When I first heard that someone took a semester off college so he could compete in a bass fishing tournament, I thought it was an early April Fools joke. When I heard that over 50 friends and family members were driving over 600 miles each way to watch him, I was sure someone was pulling my leg.
But they weren’t.
Apparently bass fishing is a serious business. The winner of the Bassmaster Classic gets the top prize of $300,000, plus a boatload (ha, ha) of endorsement deals and appearance fees. Even those who just qualify to compete walk away with a hefty sum.
Bass fishing is a whole other world of which I know next to nothing. I do know there are many rules and stipulations to precisely follow, including when and where you can practice fishing and “learn what you can from the fish.” (I want to know how you learn to know what you can learn!)
The bottom line is that bass fishing is an industry in itself. Over 100,000 people paid to watch just this championship. Anglers all have sponsorships and their own theme music. There are expos, the World Fishing Network on television and hundreds of other products and promotions. For many people, this is their tribe.
On this April Fools Day, you may be a victim to someone telling you a true fish story. But if it involves big money and bass, you can believe it: hook, line and sinker.
— beth triplett