Guns, Geo and Cali

Opening Day is now a memory. I had a good time out in the woods hunting but the day belonged to the deer. I saw several good bucks — and have seen several more since then — but haven't had a good shot. No matter, there's a week left in gun season and then a muzzleloader opportunity after that. I'll get one.

Last week I made reference to the National Geographic feature that's in progress. I want to follow up on that. It's a three-part special about bass and bass fishing.

I'm not sure in what order they'll air but basically the three parts will be about the search for a new world record from California, tournament competition and the bass' life cycle. It's a great opportunity for our sport to gain respectability.

There'll be several big bass experts from California that'll talk about the potential for a new world record. If nothing else, that'll let people know how intense bass anglers can be about their sport and what it's like to be possessed by big largemouth bass.

I'm involved in the tournament part of the project. National Geographic followed me around the second half of last season. They shot a lot of film and we did several interviews as the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race unfolded.

We also did lots of interviews after the season was over about how to fish tournaments and what it takes to win an AOY title. That was really neat; Mark Zona asked the questions, and I answered them.

Of course, he's an expert on our sport, so the questions were good ones. They explored what a tournament was really like — from the inside — and how hard it is to win at the Elite Series level. It'll help the viewer understand what it is we do.

The last segment will be about the biology of black bass, their life cycle and all that. To me that's the best part of the whole thing. That part will help all of us understand what it takes to maintain a viable population of bass and maybe help us understand why they do what they do. (I say maybe because I doubt humans will ever totally understand them.)

Anyway, I can't wait for this thing to be broadcast. It's something I think is good for our sport because it helps build a fan base composed of ordinary people, men and women who don't fish but who can appreciate it nevertheless. They're more important to bass fishing than many people realize. We need friends, and we definitely don't need enemies.

But enough pontificating about bass fishing, I need to pack for a show in California this weekend. There will be lots of new products introduced. I'll tell you about them after Thanksgiving.

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