Monday, January 18, 2010

BassFan Blauket OP-ED BassFan Feedback Responce Rant.

This letter to editor/BassFan Feedback was posted on the forums and this was my responce to the LTE at

Ken Bragg of Fayetteville, WV writes:
Randy said it well and to the point, but there are a couple of points that should be made:

1. The sponsors a few years ago were small tackle companies – rod and reel manufacturers, boat manufacturers, etc. And their customer base was local fishermen and in large part Federation anglers with hopes of reaching the big leagues. Now the sponsors are mega tackle companies, food and sunglass manufacturers and drug makers and the local anglers have in large part been forgotten by most in the boating and tackle industry as well as BASS and FLW, even though our purchasing of fishing products have made it possible for the pros to do what they do.

I don't know a lot about the sponsorship history of bass fishing before the days of FLW but I think it is flat out ridiculous to claim that the common bass angler "has in large part been forgotten by most in the boating and tackle industry as well as BASS and FLW." If it were not for them marketing directly to the wants and needs of the common bass angler than they would be completely out of business. With that said I think it is just stupid for instance to blame the people at Ranger for the fact that the housing market imploded, then the economy tanked and thus the boating market landed softer than a Denny Brauer flip into the water next to some cover.

2. The attitude of boat, motor and mega tackle companies – that fishermen will pay whatever they ask for their products – has backfired and caused many to leave the sport and the younger fishermen are finding it difficult to make a living, much less afford a sport that used to be a sport for average-income anglers but now is limited to those with larger incomes...

I wonder what proof this guy has that tournament bass fishing as a sport was more popular in the past than it is now. Maybe the Federation aspect is smaller, but I think there are many more options today in terms of clubs and circuits. I'll give a big "We don't know that!" to the notion interest in tournament bass fishing is in decline. And even if it is in decline the major reasons behind the decline could be different from what he suggests. Without a scientific survey there is no way to know.

I would say with the advent and popularity of Co-Angling that tournament bass fishing has never been more accessible to average-income anglers than it is now.

...The tackle industry is as much to blame as anyone with their foreign-made tackle, rods, reels and electronics.

How do these companies expect people to buy their products when they themselves deny workers of good-paying jobs here in America. Don't they teach economics in college these days? It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that yes, it may be cheaper to make a product in China or Korea, but if there's no one who can afford to buy it, then what did you accomplish?

I don't really know what this has to do with anything but then again I never took economics in college. Apparently the boating industry gets a pass on this one yet it seems they are the one's in the worst shape right now.

The boating and fishing industry has created this monster and now they're going to have to figure it out unless the good ol' boys in Washington decide to bail them out with taxpayers dollars for their own greed and stupidity.

I think this last paragraph is stuck on stupid.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Does Bass Fishing Cost too Much?

Vagabond Persimmon Seed #21 $68.99

Yesterday on Facebook one of my friends wrote:
The economy continues to wreak havoc on the fishing industry but it seems people in the industry just don't get it. Come on $20 crankbaits, $70k boats! The average angler is being hurt the worst.

Several people clicked "Like" or commented in agreement. I ,however, was the lone dissenting voice when I wrote:

Sorry but I disagree, I think at no time in history has it been so easy to get quality equipment at a reasonable price thanks to the very large Internet inspired new and used marketplace.

I think at the outset it might be a good idea to make a distinction between an "average" bass angler and an "average" bass tournament angler because I don't think the Joe average bass fisherman is necessarily a tournament person. To be a tournament fisherman generally is going to require a financial commitment to equipment that is completely unnecessary for the basic task of having a good time by catching a few bass as a hobby.

For the guy that just wants to go out on a regular basis and bust a few bass it most certainly does not require "$20 crankbaits" and "70K boats." Any suggestion that this is the case is ridiculous. There is no doubt in my mind that right now and into the foreseeable future the average fisherman will be able to acquire quality equipment that will bring plenty of bass fishing success even on a tight budget.

I think the same pretty much holds true for Joe average bass tournament fisherman, because Joe average bass tournament fisherman is a club guy fishing for little to nothing beyond bragging rights, a trophy and maybe few hundred up to maybe a couple of thousand dollars at the high end. Bill Ludenia, who is a guy in my bass club, is a perfect example of a guy who has been a very successful bass tournament fisherman who doesn't see a big need to "keep up with the Joneses." He keeps it simple, fishes to his strengths and gets the job done.

To my comment someone replied with this:
Pretty hard to get a used BDS 4 spring craw. Used boats time is now but who has the cash, half price may as well be full price.
(Note a BDS is a Lucky Craft Crankbait that retails for $15-$17 depending on size, spring craw is a color pattern)

Well obviously is someone is dead set on getting a specific Lucky Craft crankbait, finding a good deal on it may not be possible. Heck the notion of "good deal" and Lucky Craft crankbaits is probably an oxymoron to the average Joe bass fishermen who probably gets bye just fine with a few Bandits or Bombers out of the bargain bin.

Owning a boat is nice but not a necessity. With the Internet it is easier than ever to get connected with people who have boats or find out about local opportunities to catch bass where a boat isn't even necessary. If you are in the market for a watercraft as long as you have a couple of hundred bucks you should be able to find something between Craigslist, Ebay, and local fishing forums.

Does bass fishing cost too much? No! Lack of money is not much of an excuse.