinnis. Yes, it would require sponsorship, but without wrapped boats, tournament jerseys and the non-stop plugs for sponsor products. There are still lots of people who fish for multiple species and would love to watch great bass fishing in Mexico, great pike fishing in Manitoba, great crappie fishing in Mississippi and so on. The only all-around fishing show left is In-Fisherman – not everyone is a tournament fisherman.

    There are many companies that sell products for all these different types of fishing, so it's certainly feasible to find good sponsors. Bass fishing shows and deer hunting shows are maxed out – it's time for something new and different.

  • Ken Kraft of Columbus, OH writes:

    RE: Dudley's diagnosis – Diabetes is a killer. Went through the same thing – lost 30 pounds, thought I was dying. Stay away from soda. I have not had one since being diagnosed, 2 years ago. Crystal Light is the way to go. Sorry to hear about the COVID. Keep fighting, because you are an inspiration to a lot of us local anglers. God Bless.

  • Matt Greene of Ventura, CA writes:

    RE: Balog on tech advances – Joe, the adrenaline rushes from catching fish and beating your competitors provides anglers the reason to drop $20K-plus on electronics packages every few years. The issue I see that few people publicly acknowledge, and it's not a new issue, is the cost of all this equipment needed to compete at the higher levels of the sport get in the way of one providing for their family or investing for their long-term future (retirement, kids' college, etc). I'd bet that most people, even after all the recent financial trials, aren't planning for the future as much as they should be. It's easy to run up debt buying all the things to compete, yet it's getting harder to offset the total costs of everything involved to compete. There are only so many sponsor dollars that everyone is chasing and few earn enough to live off of.

    I've read the comments Tai Au recently made. He crushed the Western Toyota Series events this year and plans to fish the Pro Circuit next year. He is having a hard time finding sponsors to offset the costs. It's taking new anglers who want to make a living two or three successful seasons in the major circuits before they can say "I get paid enough to fish and take care of my family." The situation is going to determine the true men from the boys for who prioritizes family and finances and who chases adrenaline rushes.

    I also believe that the costs will define the levels of competition more so than before. Back in the day, a professional could dominate with one or two techniques all year. Now, touring anglers need to be versed in many just to hold their ground on the diverse waterways they visit. Having specific tools to help them in these techniques comes with a price. There will be the lower-tiered anglers that buy one or two pieces of gear and use them for years. Others who wait and use second-hand gear and still hold onto it for years. Regional competitors will use contemporary technology, which requires a greater investment, but still not all the tools available in the market. Those anglers will dominate the local circuits and the technology will help them manage on the regional level.

    The pros will need all the tools to compete. Those who don't have those tools get their butts kicked, as you noted in your piece. Each level of competition increases the divide between the anglers who spend the money to compete and others who choose to invest elsewhere.

    I'm 33 years old. I've been fishing tournaments since I was 12. I'm a Navy pilot and pursuing a masters in digital and multimedia marketing. I've lived and fished all over the world and I now fish Southern California lakes frequently and the only place I've seen similar pressure is Tanner's Creek outside Cincinnati, OH, but these lakes see this pressure every day of the week. I've watched the fish in these lakes out here run from transducer pings or just not move at all. I can see the utility of 360-degree fields of vision in situations like these, but I'd rather invest the $10K in my roth IRA right now.

  • Mark Claerhout of Geneseo, IL writes:

    So the pro bass fishing circuits can use Panoptix, but they are not allowed to use the A-rig in tournaments because they consider the A-rig to be to easy to catch fish on. What’s wrong with this?

  • Dennis Pentecost of Milford, IL writes:

    RE: Balog on tech advances – How many have these high-priced units on their boats but do not have a clue on how to set them or use them? But by God, they look good!

  • David Harrison of Huntsville, AL writes:

    RE: Balog on tech advances – I have already seen many kayak fishermen with thousands of dollars worth of electronics on their boat. One of them offered to sell me his old units to put on my old fiberglass Ranger. Hard to put electronics on that are worth more than the boat itself. The top kayak anglers have a LOT of money sunk into the rig. Could get a nice, used fiberglass rig for less.

  • Bruce Fisher of Lakewood, OH writes:

    RE: Balog on tech advances – This article reminds that you have to take a break from all of that. Fished a golf course a couple of weeks ago that let me rent a cart and fish their ponds. It was a blast without all the high-tech stuff!

  • Joseph McKinnon of Waltham, MA writes:

    RE: Balog on tech advances – Spot on! Fishing is getting tougher by the day.

  • Corey Gue of Huntington, WV writes:

    RE: Balog on tech advances – I truly believe it is not technology that is making the bite tougher. It is solely from fishing pressure. We simply have more anglers that vie for the same number of fish we had 10 years ago. Not sure of the numbers but we have had to double the number of tournaments due to all levels of scholastic fishing. The fish can only look at so many 1.5s and Senkos.

  • Brad Finch of Hendersonville, TN writes:

    RE: Balog on tech advances – Great article and observations on our electronic evolution, Joe. I am a member of the “flasher generation” and now I have side and down imaging devices and I spend far too much time idling and screen-watching. Let’s just fish!

  • Paul J. Wallace of Cambridge City, IN writes:

    I would love to go to Sturgeon Bay or Erie or and catch giant smallmouth because it looks like a blast. To be honest, though, watching multiple tournaments on TV of these fisheries is slightly boring. Each fisherman seems to be doing the dropshot ... fight fish for 5 minutes and land fish. I find myself fast-forwarding through the middle of the show just to get to the end to see if it's going to be competitive.

    Don't get me wrong, it takes a skill set with electronics that is beyond my comprehension. Just visually seems MEH.

  • David Harrison of Huntsville, AL writes:

    I also have a bunch of Weed Wings. My favorite has always been the black one with the Uncle Josh pork frog, regular green spotted with the green side down. Most folks who get in my boat have never seen one before, which means I'm getting old.

  • Chad Griffin of Cresson, TX writes:

    RE: Talley's win at Guntersville – Congrats to a heck of a guy and great fisherman – good things do happen to good people. Best of luck for the rest of the year. I'll be pulling for you.

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