A view of the world of competitive bass-fishing from the back deck through junebug-colored lenses:
Kudos to the Bluegrass State for its plans to add fishing to the list of sanctioned high school sports in Kentucky for the 2012-13 school year.
“We’re not going to be afraid of trying something new around here,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett in the January edition of High School Today, the monthly newsletter of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHSA). “I hope [nobody’s] thinking that this is just going to be more of the same. No way. We’re going to try some new things; it’s going to take people outside their comfort zone. But that’s OK, because we’re going to do what the kids need.”
A couple weeks ago, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced that 231 high schools signed up to participate in its statewide tournament. Currently, Illinois is the only state that conducts such an event at the high school level.
All of this got me to thinking that my native New York needs to get behind this movement sooner rather than later, as do a lot of states. New York is blessed with a number of reputable bass lakes (Erie, Oneida, Champlain, anyone?) and the fall would be the ideal time for a little competition in my corner of the world. With minimal costs to school districts, this might be one of the best ways to get more young people involved in the sport.
So Slick Lures LLC, Inc. has decided to disclose the patent application number for The Alabama Rig, which is currently in patent pending status. It’ll be interesting to see the legal matters that arise if and when a patent is awarded to Andy Poss’ company considering how many other manufacturers have begun pumping out their versions of the umbrella rig. It won’t be without precedent as we’re seeing a similar legal tug-o-war in U.S. District Court in South Carolina over the ChatterBait between Z-Man Fishing Products and Renosky Lures.
Listening to angler after angler come on stage and speak about the quantity of fish they caught at the Bulls Shoals Elite Series, it seems to me B.A.S.S. would be silly to wait another 20 years before coming back to the White River reservoir.
I’m all for solid hooksets, but this whole angler-hooks-self outbreak is getting a little out of hand, no pun intended. First, FLW Tour angler Troy Morrow tells us that during each tournament he’s finished well in, somehow he’s managed to bury a hook past the barb into one of his hands or fingers. He did it twice, by accident, at the Table Rock FLW Tour Major, and wound up 3rd. Then, Brandon Palaniuk had the misfortune of having a crankbait treble hook pierce his left pinky during day 2 of the Bull Shoals Elite Series. It forced him off the water and to the emergency room. He lost nearly 2 hours of fishing time on a day when he caught 24-04 to seize control of the event. That he went on to win the derby will only add to the legend years from now.
Elite Series pros Brent Chapman and Randy Howell know what it takes to survive on the road during the grueling tournament season. Look no further than the latest Toyoya Tundra Angler of the Year (AOY) standings for evidence as Chapman and Howell are 1-2 in points. Both anglers are joined on the road by their families and prior to the Bull Shoals event, their children played an impromptu version of “Fear Factor” at the dinner table. The challenge involved trout eyes. Take notice of who passed up participating. A word of caution: If this stuff makes you queasy, skip the video.
There are plenty of engaging personalities among the pros fishing the top-level tour series, but few wear their emotions on their sleeve like Cliff Crochet. Maybe it's his easy-going Louisiana accent, but it's hard not to root for guys like him.
Excuse the change of topic (and species), but in a previous life, I worked as editor of a former companion website to BassFan that covered professional walleye tournaments. In my time there I crossed paths a time or two with Ron Seelhoff, a walleye tournament legend, trolling pioneer and salt of the earth kind of guy from Colorado. Ron, who now lives in Nebraska, recently underwent surgery for thyroid cancer and had to have his vocal cords, voice box, lymph nodes, thyroid gland and parathyroid gland removed. Brutal stuff, but he's fighting hard. He’s facing another week or so of radiation treatment at the University of Nebraska cancer center, and he has every intention of getting back on the water when his condition improves.
Todd Ceisner is BassFan’s editor.