There are three significant bass fishing phases. While all phases are integral to the bass fishing process, they are unique onto themselves and variable depending upon the particular fisherman.
Bass Fishing Phases – Phase One — Anticipation
Bass anglers seem to think about the sport continuously. Even their conversations tend to exhibit metaphoric references to certain fishing acts. Forgive them because many of their friends are also anglers. While non-anglers may not understand what they are saying, their friends certainly will.
Early in the anticipation phase, a bass angler will begin the process of accumulating fishing tackle. This accumulation takes some time and often will result in the purchase of items only to sell or trade them away for more advanced products. Tackle advancement is a never-ending process and will likely continue through the life of the angler. The fact it begins at this point is just an indicator of future behavior. Warning, this may also be the start of a hoarding condition.
The next segment, in this phase, will be connecting to other anglers; usually by joining a bass club and then a website forum. These attachments are important to the angler. These attachments will keep them up-to-date on new ways to catch fish and additional ways to buy more and better tackle. This reaching out process further serves to excite the angler.
Bass Fishing Phases – Phase Two — Participation
A bass angler tends to have an addictive personality. Missing any opportunity to go fishing may impact their emotional well-being. If the participating angler must miss a perfect fishing day due to other responsibilities or obligations, they may become grumpy or generally hard to get along with. Some will just become silent around the house while others may go about their homebound assigned duties with a chip on their shoulder just waiting to verbalize their mistreatment.
A bass angler deep in the throes of a participation event will exhibit amazing skills. They can be at the launch ramp at 5:30 AM and be eager and anxious to begin the day. The amazing thing is the same person may have a hard time being at work on time even though it begins at 8:30 AM. The participating angler does not exhibit the same dedication at work. It is also important for the married participating angler not to be assigned any surprise duties. Non-forecasted items appearing on a honey-do list may send a participating angler into a psychotic event.
For many anglers in the participation phase, changes may take place which forces them to stop participating and sell much of the equipment accumulated during the anticipation phase. While divestiture is not uncommon, it will require the angler to begin the process of Phase One to return to the Participation Phase. There are many reasons for this potential interruption ranging from family additions, spouse deletions, and employment loss are just a few. The only thing an angler can do is to look forward to a time when the Anticipation Phase may begin again. This mindset is very logical since “once an angler always an angler” even if the angler’s fishing career is sidelined for a period of time.
Bass Fishing Phases – Phase Three — Relaxation
The logical progression of the fishing obsession is to reach the relaxation phase. At this point, many anglers would rather just go fishing for fun and may not want to regularly participate in competitive events. The relaxation angler may fish a tournament from time to time or even attend a fishing rally, but it is about the event not the competition.
The Relaxation Phase usually pertains to an older angler. While some may be retired or nearing retirement, anglers in the Relaxation Phase fish mostly for the enjoyment of the great outdoors or maybe just to have some “me” time. Whatever it is, this time is the most enjoyable of all. An angler at this phase has been housebroken and understands no matter what, the infamous honey-do list will be ever present. While an angler in this phase may not fish as much as before, time on the water still reminds them of their youth but without the overall stress of competition.
The Relaxation Phase angler still has a need for more tackle and perhaps a few more high-end products than their younger days. The need will never go away but may diminish due to the realities of a retirement income. During this phase, the angler usually knows how to make all the presentations and adjustments required to catch a lot of fish but seldom can remember what they are until the fishing day has ended. They will remember all these tips on the way home from the lake or while recounting their day on the water with their website friends. When this phase is attained, the angler better understands why a recount of the trip is a key element of the relaxation event. As we age what better way to share enjoyment with our friends.
It should be noted, the before listed phases are merely guidelines. While mileage may vary, the process will remain somewhere along these segments. Some anglers may linger longer in the participation phase. These are individual anomalies and should be expected for anglers with advanced skills not common in the average angler.
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