January 27, 2010

State of the Bass Fishing Union

I am writing this as I watch this as our President delivers his State of The Union, and it is making me think of The State of the Bass Fishing Union.  Like everything else in the United States, bass fishing has undergone a tumultuous year.  We have seen shrinking sponsors, leading boat companies go bankrupt, and then split and sold, yet we continue on.  We remain optimistic.   

What do we need to do to ensure that this sport that we all love continues to prosper?  Everyone seems to have a great idea.  People all have an idea and have no problem speaking their mind.  Professional Bass fisherman Randy Blaukat thinks the sport needs a complete renovation, a chance to get back to the roots.  Just like Obama says, we need to focus on the average person.  I don’t agree with all Randy has to say but I do believe we need to ensure that tournament bass fishing does not become an elitist sport reserved for the wealthy.  How can we do this?   

Tournament trails like the FLW Series have seen the problem and reduced their entry fees (and payouts) in order to keep many in the game.  I have also noticed a trend in quality lower priced rods that keep fishing affordable.  I think we need all of this and more.  How about reducing the costs of bass boats and motors?   

I think of bass fishing as a reflection of the entire economy.  We need to adapt and change, until things get better.   

One of the most positive things I have seen in fishing has to do with the future of our sport.  The youth and college programs in bass fishing have never been better.  Youth clubs are becoming hugely popular and are even being seen at the high school level.  College fishing is exploding and is training our young anglers for a long future in the sport.    

These are all positive steps, but more needs to be done.  What do you think of the state of the bass fishing union?  I’d love to hear what you think needs to be changed, or if you think everything is fine. 
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