Thursday, November 19, 2009

No Matter Where You Go, There Are You

You must go, follow your star
No matter where you go, there you are
No matter where you go, there are you
So don't let go of what you know to be true

This is the chorus from a truly great song, "No Matter Where You Go, There Are You," by Irish Guitarist Luka Bloom. The story is about a Muslim who flees Algeria and ends up settling in Ireland due to the way Irish music moves him. Full lyrics here.

I think the song works because on a deep level it connects with the inner humanity with it's longing for nostalgia, beauty, music, freedom, and liberty. However, with all that said I am conflicted about the last line in the chorus.

So don't let go of what you know to be true

The problem as I see it is that there is no way around the fact that pretty much all of humanity is deceived in one way or another and "what you know to be true" might be anything but true. I hold to convictions that a great many people outright reject as false and vice versa. Are my convictions really truth or am I just another of the many deluded and deceived? I think I am with most people in the fact that I would prefer not to be deluded or deceived. However, we live in a time and a place where it is an open question whether or not truth exists or matters. Who is to really say if knowing what is actually true is better than being deluded and deceived? Maybe whatever floats your boat is as good as your gonna get, so why not just go with that right or wrong.

You must go, follow your star
No matter where you go, there you are
No matter where you go, there are you
So don't let go of what you know to be true

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Are We Bass Fishing Millionaires or Billionaires or More?

At the BassNblog Bass and Me, which I just found, blog author Nitewraith has a post entitled: Fishing Has Made Me Wealthy. He starts out by saying;

As I sat today waiting for my Fraternal Order of Eagles district meeting to start I had time to contemplate my life, and I came to the following conclusion — Every man or woman, rich or poor, who has fished is a “millionaire.”

Now you might think to yourself, “What in the blue blazes is he talking about?” And normally you would be right, but think about it this way. It may not be reflected in the fishermen’s wallet or checkbook and you may have a poor credit rating, but even the modest fisherman is a millionaire — his wealth is in his heart and in his experience.

The sentimentality of that may be right on, but how about a literal interpretation.

How much is the real worth of time spent in the pursuit of bass?

I suppose one might answer that this is mostly a subjective question because Rich Lindgren will give you one answer and Paris Hilton would probably give you another and every individual would probably appraise the value differently.

I suppose if I were a trained economist, accountant, statistician or mathematician I could run the available numbers in a scientific manner and give answers that would have an heir of objectivity. Since I am none of these things I have a few very unscientific approaches as food for thought.

On the long drive up to the cabin one night in the 1990's I thought to myself about how much someone would have to pay me an hour for me to give up my time fishing. I thought the answer to this question could determine the value that I placed on my fishing. I remember that after some thought the answer I came up with was a minimum of $30 per hour. Nobody at that time or since has offered to pay me $30 an hour to work instead of fish and the fact of the matter is I have placed fishing as a much higher priority in my life than making myself rich with material goods.

Another approach to think about is a quantification of the value of my fishing equipment from a historical perspective. The richest man in the world 100 years ago could not with all his money buy the fishing technology that I have at my fingertips right now. Every Caesar in all the splendor of Rome never once was able to cast a Team Daiwa X-103 HSPF. The craftsmanship and engineering precision that goes into a stock $7 Rapala crankbait is something on par with the works of master artisans of ages past. I have some pretty nice fishing equipment; It's better than most but not nearly what many others have when you factor in the big retail items like boats, motors, tow vehicles, high end fishing electronics, and the highest end fishing tackle. From a historical perspective what I do have puts me and thousands of others in a state of incomprehensible wealth to hundreds of previous generations of the human race.

Or how about this angle: Forbes can tell you about the net worth of the richest men in the world. I wonder who has the highest net worth in terms of fishing equipment at their disposal and what kind of astronomical sum there collection of toys might come to at retail value. Now I would assume that whoever the person with the highest net worth in fishing equipment loves fishing and gets a great deal of enjoyment out of their pursuit of fish. I will presume to say however that this persons love and enjoyment of the sport does not far surpass my own. In fact when it comes to the payoff from our equipment we may very well be equals, therefore what I have is to me worth equal to what the richest man in fishing has spent.

