Friday, April 12, 2024

A Big Debate looms over the Delaware River! by Jason Houchins




With the Bassmaster Elite Series currently on the Delaware River, a big debate has begun in the world of fishing. Leading up to the event there was so much talk of a tough bite and how the body of water should never be considered for an event. Some people were very disappointed about having a possible low weight event, while others were over joyed at the thought of the Elites struggling. It never ceases to amaze me how fisherman think, and what they think about the top level of fishermen. Some are very out of touch with reality and I believe it really shows when debates about the Elites or FLW Tour surface.
I’m a tournament angler who loves to see big bags and big fish. I want to fish tournaments when the conditions for a body of water are optimum. I’m sure that the top tier of tournament anglers are no different. I’m not a big fan of tournaments where one pattern dominates the whole event either, and if you’re not doing “it”, you have zero chance to compete. I want to see deep vs shallow, fast vs slow, and the jig vs a drop shot. I want the best fisherman, using their best skill, against one another. Of course that’s not always the case, nor can it be, just too many variables in fishing. I think both organizations, for the most part do a good job of placing their competitors in good fishing conditions.
Now back to the debate about tough tournaments. Something that does bother me a little bit is the mentality of people wanting to “stick it” to the top anglers. I think I saw one guy call the Elite competitors “crybabies”, and he was glad they had a tough time. This guy obviously has jealousy issues that are beyond help. Which will lead up to the guy that thinks he’s better than the actual pro angler, and maybe you are. But, I don’t see you out there even attempting to do it, so shut up! Then there is the guy that thinks certain events are held places to give one or two anglers an advantage. I can see this one being a more likely scenario, but honestly it’s all about money. When a tournament is set, nobody really can predict much, other than the date and time. This leads to a conclusion that conditions really can’t be set and regardless of where an event is held, the way a venue fishes will always be unknown until it arrives.
I think the real issue is that every angler has a preferred way to catch fish. If they can’t catch them the way they want, then they are most likely not as happy. This is only magnified at an event that has less than stellar weights, thus getting more press about bad conditions. In reality every single event has its anglers that are not comfortable, but if everyone is catching fish, we will never hear about the bad. At this event it seems as though some are catching decent fish, so the negativity will die down. I don’t think it’s good or bad to have a low weight event, it’s just part of the game at some point. I’m sure the debate will continue about this, and like most things debatable, it will never have a clear right or wrong answer. But when there is a tough event with low weights one thing is for sure, there will be a winner. There will also be a big prize purse to boot, and that will not change. So I say embrace it for what it is and enjoy watching the mental side of tournament angling, it will be on showcase during any “tough” event.

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