New Generation Bass Anglers,
I want to welcome you to one of the most satisfying sports still in existence today, bass fishing. You will feel the highs and lows of this sport; you will be challenged to beat a creature in its habitat. This creature does not reason like an angler, it doesn’t pole like an angler, all of its knowledge is about survival in its world. Enjoy the learning curve; it’s great as you find out new things and dismiss others.
But today, I’m writing about a different part of bass fishing, the people. You see, you have embarked into a world with deep roots. Sharing a world with statesman, our national hero’s, and many, many highly regarded people from our land. With the entry into bass fishing, you will meet some of the greatest caring people one could ever meet. I will/must say, bass fishing is the only way one would meet these people. I refer to these people as “Us”; I am respectfully part of this group. Many of us are from the old school, the forgotten school of “We and Us” and this is the very part of the sport I want to introduce you to in this letter.
New Generation Bass Anglers…
In this group, the we, the us, our main goal in fishing is different than most. Our main goal is friendship, companionship, and fun times with good people. Figuring out the fish, well, it’s the icing. Please understand, ‘we’ are not of the ‘me’ generation, we are the generation of us, all of us. We have paid our dues in the learning curve but have got to the point we understand the pea-brained creature can and will prove us menial. We unlike many, have accepted this but haven’t given up trying to outsmart the smartest.
As we go to tournament launches, meetings, and weigh-ins we find other members of Us, we find pride and joy. Seeing someone you haven’t seen in a while and talking fishing with them is what brings joy to our lives. And when we kick your butt at the scales, again, it’s just icing. It’s such a great feeling to talk with good people, learn and teach, brag and poke fun at people you know and care about all while enjoying a wonderful sport. It’s something which doesn’t often happen these days, but in bass fishing, it can. Other things like going to the Mom and Pop tackle store and sitting around, listening to the stories from way back when and from last week, these stories are one and the same but told oh so differently. Meeting up at the restaurant between fishing days and telling the same stories, at the camp, on the porch, you name where it’s still one of the best parts of the sport.
We also run into the other side, the side which has been there all along, but not as pronounced. The major competitor, the crass, the pushy, the guy who does no wrong, the guy who see’s everything everybody else is doing as wrong, the cheaters, the flat-out lie to your face people (which are different from fish story telling lies, those are okay to us). We have seen this group grow through the years, and unfortunately, it’s growing at speeds we can’t keep up with. I am writing this letter to warn you of this group, and its followers, it will be the end of our sport as we see it. This group of people will tarnish one of the staples of fishing; bass fishing is being viewed differently now as compared to years ago. We will never understand the ‘me’ group, from where we stand it does not make sense. This group does not know, nor will they ever know the joys we share while fishing. They are all about themselves, about winning, about making others look lowly, wrong or bad.
I am writing this letter to invite you to Us, the group of fisherman who believes in others, enjoys nature, and what it brings to life. Lives life to help others and lives it to the fullest. I’m inviting you to the group you see laughing, picking, helping, crying and praying with its members, I’m inviting you to us. Don’t take this invitation lightly, as we are very serious about our members. This group will pull for you, help you, pray for you, work with you, pick you up, wipe you off and then pick on you to the n-th degree about whatever got you into need, but we will be there, always, period!
An old basser