Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Little Guys Can Fish The BassMaster Classic

Every bass fisherman that has ever fished a tournament has dreamed of fishing the BassMaster Classic. The Classic is the holy grail of fishing. The Classic is the private playing ground for the pros and will only remain a dream for local angles. Then Kelly Pratt appears, local guy fishes B.A.S.S. Open on the James River and beats all the Pros. This week Kelly Pratt is fishing in the BassMaster Classic. Ha, the little guy can fish in the BassMaster Classic after all.  

The road to qualify for the Classic can be driven on several separate paths for an local angler. The most common way that a local angler can qualify for the BassMaster Classic is through the Bass Federation. Another way to qualify is to fish the Pro Tour and finish high enough in the yearly standings. But when reality sets in, most angler find it impossible to compete at that level or find the funding necessary to follow the tour around the country. Some estimates claim it to cost as much as $100,000.00 for just one season, this is generally above the pay scale of many local anglers. Then there is the way Kelly Pratt qualifies for the Classic, Kelly fished as a Pro when B.A.S.S. came to the James River last year. He honed his skills on his home body of water, worked his butt off and when the Tour came to town he put it on them. Many local anglers fish these events when the Tour comes around, most fish hard but fail in the task of beating professionals that make a living angling. Maybe it's nerves, maybe it's having to find enough fish for the whole week but for some reason most local anglers fail to win. None of those reasons stopped Kelly from winning, he won a trip to the big dance of bass fishing, the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing, The BassMaster Classic.

I would like to wish Kelly Pratt of Willaimsburg, Virginia the best of luck in The Classic, we are rooting for you and hope that you have a great time fishing with the big boys for the championship. I would also like to thank you for showing us that it is possible to live out our dreams if you work hard enough. Thanks Kelly, us little guys can fish in the BassMaster Classic after all.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Fishing Flea Markets; More Than a Place to Buy Used Fishing Equipment

Have you ever gone to a fishing flea market? Fishing flea markets are held by Bass Clubs and Local Fisherman around the country as fundraisers and it gives them a venue to sell their old fishing equipment. But these fishing flea markets offer more, they offer what bass clubs used to have; camaraderie. You get to see a bunch of local anglers that you have lost touch with, you make some new friends and you get re energized about fishing. The whole experience is wonderful.

I was lucky enough to go to a local fishing flea market just this past weekend. I had a ton, I mean a ton of old tackle that I have collected over thirty plus years of bass fishing. I had simply run out of room for new tackle. It is pretty normal for a fishaholic to continue buying tackle even though they have more than you could ever use in a lifetime. I got there early to unload and set up my three tables of tackle I planned on selling. Once there I found that I had more tackle than I had space for, again pretty normal. I had priced my used tackle to sell, I probably sold a lot of items too cheap but I didn't want to pack up and haul home any remaining tackle.I also gave a lot of small fishing items to kids that attended the show with their families. It was great to see so many kids excited about fishing and the thoughts of fishing with my son or fishing with my dad as a kid crept into my mind. Pretty neat deal, again worth the price of admission. I sold or gave away all but one small box of crankbaits, lures which I didn't mind keeping any way. It was a successful event and I had a great time.

The bottom line is that I sold about $10, 000.00 worth of old fishing tackle for about $2, 000.00. Not a good day by many standards, but I argue that it was an awesome day over all. I got to talk to a bunch of old friends, made several new friends and talked fishing all day. We talked about fishing trips of the past and those we hope to have in the future. I saw the glimmer of excitement in the eyes of the kids that attended the flea market with their parents or grand parents. What a great family sport fishing is and not just when your out on the water fishing. So if you are looking for some the camaraderie and a great time overall, I suggest checking your area for a fishing flea market. It will re energize you and bring back the greatest memories of your fishing life. It did for me.