Outdoor Articles

Bagwell’s Bass Tactics: What the Heck Is An Unwritten Rule?

by Pursue The Outdoors on June 27th, 2005 in Freshwater Fishing

One of the biggest catchphrases right now in Bass fishing is, “Unwritten Rule.” Watch any fishing tournament show, read any magazine or hit any internet forum and you will see those annoying little words. They irritate me more than a tournament morning fog delay. In reality, if a rule is not written down, it is not a rule at all. I do not consider them anything more than a person’s opinion and everyone has more than a few of those.

People can complain all they want about anglers that fish defensively or how many rods a Co-angler hauls to each tournament. The fact of the matter is there really isn’t much we can do about it, unless they violate written tournament rules. A couple of months ago there was a “Pro” angler, on television, that did more cussing than you would hear in an Eminem song. He went on a tirade about people fishing “his” water. I don’t care if it was right behind his house and he was flipping Kreatures around a boat dock that he built, it isn’t “his” water. It is public property and anyone is entitled to fish there. If anyone should have been punished during that tournament, it should have been the guy using all of the profanity. He made himself look like a complete idiot in front of the whole ESPN audience. There are a lot of kids that watch bass fishing on television and that is not a very good example of how a Pro should act.

Even though the water is public domain and it is not against the rule to fish close to another angler (unless there is a written rule), I still think it is pretty crappy when other competitors get carried away with how close they move in on other anglers. There is getting to be too many tournament anglers that lack respect. It is not uncommon to see them fishing within ten feet of a family that is out fun fishing. As far as I am concerned, that is uncalled for. At one tournament, I saw a person fishing from a small dock with his two little kids. A tournament boat pulled up and started fishing that same little dock. As big as that lake is, there was absolutely no reason for the angler to encroach on the area around that dock. Incidents like that are what gives tournament anglers a bad reputation with the general public. Some tournaments have the “50 Yard” rule, but that only pertains to other competitors, not non-tournament anglers.

What most of these “unwritten rules” boil down to is common sense. If we go out there and act like adults instead of a bunch of idiots, we would be much better off. People are being judged on everything they do in life. It doesn’t matter if you do ten thousand good deeds and only make one mistake; the mistake is what people are going to talk about. It is just that nature of our society. Regardless of how much we dislike some of the ways, other anglers act. If they are not breaking a written rule, then they are entitled to do whatever it is that they were doing.


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