If you’ve watched professional anglers on television, you noticed how rarely they make mistakes. It seems like all they do is make pinpoint accurate casts, they possess exceptional decision making, and they always seem to catch fat bass. But this is not their reality; no matter the skill level or experience, fishing is a humbling sport for all contestants. Camera crews just possess outstanding editing software. Here are a few examples of fishing blunders by the professionals.
Professional Angler James Watson
Professional angler James Watson fishes more tournaments every year than most get to go fishing, but even he is not immune. With a laugh he recalls, “I had a very expensive Thanksgiving a few years back!”
Lake of the Ozarks Bermuda Triangle
An area on famed Lake of the Ozarks in Arkansas has earned the nickname The Bermuda Triangle. “That Bermuda isn’t nice to me!” he claims. Nowadays, he proceeds there with caution.
“This story is actually 2 years long,” he begins. “Each year I fish a buddy Thanksgiving tournament here, but this time I was fishing solo. As I was fighting a fish I kicked a rod over into the water, and as I reached over to grab it, over I went in the lake!”
Being late November, Watson was dressed in full cold weather gear. After a struggle, he reached the shore. He was not deterred. “I stripped down and swam back to my boat where I had a spare rain suit.” Shortly after, he finished his limit.
The Bermuda Triangle Strikes Again
The very next year at the same tournament in the Bermuda Triangle with partner Mike Eustler, “I had a giant bass blast my buzzbait! When I called for the net, I kicked two rods in the water on the starboard side. As Mike spun around, net in hand, to save them, he kicked two more rods off on the port side! It was a less than graceful moment.”
After composing, they ended up landing the big bass – a 5.70 pound brute that won big bass honors. “We were also able to retrieve 3 of the rods!”
Professional Angler Kurt Dove
Irony is the opposite of what is expected, and professional bass angler Kurt Dove knows this well. He once turned a $50 error into a $10,000 payday. He missed the registration deadline by an hour while practicing for a Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Clear Lake, California. “The different time zone killed me. I wasn’t even aware I was late until Trip Weldon [tournament director] called me asking if everything was alright. At that time I was already 30 minutes late; I ended up being an hour late!”
Worth the Penalty
Dove was penalized $50; however, it was during that extra half hour that he found a sweet spot that paid big dividends. “I caught a 5-pounder during that half hour just before the call. I didn’t have time to explore the spot more, so I wasn’t sure if it was a fluke or if I’d stumbled onto something good.”
After exhausting his primary spots on the first day of the tournament, he visited this spot and bagged a 27.5 pound limit. It placed him in 7th place. He went on to finish 30th and scored a $10,000 paycheck. “I felt terrible for being late; plus, it was embarrassing to be the last one at registration. However, if I didn’t catch that fish, I would not have discovered that spot and finished as high as I did.”
Preparation is Key
In conclusion, even the best in the business make mistakes. Whether in a tournament or enjoying a day on the water, there is never a need to fret. As a rule of thumb: prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Which is reason to install Megaware’s protective products on your boat before venturing out.