More than meets the eye.
Today I went to a Bassmasters Elite Weigh in event in Knoxville. Now I’m into fishing, loved surf fishing with the dad growing up in Delaware. But didn’t know what to think about a weigh in. I first thought, well that doesn’t sound like fun, see a bunch of dudes weigh in some bass but considering I didn’t want to spend my day off sitting at home, I opted to go with my father-in-law and uncle-in-law.
Boy was I wrong! What I originally thought wasn’t going to be much fun turned into a pretty fun day. People packed the convention center in Knoxville. Which looks like a beautiful city to explore. The World’s Fair was show cased there in 1982 also, so it was neat area around the center. Also it’s where the ice cats, Knoxville’s minor league hockey team plays as well. It drew friends, families and couples of all ages of the area. Which was cool! A lot of pro fishing fans around. There were three or four local guys who were in the top 12, which were the final 12 out of 110 anglers who started out on this four day event. They fished at Cherokee Lake which is a 28,780 acre lake. Now Delaware folks reading this, this ain’t no Delaware lake. It’s about all of our ‘lakes’ combined. Wowza.
The excitement grew as the weigh-in times grew closer. You could feel the excitement and once the top 12 got there, it was time. There is so much technology involved in fishing that I never knew existed. Crazy huh? And the types of fishing or the techniques they said went way over my head.
What was cool was each angler had entry music, as they rolled in on custom wrapped Toyota Tundra trucks, you can tell Toyota has a huge marketing in this sport. A lot of them are sponsored by Toyota, and their shirts look like something of a Nascar racing suit. Those boats. Yea they are about 60k or more, that’s not including any “paint scheme” or wrap. That’s what caught my eyes. The trucks and boats they road in on.
The intensity grew as the 3rd to last guy got the lead and the elite master angler had some monster looking bass but not enough to knock the leader. Then came a young and impressive rookie who lost by only a few ounces. 10 to be exact. What was really cool is all the fish were safely returned to the lake after the weigh in, with the Tennessee Recreation & wildlife officials handling the safe return.
A fun day well spent and glad I didn’t pass it off as something boring to me. I gained some serious respect for these guys. They fished in 30 to 40 degree weather differences in a matter of a day or two but that’s east Tennessee weather from what they say. One things for sure they take their fishing very serious and pour some money into it. With 100k on first place prize money and 80k for 2nd, who wouldn’t? There was an angler who sold his house to be part of the elite series and came in 3rd. I bet that’s still pretty pennies.
Fish on! Come down and I know a guy who’ll set you up on South Holston Lake or on the river and you can fly fish.