Do You Really Want to Be a Tournament Bass Fisherman?
By Randy (Randman011) Yancey
It’s early, for me and most folks anyway, 5am on a Saturday morning! As I sit here at my dining room table, I’m feeling guilty. I’m also feeling disappointed, blah and a little ‘down in the mouth’!
You see, I’m a ‘life-long’ bass fisherman, who in the past 3-4 years, has been consumed with my love of the wonderful sport of fishing, especially bass fishing! By consumed, I mean, lately especially, as I’ve gotten older, I not only ‘do it’ but I live it, think about it, study it, speak it, watch it, and even dream about it!
I know, it sounds ridiculous, even to me as I write it!
Yet, as I sit here, having my first (and usually my last) cup of coffee of the day, I know for example that somewhere around 40 miles from my front door, between 20 and 25 of my ‘fishing’ buddies are just now taking off in their bass boats, rain gear already in use, for our bass club’s fourth official ‘points’ tournament (our club ‘skips’ January) of the 2017 season. Our club, of which I’m one of the ‘newest’ members, this being my first year, is one of the oldest, and longest lived clubs here in southwest Missouri.
Tri County Bass Club, of St. Roberts, Missouri (near Fort Leonard Wood) according to its Facebook page anyway, was founded in 1989. Because of the club’s location near FLW, is made up of mostly D.O.D employees/contractors and/or US Army soldiers (Thank you for your service, by the way!) and these guys are the best! It’s no wonder to me why the club has such ‘longevity’. These guys are task oriented, ‘get it done’ type
Herein lies the root of my guilt!”
Back to bass fishing.
The reason I sit here feeling guilty is quite simple really. Since Monday, I have spent countless hours, and several twenty dollar bills getting ready for this Saturday’s bass club tournament. Including a ‘not so successful’ (1 post-spawn scrawny 15” keeper and 7 non-keepers) pre-fishing trip to Stockton Lake on Tuesday, I easily spent 30-40 hours focusing on the upcoming bass tournament. Including adding ‘new’ fluorocarbon line to 3 or 4 of my 11 or 12 fishing rigs, watching constant bass fishing videos and TV shows and re-tying almost ‘all’ of my fishing rigs, some more than ‘once’. Buying tie down straps for my most recent ‘project’ bass boat, $40-$50 worth of jig heads, single spins, soft plastic, and so forth. Can you relate?
You thought I was kidding, didn’t you!
And keeping an eye on the long-term weather forecast all the while! Starting 10 days ago, I watched closely the forecast and ‘knew’ that because this is southwest Missouri in April, that there was no way that it was correct, that far out. I knew for example, at best, there was only a 50-50 chance that the forecast of rain and winds out of the north, would become a reality. Given that they were predicting ‘10’ days in advance, I knew that the man upstairs would make it a beautiful day, by that next Saturday. I also would have bet that some of the bass would be spawning, some in pre-spawn and a small percentage would be post-spawn. In other words, perfect conditions for a successful, fun and memorable day catching bass!
“As the hours and days drug by, the weathermen didn’t seem to care about my upcoming bass tournament’s weather, my feeling of hopefulness increased daily. I made a solemn promise to myself that I was going to this tournament, come ‘hell or high water, literally’! As I had missed the February tournament, mostly due to a weather forecast of cold, windy and rainy, and a bout with a stomach disorder, (probably) nervousness and excitement.
Now, it’s not like I wasn’t fishing since then. Not at all.
As a matter of fact, I have fished 5 of 6 Saturdays, up to ‘last’ Saturday, as I couldn’t find any to fish, in a row! You see, I’ve joined USA Bassin Team tournament trail, fishing 3 different ‘divisional’ tournaments and an ‘open’ at 3 of the same lakes (Stockton, Pomme de Terre and Table Rock) that we fish at with Tri County Bass Club.”
The forecast started out predicting rain both Friday and Saturday. 40-50% chance of precipitation, began to creep up to 60-80%, and as of yesterday, most forecasts showed ‘100% chance of rain’, all day long! A major cold front came in Wednesday and Thursday this week, with overnight lows in the 40’s and those days were 20-30 degrees lower than the days leading up to them. But I ‘knew’ that the forecast was wrong!
“My guilt began to ‘diminish’ around the 6:30 am take off time, when all the sudden, after a huge crack of lightning, the skies opened-up and it poured for 30 minutes. My guilt began to increase though about 30 minutes later, as the skies suddenly cleared a little and the rain stopped. It began to diminish again, about 10 minutes ago (8:30) as the rain started up again. So, I still feel guilty, but less so.”
There was a reason for all the boring detail above! I wrote it to see if any of you reading this can relate
to how I feel as a life-long bass fisherman!
Now, back to ‘Do You Really Want to Be a Tournament Bass Fisherman’!
Here is a partial list of some tips to determine if you ‘Really Want to Be a Tournament Bass Fisherman’!
Do you constantly watch videos or read articles on bass fishing?
Are you proud of yourself, every time you figure out a pattern or lure color?
Do you weigh and measure most of your keeper bass?
Do you get increasing nervous and anxious the closer you get to your fishing trip or tournament?
Do you post pictures and/or videos of most of the fish you catch?
When you’re on the water, do you ask ‘other’ fisherman if they’re catching anything?
Do you tell the ‘truth’ when someone asks you the above question?
Do you know the current state or lake records for the species of fish you’re fishing for?
Do you keep track of your personal ‘bests’ as far as species, numbers or weights, and try to increase them every time on the water?
Are you very ‘passionate’ about the sport of bass fishing
Do you watch and read ‘motivational’ videos and articles, regardless if they are about fishing?
And, do you often read or view articles or videos on this or similar topics? Lol.
“It’s almost 10:00 am, and it’s raining hard, again. Feeling less and less guilty”!
