Friday, February 22, 2008

Short on Talent

This year my compatriot, George M. Ewing, and I decided to make our initial foray into the wilds of competitive bass fishing. George bought the boat, I bought several thousand dollars worth of rods, reels, and stuff we don’t need (mostly plastic tool-like devices that DO NOT FLOAT); and off we went.

We joined the a prominent local Bass Club (40 two-man teams fishing one tournament per month) and I attended the first Bass Club meeting; held in a small employee meeting room in the back of Bass Pro Shops. I initially didn’t go in because the sign on the door clearly said “employees only.” I stopped with my hand on the knob and thought to myself:

“Wait. Am I an employee? No. I am not an employee. Then this sign is for me. If this sign is for me, then how did those other people get in? Are they employees? They must be. I do not see a Bass Club sign anywhere. I suddenly find that I do not know what to do or where to go. I also am not sure I can go through this door with all this un-purchased merchandise in my hands.”

Doubtless my evening would have ended differently had a voice belonging to the man behind me not said, “son, are you going to go in or not?” as he gently nudged me into the room.

The first thing I noticed as I entered the rear of the room is that the meeting room smelled strongly of smoke and dude, but nobody was actually smoking. This lead me to believe that various members of our esteemed club have not read the recent literature on tobacco use. I also noted a proliferation of blue jeans, boots, spit cups, carhartt logos, and beards. As I took note of these things it came to my attention that the registration table was at the front of the room, whereas I was standing at the back… my business suit, tie, and little tassel loafers.

There was nothing for it but to go so, resigned to my fate, I trudged (tassels flopping) down the center isle to the front of the room. Clippity, clop.

After the twitter in the audience diminished to indoor levels, the man at the tournament registration table said “Can I help you?”

Yes. I want to register for a bass tournament. My team name is ‘Swamp Bass’.

Had I pranced through there naked in a coon skin cap I doubt anyone would have been more surprised.

“Well alright” he said, “but we don’t really do team names here. Just your first names go right here on the board.”

Then we’re Team Jimmy and George, but can’t we just be ‘Swamp Bass’? We came up with it today.


Well, I guess ‘Team Jimmy and George" is fine.

“It’s just going to read ‘Jimmy and George Ewing.’”

Not “Team Jimmy and George?”


Ok then.

Our first tournament was this past weekend. We took stock of our gear and found that we had dual sonar, swimbaits, trolling motors, crankbaits, worms, jigs, jigheads, line, bags, culling bags, culling markers, motor oil, and various motor fluids, fuses, lights, vests, raingear, and crawfish scent spray. Anything a reasonable person might need to catch a fish, we have, and its brand new.

What we’re short on is: talent.

After 9 straight hours of fishing we weighed in exactly: zero fish. We’d have been every bit as successful fishing in the bathtub.

But have no fear! The Swamp Bass will ride again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a resident of the Lake Hartwell area, I was privy to seeing many of the Bass Master Classic fisherman that were here this weekend (Feb. 22-24) for the big tournament. For any fisherman, this tournament is the Big Time in professional fishing. There were fiherman from all over the USA here.
The weigh-in each day was attended by thousands of fans in Greenville, SC. First place is $500,000. Total cash awarded is 1.2 million.
I applaud you and your brother for making the decision to move into this realm of sports adventure. The fish are smarter than you think and can spot the new kid by a mile. You need to break that new boat in by getting a fish smell that will only come with time. Also that shiny prop and bottom to the new boat have to be dulled by pond scum and slime. Take my word for it, there is nothing like the smell of old dead fish and the greenish look of pond scum to attract any fish to your boat on those long days of fishing for the Big Bass.
Good luck in the future.