Ever since the boating arm of the Johnny Morris empire purchased Legend last week, I’ve been besieged by emails and phone messages inquiring whether his position in the bass boat industry violates any sort of antitrust laws. I have repeatedly had to answer that I really don’t know because in three years of law school and nearly 22 years of practice I’ve never studied antitrust law nor dealt with a matter in which it was a factor.
I have dozens of buzzbaits, and if I were to take the time to count my stockpile it might turn out that my inventory has hit triple digits. But unlike the Senko, where I rely exclusively on a single brand, when it comes to buzzbaits there are numerous manufacturers represented in my existing arsenal.
I’ve blogged in this space since February of 2008, a total of nearly 9 ½ years. I’ve endeavored to provide at least two entries a week, and while I’ve failed to accomplish that on a handful of occasions, those failures are more than offset by the times that I’ve published three, four or even five pieces in a seven day span. That means that I’ve found inspiration on at least a thousand occasions to write something, and I’m sure that I have at least a thousand left in me.
When I was 9 years old and my parents bought me my first subscription to Field & Stream, I was wowed by the idea that someone could get paid to write about fishing. At that time, unlike some of you, I had no clue that there was such a thing as a pro bass angler, so writers filled that aspirational target. I mean, come on, with a name like “Ted Trueblood,” more Hemingwayesque than that bestowed on old Ernest himself, how could the F&S scribes not inspire me to chase a life chronicling the outdoors?
My one major regret from last year’s three week sojourn to Southern Africa was that I didn’t get a chance to fish for bass. I know that seems odd because even though they’re spread all over the globe bass seem to be the quintessentially American sportfish and I live in their home territory. Nevertheless, I always want to be on the forefront of both emerging fisheries and fisheries that are peaking and countries like Botswana and Mozambique seem primed to explode as destinations for the well-heeled bass traveler.
The first thing I do after getting a new boat is to take the butt seat out and store it in my garage until it’s time to send the whole deal to the next owner a few years later. I guess I might be inclined to pull it out if fishing in open water or a rough day, but now that I no longer fish tournaments those days are few and far between -- which means that at best a butt seat on the front deck would get in my way and at worst it might knock me into the drink.
I had just about given up hope on buzzbaits. They’d been my bread and butter in the late 90s and for a few years thereafter. Back then I probably threw them a little bit more than I should have, but the results were encouraging enough that I didn’t mind the occasional dry spell. About seven or eight years ago, though, the dry spells started getting longer and longer and longer.
By now many of you have likely seen the Savage Gear 3D Bat, which one the Best Freshwater Hard Lure award at the recently-concluded ICAST trade show. The web and social media have been filled with snickering and criticism about this bait, and perhaps rightfully so, but today I’m here to announce that I fully intend to acquire one.
Just prior to announcing their 2018 Elite Series schedule, B.A.S.S. announced a new rule that would prohibit qualified anglers “from soliciting or intentionally receiving any information about the locations of fish or fishing areas on those waters,” beginning as soon as the schedule was made public. As Randall Tharp wrote, this should “level the playing field,” favoring the best anglers over the best information gatherers.
If you’ve read this blog for any period of time then you know that I’m a big advocate of putting new waters on the schedule. If I had my way, they’d sign ‘em up for 10 or 11 complete wild cards, and while I know that isn’t feasible for a variety of financial and outrage-based reasons, I’m always happy when the pros get to go someplace new. That’s why I’m so excited by the presence of Lake Oahe on the schedule at the end of June.
I’ve read the articles and seen the TV shows. Alabama anglers head down a line of shoreline water willow throwing a swim jig and as they retrieve it they go into full spaz mode, twitching and shaking their rod tip. All of a sudden the rod loads up, the angler stops shaking and starts reeling and a five pound green gorilla is brought over the side of the boat.