When will it end? We are facing difficult times with the Corvid-19 virus pandemic right now. Life as we know it is truly being turned upside down. And the fishing industry is truly being tested. What we enjoy to do is being put on hold as far as most tournaments and events.
The Bassmaster Elites, the Bass Pro Tour and the FLW have shut down their tournaments for now. A lot of the local tournament trails, like the VA Top 100 and the Elite 70 have shut down too. Granted some local clubs are still fishing, but it is different. They are supposed to keep the contact to a bare minimum by having the group spread out and not all gathered together. Right or wrong, it is what it is now.
Now the ICAST, our industry’s trade show event down in Orlando, FL this July has been canceled. That is huge too. It is the time when so many companies bring out the newest products for the year, friendships are made, and business partnerships are forged and fostered. I had hoped to go cover it this year, but that is out the window now. They are planning to produce ICAST 2020 Online, their version of a “virtual trade show,” that will provide a wide variety of tools and a wealth of information for us. But that is a work in progress and we will find out more soon.
But what about us, the angling community, the weekend warriors who are the meat of the fishing industry. How are they handling the spring fishing season and no tournaments for many. How are the news groups that cover the tournaments handling these difficult times?
We at the BassCast are thriving to do our best to bring you the readers as much information as possible. With the professional anglers on hold, we are producing new podcasts to bring you relevant information about fishing and other news. New writers are helping us bring you new stories each week. And we are always looking for things that you want to hear or read about. If you have questions, ideas, or are a company that wants to talk about how you are handling the pandemic or new products, send us a message through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or email Brian at email@example.com and let us know.
This year The BassCast started a new kayak series. The BassCast.com Kayak Bass Series. The first tournament never even had a chance to happen before all this mess started. We had hoped to get it started earlier, but have now revised the schedule and, with crossed fingers, we have a new start date of the first tournament for June 20th on the Staunton River.
My life has changed a lot since the outbreak and shutdown has happened. I had planned to do a few tournaments, but that is out for now. I am still writing as you can tell, but it’s not a subject I thought I would ever need to cover. My personal fishing has been hampered as well. I had planned to spread out and do a lot of new bodies of water around the state this year with Tiffany Risch, Jacob Stephens, and some others. But those plans are now on hold for now. Most of my fishing has been confined to the local ponds around me.
With so much shut down in the state, fishing is still one of the few activities that is still allowed. You can see families out on the banks of local ponds enjoying the time outdoors. It is an opportunity to teach the kids how to fish and educate them about the outdoors. I’ve seen a father and his son on the bank at one of my local ponds on one of my adventures. On another occasion, an entire family was fishing together. Another family took the opportunity to explore the trails around the pond, taking photographs and learning about nature. John Crews can’t fish the Elites, but he is making the most of the family time, getting out with his son and 2 daughters. The virus may have shut down so many things, but it has also had a positive effect in that it has produced more family activities and allowed us to reconnect with one another. The fishing industry is still selling plenty of baits and supplies as we continue to survive and fish our way through this difficult time. We are passing on so much positive information to our kids and teaching them our passion.
These are difficult times for all of us. It has brought out the best in some of us, for some, the worse. As a fishing community, we will survive this and we will be stronger. Things can be tough right now, but we are still doing what we love to do, fish. Stay strong, support each other, be smart about what we do, and keep the faith.
As Ike says, “never give up!” We will survive!