Lets Leave It Up To The Experts?

I recently received notice of an upcoming bass tournament at a local lake. I’ll refrain from giving date and location….I’ve got my reasons. Originally the tournament was scheduled to mix unlimited HP bass boats on an unlimited HP lake with paddlers whether in a canoe or kayak. To put it mildly….I went nuts….I thought who in their right mind came up with 1…. Lets just mix 70 MPH plus bass boats with paddlers….. 2…. The written rules by state officials mention that all bass tournaments are to be held in a specific manner….bass have to be kept in at least one aerated livewell and when brought to weigh-in they must be submersed in enough water in a plastic bag for not more than 5 minutes to keep them alive.

The PR outfit for the tournament received an earful from me when I informed them that this was the perfect ingredient for disaster. Never should you mix paddlers with high end go fast bass boats….and where in the hell are you going to put live fish if caught from a kayak or canoe?….on a chain or rope stringer??? Envision a paddler with a thrashing fish in a gator infested lake….Here kitty kitty kitty….It went against everything a tournament angler does to protect the resource UNLESS you plan on eating the fish….but in tournaments, the fish is to be kept healthy through weigh-in & released in like manner to be caught another day.

In defense of the promoter, they didn’t have any idea but trusted the “experts” and went with their guidance. So did a lot of people with Bernie Madoff.

After MY 72 hr calm down period I touched base with the promoter and was told that changes have been implemented and the paddlers have been taken out of the equation. There is a God! The “experts” will continue to run the weigh-in and have assured the promoter that the fish will be treated with the utmost care.

There is no law prohibiting bass boats and paddlers from competing in a tournament together. There is no law prohibiting anyone from putting a fish on a stringer either. But….when competing in a ca$t for ca$h tournament the rules need to apply….then again….that’s up to the “experts”.

Steve Henderson

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