Yesterday B.A.S.S. announced the postponement of another fishing tournament. This time it’s the Elite at Alabama’s Lake Eufaula, originally planned for early April. This comes shortly after postponing the Chickamauga Elite tournament, the first Central Open of the season and a College tournament too.
Yes the coronavirus is wreaking havoc with our tournament season.
But this is the responsible thing to do; it’s the patriotic thing to do. This global pandemic looks bad. States are shutting down, with governments announcing new restrictions every day. Until we know the outcome, why risk the lives of anglers, staff and host communities? It’s just not worth it.
In times of great national trials Americans have historically made sacrifices for the greater good of the country. All sectors of our society are making sacrifices today. Whole industries are shutting down. If our biggest sacrifice is simply staying home, pausing the Bassmaster tournament season, then we in the fishing community will have gotten out of this global pandemic in great shape.
We certainly wanted to move forward with the Chickamauga and Eufaula tournaments. Those fisheries are off the charts in March and April. Every aspect of our motto, “Big Bass. Big Stage. Big Dreams.” would have rung true. And they still will, just later in the year.
But during this time it would be crazy to ask anglers and staff to travel across the country, stay in hotels and campgrounds, order food, visit gas stations and grocery stores. There’s a chance some of those folks would come in contact with the virus. There’s also a chance our travelers would bring the virus to a host community.
There’s an ecosystem of individuals who make their living from Bassmaster tournaments. Not just the anglers, but freelancer writers and cameramen, vendors, sponsors, and those in the host communities who count on the economic boost an Elite tournament brings. They’re all disappointed, and perhaps relieved as well. And then there are the fans at home that will miss seeing their heroes on Bassmaster LIVE.
The true heroes of today are the cops and first responders and truckers who can’t work from home. Doctors, scientists and nurses too, along with the people working in grocery stores and pharmacies. We pray for their safety. To get in their way, to potentially spread the virus by holding a fishing tournament, would be nothing short of irresponsible.
During these uncertain times, #livesmart #fishsmart.