Iíve only received one piece of negative feedback here at BassFan. Well, one that I took to heart, anyway. Sure, there have been disagreements that Iíve contemplated and even took sides with from time to time; thatís often the purpose of an opinion column like this. But thereís been only one that has stuck in my mind for a few years now, because I felt I was wrong.
Itís taken some time for me to realize my misdoing. Evidently, for things to come full circle, I needed to witness the same crime being committed by another.
Iím still new to this whole podcast thing. But Iíve found that, by listening to others talk about subject matter I enjoy, I resist the temptation to focus on all the negativity that surrounds us.
Now, given that Iím still navigating unfamiliar waters, it was natural for me to pick a podcast that featured a guest who I was familiar with. While I wonít say who, suffice it to say that this person is a celebrity bass angler and television personality.
I listened with intent as the famed angler described the early days of fishing TV, the struggles of budgets, and the course of events that would shape his success. It was fascinating stuff, reminding me how much I enjoyed his show from time to time, figuring Iíd check back in soon.
But then the interview took a turn. When questioned about the uncertainty of today and plans for the future, the TV host instilled a whole new persona. Gone was the light-hearted approach to life and the innocent country boy. What replaced him was a cynical businessman intent on having his say.
The guest talked politics, the President and the Speaker of the House. He complained about political issues focused on the economy and opposing viewpoints. In short, the guy I trusted to put a smile on my face turned into a grouch. A know-it-all windbag, intent on making the interview into his political stump.
I thought it was supposed to be about fishing.
Another case in point. Cruising Instagram recently, I was subjected to the post of a pro bass fisherman, also intent on playing political correspondent. I use the term ďsubjectedĒ for the way the posting came across.
Needless to say, this material also had nothing to do with fishing. Instead, it was an attack on about half of America. The post used profanity, labeling the entire group as pieces of crap, so to speak. I was flabbergasted, so I decided to check out the pro's website.
There, of course, were logos of the proís sponsors, front and center. I wondered how many of them fit into the "crap" category. Or how many of their customers did. Those same customers who now associate the brand with the slander presented by the mouthy pro.
Probably not a great move.
Hereís what Iím getting at. A few years ago, a reader sent in a critique. Get off the politics, Balog was the gist. Iím here to read about bass fishing, not your viewpoint on policy.
Now Iím not quoting the guy exactly because I didn't save the note. Heck no; at the time, I would have done anything to pull the comment off the web and rip it to shreds. Little did I know that, later, it would ring so true.
So, while I find myself more involved in the hot issues all the time, possibly turning into a crabby old man myself, youíre not going to get that here. Despite all thatís wrong and how badly I yearn for a place to scream at the top of my lungs, this isnít it. And I see that now.
Regardless of your beliefs or political party or views on just about anything, thereís a few things I think we can all agree on. Now, more than ever, opinions are vocalized more easily and everybody seems to be an expert on just about everything. Weíve got the digital world to thank for that.
But along with it comes the ability for us all to share in the enjoyments of life as well. A major part of that for us all is the subject of bass fishing. Thatís why weíre both here.
So thatís where Balogís Bass War is going to stay: on the subject of bass fishing. Youíll continue to get insight into what makes the best in the business so good. Weíll discuss the science behind bass, and what makes these little fish so compelling. And Iíll still toss in a story or two from time to time, attempting to uncover what brought about my obsession with everything fishy.
Now donít get upset if I throw in a little environmental news and topics of the day; we need to stay diligent in our focus on anything that may jeopardize this thing we love. But donít expect negativity, slander or an agenda here. These days, you can find that just about anywhere else.
Here, as an observant reader once stated, itís supposed to be about fishing.
(Joe Balog is the often-outspoken owner of Millennium Promotions, Inc., an agency operating in the fishing and hunting industries. A former Bassmaster Open and EverStart Championship winner, he's best known for his big-water innovations and hardcore fishing style. He's a popular seminar speaker, product designer and author, and is considered one of the most influential smallmouth fishermen of modern times.)