And the last angle to be considered for now is specific to bass fishermen. Take the top money making bass tournament fishermen in the coarse of a single year with all they have earned in paybacks and add to that all they have paid in entry fees and put the two together; Then divide that by the number of hours spent in angling tournaments and you could come out with the value of spending an hour on the water bass fishing for any given year. Once again this conclusion is reached by the equating of the pleasure of the experiences between bass anglers being somewhat close to equal no matter if they are fishing a tournament or not. This one, however, is probably the weakest angle because it is almost certainly true that the pleasure derived from catching fish in the clutch while in the crucible of high stakes professional tournament angling is a rush unmatched in your average catch of a keeper bass, but then again maybe not. You can decide for yourself on the merits of these ramblings.

"I'm either on to something, or I'm on something" as the Dan "The Common Man" Cole would say.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bass Tournament Fishing from the Back of the Boat (Co-Angling)

Over at the Bass Fishing Forum of Carl Spande of Carl's BassAckwards Fishing Blog asks this question.

Co-angler Tournament Strategies

I'm thinking about fishing a few circuits as a co-angler this upcoming season, and I'm curious what pros and co-anglers alike recommend for co-angler tournament strategies. For example, lure selection, bait placement, and other things that will help a co-angler be as successful as possible when competing against other co-anglers in other boats.

This past year with the Baxter Bass Snatchers I was fishing the tournaments as if I was a Co-angler and I only took time at the front of the boat when my partner needed me to run the trolling motor as they had something else they needed to do. I think I fished from the back of the boat fairly successfully, but how well I did from the back of the boat is difficult to measure against others because some and possibly most of the non-boaters took half the day at the front of the boat as is their right according to the club by-laws. I do know if it was Co-Angler vs. Co-Angler that I would have been 1st at Serpent Lake and second to last or last at Big Birch.

My thoughts on tournament fishing from the back of the boat:
I think your main goal from the back of the boat should not be to win the tournament, but to try and get a limit by catching as many fish as you can. You do this by throwing baits you are comfortable throwing and that you think will catch fish in the environment to which your boater brings you. It is definitely helpful if your boater gives you a general idea of what kind of water you are going to be fishing for the tournament day, but you do have to be prepared to be flexible as the boaters plans might change. I think fishing from the back of the boat is a test of your flexibility and adjustment abilities as an angler.

I don't think you should have any hard and fast rule about not throwing the same thing as the angler in the front of the boat. You throw what you want to throw and what you think will work but you definitely want to be in tune with what the guy in the front of the boat is doing to give you input on what might or might not be working. If something they are doing starts working and it is practical for you to do the same thing than you might want to make that switch but the beauty of it is you don't have to. I want to emphasize again, do what you think will work. If the guy in the front of the boat proves you are around fish than you probably should keep making adjustments until you find something that works.

If your boater is catching fish and you are not it is easy to get frustrated. You can let the frustration be a negative that wrecks your confidence or you can let the frustration be a positive and allow it to motivate you to think and be more creative. One of the big keys is not to let your frustration distract you, but channel it to become more focused.

Focus is very important for the Co-Angler because when an opportunity prevents itself you have to be ready to take advantage of it. In tournament bass fishing you are only as good as you are successful at taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves during the tournament day. You may have lots of opportunities in a given day or you may have no opportunities if you are unlucky and over water all day that doesn't hold any fish. More likely than not you are going to have an opportunity to catch some fish in an 8 hour day.

As a Co-angler you don't have to allow your mind to be caught up in the decision making process that goes along with deciding where you should be fishing and not fishing at a given moment, this is the boaters burden. Your focus needs to be on trying to make the best presentation possible in the water that is available to you. It is up to you and you only to make the right call on presentation and that is what your sole bass fishing focus should be directed towards.

The two big questions:
Are you throwing the right bait in the right place? Are you going to be aware if a bass bites? I think that is your world as a Co-Angler