I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

• First post

Why this blog?

I must get this out of the way before getting down to writing about fishing. I grew tired of reading post after post on fishing forums by rednecks with an extreme conservative attitude. There are Dems out there who fish for bass, so I'm going to share what I can about bass fishing while serving as a reminder that the outdoors is open to us all. The criticisms Dems face in the realm of bass fishing stem from images right wingers have based on far-left environmental activists. Lump in all the right wing hunters who also fish and have an unrealistic irrational fear of losing their guns and it makes for a very uneasy crowd to get along with. We're middle-left to moderate and we don't appreciate being badmouthed. If the bass fishing community is so worried about the future of fishing after seeing a decline in the number of people who fish, they need to learn how to reach out to other groups of people and create communities online that are more conducive in attracting members very different from the redneck norm. You should be ashamed of anyone using bass fishing web sites to advance conservative politics just as the Republican Party should be ashamed of tying religion to the right. This kind of behavior should be frowned upon, not encouraged. I hold the admins of these sites personally responsible. I've seen admins allow this behavior for the sake of open debate, however the debate is seldom as open as one would hope because most forums out there have plenty of very loud conservatives yet very few liberals who stick their neck out and get into the thick of the debate with people who frankly don't care what any liberal thinks. Real debate does not exist. The debates which do occur have very little to do with differences of opinion and more to do with deep seated paranoia.

Some visitors seem to think my heading and About Me section are both absurd. I would encourage those visitors to head on over to any number of fishing forums out there and come back once they have seen what I've had to put up with. I started this blog to get away from those people, so the heading and About Me section both have relevance.

Now imagine if you will, a crowd of bass fishing tournament onlookers at a weigh in. Alton Jones gets up and starts thanking God for everything. A loud applause will often be heard, as will a few supportive shouts. Now imagine another angler with differing religious views thanking their own God in front of this same crowd. What kind of a response do you think they will elicit from the crowd? Starting to see what's wrong with our fellow anglers out there? Now imagine if I were to use my blog as a platform for liberal politics and criticism of conservative policies. How well would that go over among conservative anglers? I can already tell you it has not been fun so far.

While my heading, About Me section, and this post all have a political tone to it, none of my successive posts will. I'm not going to allow any of the usual suspects to step in and inject their obscene rants because I would be the only person responding. I'm just tired of putting up the energy arguing with these people when what I say doesn't mean squat to them anyway. Even if the facts hit them square in the nose, my efforts are usually met with extreme resistance and factual inaccuracies. My blog is a place for me to talk about bass fishing, something I love to spend my free time doing. I'm not going to taint that with anger and hatred that appears to be rather acceptable on other bass fishing sites. If my heading or About Me section sets you off somehow, then you're likely (but not necessarily) the type of person that has made my experience at other sites less than enjoyable and I assure you I'm not the only one. If you want to have an open political debate presenting all views, do it on a political forum because when you do it at a bass fishing forum, you're only going to hear from the guys that agree with you. That's not an open debate, last I checked.

What will this blog offer?

I fish as much as I can when I'm not on the go. I will try to post a report for each trip I make including weather and water conditions, tackle used, and anything you'd imagine would be involved with a day of fishing. Occasionally, I hope to post reviews of various products both old and new as well as discuss techniques I have learned/used with a little bit of my own style mixed in. I try to write with a very a casual tone. After all, this is a blog. Visitors are from all over the globe and can be any age. That's why I try to keep the reading level at around high school to college level. Not to poke fun, but the bass fishing community doesn't put a huge emphasis on mastering the formalities of the English language even if they do expect immigrants to learn it. Visitors of all ages end up on my blog. Visitors from other countries show up on a daily basis as well. By writing posts at a high school level, I cover all my bases.

Fishing and Me
I mainly fish for largemouth bass. I've never been into smallies. Sometimes I go for catfish, crappie, and sunfish species. If the lake has it, I will probably try to catch it eventually. I do practice catch and release most of the time. I don't know all that much about cleaning a fish, although I am learning. I'm no tournament fisherman. I'm definitely not a pro at this. My largest bass to date was a 7.5lber caught in a farm pond in southern Indiana on a rattle trap. The second largest was 6lbs even. In third place sits a 5lb 11oz. The largest fish I've ever caught would have to be a bowfin that probably made it into double digits. I didn't weigh it, but I'd guess it was somewhere around 10 to 12lbs. Broke off while I was trying to figure out how to get it in the boat. In terms of gear, I'm fairly biased towards baitcasters and don't care much for spinning rigs. I fish a lot of shallow water and have very little deep water to experiment with. Consider that my angler profile.

So that's all for now. Enjoy my blog. Leave the politics at home. On the water, it's all about fishing.