BASS Backtracks on BASSTRAK

JT Bagwell

B.A.S.S. announces a controversial new addition to BASSTrakk and then reverses their decision a few days later, at least for now.

B.A.S.S. created quit a buzz in the week leading up to the Bassmaster Classic. They informed anglers of a few upgrades to the BassTrakk application that would allow fans to see, an almost real-time but unofficial, leader board and the location (on a map) of each Classic competitor. What they also announced was the controversial fact that competitors could also log in and see where their competition was fishing. Almost immediately, anglers and fans alike started voicing their dislike over the idea that the “secret” locations the Pros located would be available to the very people they are battling against for the Classic trophy and the prize money that goes with it.

I for one think it is a phenomenal tool for the fans of the sport. Rather than going through your day and being curious about how your favorite angler is doing, you can simply log in and find out at any time throughout the day. However, from the competitor perspective I think it is absolutely moronic for a top ranked National organization like B.A.S.S. to even think about giving their competitors a means of seeing exactly where everyone else is fishing. It is about as stupid as saying “Hey KVD I know you spent a lot of time and energy discovering that little area that is loaded with four pounders but we are going to show the rest of the field where it is. That way the remainder of the tournament, everyone else can race you to that spot.” This may be one of the dumbest ideas that they have ever concocted.

It is clear that I am not alone in my views. Former UFC Welterweight Champion and lifelong fisherman Pat Miletich said “Bass fishing is an art and allowing competition to see everyone’s boats on GPS is garbage.” Elite Series Pro John Crews had this to say “EVERYONE can see your location. It’s Bull.” Even FLW Pro Dave Lefebre got in on the discussion “I know what desperation can bring out in people…it’s ugly and I personally don’t like it. At the same time it would be cool to see as a fan.”

We all agree that for the fan it is awesome and allows more interaction throughout the day but it should be left at that. Allowing the anglers themselves to use this during competition is opening the door for unethical behavior. No matter how competitive a tournament angler is, if they cannot find the fish needed to win, they will go broke. Being able to see where everyone is catching fish, may allow some bad ideas to creep into their heads. I am sure some spot stealing will occur.

As of right now, B.A.S.S. has reversed their decision and did not allow Bassmaster Classic competitors to use BassTrakk during competition. It is unclear if this is going to be a permanent move or if they will revert back to the initial plan at the start of the regular Elite Series season.

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