Are You A Competitive Angler?
Most weekends on a Georgia or Alabama res-
ervoir will find multiple bass tournaments taking place. These range from a few boats representing local bass clubs to much larger re – gional tournaments. When I was younger, I participated in bass tournaments, fishing the waters of Alabama and Georgia. I fished with sev – eral bass clubs in Newnan, Columbus, and Manches – ter, Georgia and Eufaula, Alabama. I never did shine brightly in the annual rank – ings regarding pounds of fish caught, the largest fish caught, or money earned. After fishing competitively for several years, I didn't re –
ally view myself as a com – petitive angler, thinking that I enjoyed other aspects of angling without competing with others to catch the most or largest fish or earn some winnings. However, I must say that the latter sure were helpful in osetting the ex – penses of being out on the water for the day.
Unfortunately, I notice a continuation of my compet –
itive motivation. I frequent – ly fish for trout and inshore
Cont. on page 3
Andrew A. Cox
Contributing Writer Are You A Competitive Angler?
Continued from Front Page
saltwater species with a friend who is about twelve years younger than I. He also started fishing much
later in his life, during his early 20’s, while I have
been fishing for most of my
life, starting during my late childhood years. Over the course of our angling trips, he has made the comment that I “always seem to catch more fish than he". My
response to this comment is that “I probably should as I’m older than you and been fishing for a lifetime
longer-something would be wrong with this picture if I
didn't catch more fish!" I also have a regular fish ing partner with whom I
have been fishing for over 40 years. He almost exclu – sively focuses upon fishing
for largemouth and spotted bass in reservoirs though
he will fish for redfish and
speckled trout from time to time. He also owns a small tackle manufacturing company, designing and manufacturing various lures for these fish species. I find
myself competing with him over the course of our an-
gling trips. I find myself getting anxious when he
gets ahead in numbers of
fish caught over the course of the angling day. I find
myself feeling irritable with myself when he gets a higher count than me, wondering what I am doing wrong. Obviously I don’t feel this anxiety when my count ex ceeds his during a trip.
A third friend with whom I fish mostly on saltwater in – shore or oushore trips, likes to wager fishing bets. Wa gers will be placed on the
most and largest fish caught
for each targeted species, usually being speckled trout
and redfish. With these bets in place, we find ourselves fishing harder to attain these monetary rewards. Of course at the end of the day, the angler losing the various wagers has to withstand some good natured heckling and eat some humble pie. At times, my son is part of this wagering circle, also catching the competitive fever.
Is there a place for competition in angling? This story seem to indicate such. It seems that the competitive spirit is hard to leave
behind. Author’s Note:
Dr. Andrew Cox is a con tributing writer to outdoor publications and newspapers. His writing interests specialize in angling and travel, human interest, and general fishing tech nique oriented topics. He is a member of the Georgia Outdoor Writer's Associ – ation. He has been fishing
the waters of Georgia, Alabama, and north Florida for over forty years. He has also fished the waters of
most states within the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, and several Caribbean islands. He enjoys fresh and saltwater fishing
for bass, bream, crappie,
trout, redfish, and speckled trout using fly, baitcasting,
and spinning equipment.
Dr. Cox financially supports his fishing habits as Profes sor Emeritus at Troy Uni-
versity, Phenix City, Ala bama. He may be contacted at [email protected]