The tournament season always starts with a bang, full of anticipation and excitement but tends to end with a grind, forgetting that I was one of the lucky few and should appreciate a Grand Final berth if I got one. But I took the time to read an article from Sports Illustrated (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/longform/bass-masters/index.html) about the US Bass scene that paints a different picture of fishing, pushing far far away from the secretive, clique-ey, boys club and presents it as the diverse, ever growing sport (well at least in America).
You’ve probably read stuff about it before or even got the inclination that we are pretty big Mike Iaconelli fans, whether it is his big personality or his ability to communicate and present himself on a level that contradicts the perception of anglers, I find the guy really fascinating. Sure he seems to have a reputation of arrogance but rather than just be a big mouth or trouble maker, the guy backs it up with intelligence and thought not normally attributed to anglers and is quite obviously intent on growing the sport rather than checking it’s growth.
Well written and thought out articles like the Sports Illustrated one, highlight the way forward for fishing in Australia and like it or not, tournament fishing can support this. There has been talk over the past few years that the tournaments have grown stale or stagnant but I believe it is all part of the evolution. As sponsorship and money become the double edged sword, it is absolutely necessary for success and growth but serves as a burden as it may cause the anglers to assess their worth a little higher than the actual market value.
With an ever changing media landscape, the opportunities for growth are all around us. There is plenty of need for content because within the ever changing media landscape, lives an ever growing, ever hungry, information dependent audience who need to be fed. Whether that be with articles, images or video, in the form of magazine, blogs, TV or YouTube, we are fortunately in an age where anyone can carve out their own little (or sometimes big) audience to bring fishing to the world.
Facebook brings us closer to this audience (I heard something that I think we can all learn from, “never publish anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t want printed on the front page of a newspaper” – you better watch out for all of those selfies!) and allows us to deliver the message that once took hours, days or even weeks to disseminate in years and decades gone by, to being at the finger tips of millions in seconds.
Lureandfly.com started out as an outlet for our fishing affliction but thanks to our audience has turned into a means to be heard, build our profiles and deliver to our sponsors, while improving our ability to write, shoot (photos and videos), cast, wind and catch. We are the fortunate ones who have seen fruit from our labour.
I’d be demonstrating some arrogance to be comparing myself to Mike Iaconelli but I would love to be able to positively influence other anglers, just like he does. I believe my role in fishing is to continue learning and to help others where I can with their learning. I guess I need the constant reminder that we all didn’t know how to do something in the beginning
So, what is your role in the fishing scene? Are you going to be the Big mouth like Ike or just a Big mouth?