Here’s another list.
This is a partial list of ‘reasons why’ you won’t ever become a Tournament Bass Fisherman?
o Your family and friends will ask you ‘why’ you spend so much of your ‘money’ fishing?
o Your family and friends will ask you ‘why’ you spend so much of your ‘time’ fishing?
o How can you continue to go fishing when you ‘insert all the above question and more’?
o Your family and friends will ask you ‘why’ you keep doing so much fishing, given their reasoning above!
o Your closest ally, your wife/husband or your girlfriend/boyfriend, will begin to ask the above questions too.
The only reason you ‘won’t’ make it in the world of Tournament bass fishing is ‘you lack a real ‘passion’ for the quest!
You too easily give up on your dreams!
This brings-to-mind a couple of quotes which to me anyway, seem to apply here!
“What the mind can conceive and believe, the body will do!”
“A Journey of a Thousand Miles; Begins with a Single Step”!
The first quote is ‘Tony Robbins’esque’ like. (I know that is not a name, nor a word but you get my meaning). The second is either Confucius or Sung Tsu, I can’t remember which. Or was it both you think?
“Feeling less n less guilty as it started raining cats and dogs about an hour ago, and it hasn’t stopped yet! 10:00 am.”
Here’s a couple of links of a guy whom has made it, and ‘why’ he has made it in life! And both explain it a lot better than I can in words! Here’s a simple riddle for you! I’ve known him for almost 30 years, and he’s about to have his 30th. Birthday! Who he is?
You’ve got to follow one or both the links to find out!
And here’s a link that I and certainly, he, believe is ‘why he made it’!
“The guilt has dropped to almost ‘none’ as it has rained steadily for about 2 hours, and the forecast was a little off; as it hasn’t come within 10 degrees of the forecast for noon, 64! Plus, we all know how cold it is when you’re soaking wet, traveling at 40 to 65 mph out on a windy lake with gusts up to 11-13 mph. Lends to a new definition to the meaning of the words, ‘wind chill’!”
And here’s the third and ‘final’ list! This is my favorite part of this musing.
Here are several short, but motivational videos, most of these are all about ‘Bass Fishing’!
A partial list of ‘The Reasons ‘Why You Will Make It’ as a Tournament Bass Fisherman’ In This Sport We All Love, Bass Fishing’!!
1. Because from this day forward, you will ‘know’ that doing the most productive thing possible in your journey has become your motto!
2. You are, or will become, the type of fisherman or woman that will, wherever and whenever possible, ‘seek both knowledge and wisdom’ about your passion, Bass Fishing, and becoming a Tournament Bass Fisherman!
3. You can’t change who your family is, you were ‘born’ into your family! But, you will ‘change their attitude about your passion in life’, which each little Bass Fishing success!
4. You can, however, luckily for you, choose ‘who your friends are’!
5. In other words, “if you can’t ‘change’ the people around you, then your only choice is to ‘Change the People Around You’! Got it? ‘Do you understand the words coming out of my mouth’? Also, always remember, “The mind is like a garbage disposal garbage (negatives) in, ‘garbage’ out! Put good things in (positives) good things out!
My guilt is almost all gone now, in that it has rained and there is flash flooding in and around Stockton lake all day today. I hope all club members are safe and get warm and dry soon. I really hope that they all caught a ton of fish. As for me, we only have 6 more tournaments, leading up to our Championship in October. I’ve fished two and dis okay in one (top 10) and nothing but participation points for the second one I fished for the year in March. But, for winnings and titles, they will only use the ‘best 5 of the ten total, counting the finals in October. So, I’ll just have to finish in ‘top 5’ in 4 or 5 of the 6 remaining tournaments to have a shot. I know I can, I believe I can, I think I can, therefore I ‘will’! LOL, no really, I think I can end up there. I just haven’t caught the fish per hour I did for the 2 years I was out of fishing clubs.
So, final thing you must do, or must have is ‘a passion’ for becoming a ‘Tournament Bass Fisherman’!
Some Definitions of the word ‘Passion’:
#intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction (If your mind can conceive and ‘believe it’, your body will ‘do it’!)
#A strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept a passion for chess, a passion for opera or a passion for becoming a tournament bass fisherman
Basically, in summation, let me finish this satirical, non-fiction, opinionated story, of a way to reach the goal of ‘Becoming a Tournament Bass Fisherman or Woman’ by saying one of many things from my ‘heart’.
In my 62+ years on the planet, I’ve had many passions, but I sincerely believe, now that I’m older, that the greatest things in my life, haven’t been ‘things’ at all. Not big houses (had those), fancy cars or trucks (had lots of those), nor stocks, bonds or huge amounts of money in the bank. (Use to have that) Not even those big, nice, fancy bass boats. Those are things, and lots of things can = really, almost nothing! But stress, and anger, and greed and all the other ‘things’ that seem to come with lots of things!
The point of these writings is ‘If something you have a passion about is worth having, and you work at it, learn about, practice it, and GOD wants to reward you with, only by ‘earning it’ in the true sense of the words, then ‘You Will Have It’!
In summing up this ‘open letter’ to whomever reads it, understands it and learns a little something from it, don’t let anyone steal your dreams. Don’t let them rob you of your passion(s) about life. As long as what you ‘want’ in life is pure, and good for you, HE wants you to have it too!
Things are just things, the valuable ‘things in life’ are, and hopefully will always remain…., GOD (your GOD), your family and anything else that is truly good for you.
Good luck and ‘tightlines’ to you!
Randy (Randman011) Yancey
APO Website Group, Largemouth Bass Nation dot com, Bassin Fools on Youtube, Largemouth Bass Nation on Youtube (new) and 30 or 40 websites and social media account and pages, almost all of them about ‘Bass Fishing’
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