Wednesday, May 29, 2024

At What Cost? by Bruce Callis

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At What Cost?

By Bruce Callis

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The Bassmaster Elite at Lake Havasu presented by Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels is in the history books. The return to Havasu crowned Aaron Martens as the champion Sunday. After finishing 33rd on the 1st day, Aaron made a charge up the leader board on day 2 to 11th place with a 16.6 pound bag limit. At the end of day 3 he was just a little less than 3 pounds out of 1st in 4th place. Day 4 was tight, as he caught 19.5 pounds, finishing ahead of Cliff Pirch by just 2 pounds. An impressive comeback after so many 2nd place finishes.
Aaron talked about sharing the same stretch of shoreline with Edwin Evers, who finished in 3rd place. But it was Aaron who knew the birds, and knew the bass were feeding on them that helped him secure the victory. Seemed as if the small birds that fell out of the nest and into the water below were easy prey for the bass. Pitching and flipping into the tulles below the trees, where the bass where, helped send him to victory.
It was just last week that the Elites fished the Sacramento Bassmaster Elite at Sacramento River. There we saw Justin Lucas win over Aaron Martens by over 2 pounds. But it was the sportsmanship of Ish Monroe that was the big upside of the event. Justin was on his way back in and ran out of gas. Ish stopped and took Justin and his marshal back to the ramp. That is what it is all about! Yes, there were big bass caught, with a 12.9 on the 1st day, but with 2 events staged so close together, what was the cost?
Byron Velvick suffered a back injury when he hit a wave during the Sacramento event. Also during the back-to-back events, Timmy Horton, who finished 8th at Sacramento, suffered a torn meniscus that will require surgery Tuesday morning to be repaired. And that is the major issues, but does not include the minor injuries suffered by others. At what cost do we push ourselves to fish? And at what cost do the directors of tournaments subject anglers too? Why did Bassmaster feel the need to have the events on back-to-back weekends? And then the next event, the Zippo BASSfest at Kentucky Lake presented by A.R.E. Truck Caps is scheduled for June 3-7? What were they thinking, or were they? This is on top of the regular events that the Elites must fish, the Opens. And then the next Elite event is July 30th on the St. Lawrence River in New York, almost 2 months after BASSfest. Who made the schedule?
The anglers know all this, but they are doing what they love for a living. I’m not saying they agree with the decisions, but it is how they make their living. They must travel, and while traveling, rest and form detailed plans on how best to attack the next lake. Arrive at the next event location and then meetings. Yes, it is a life we all would love to live, but it is not the easiest life. But at what cost, what do we subject them to and for what?

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