In the end, Seth Feider’s only option at La Crosse was to fish his butt off and hope for the best. It paid off with a personal-best 2nd place Elite Series finish and a chance to progress on to Mille Lacs, where if a few Jenga pieces fall in perfect order he might even be able to make it to the 2017 Bassmaster Classic.
Of course, he would’ve rather won on the Upper Mississippi, but how much did he really want it? What if he’d been able to strike some sort of bargain with the fish gods ahead of time?
If he’d known prior to the event that he could either:
(a) Finish 2nd and progress to Mille Lacs; or
(b) Finish 1st but have certain competitors do well enough to keep him out of the AOY championship
Which do you think he would’ve chosen?
Personally, I’m sort of a “bird in the hand” kind of guy, so I’d have opted for the sure hundred grand, even if it meant sitting out the next one and having no chance at all of making the Classic.
I don’t know Seth well enough to know what he would’ve taken, but I’ve been around enough Elite Series pros to say that many of them would’ve passed up the sure thing for the smaller chance at greater glory. Look at their bios – a disproportionate number of them love day trading and poker, and every one of them thinks he’s one cast from bigger and better things, even if he’s just climbed to the temporary pinnacle of the sport.