gathering info_edited-1

FEAR OF INFO makes every call suspect…

One of the most aggravating assignments I ever had in my writing career was interviewing a local marlineer for a saltwater publication. The guy and his boat were very well thought of in the billfish community, so I really thought I would get something worthwhile for my story.

But his response was not to provide even the suggestion of a tip. Instead, his answer to virtually every query regarding successful marlin angling was: “Information.” Apparently, only the guy with the best contacts wins.

Juxtapose that to former U.S. Open winner Rich Tauber making reference to a particular event with very tough fishing. He called it “a casting contest.”

Somewhere between the need to know every detail of local conditions and fish location (ahead of time) and not being able to get a bite, is the Great Divide in professional tournaments. Organizers and pundits want clear limitations on gathering information by the contestants, but really have no control except for a few stipulations regarding “guides” and the ever popular “honor system.”

And with their (read B.A.S.S./PAA) ever more close-minded rules regarding lure options, it sounds like they want everyone to go out there with ear plugs and one hand tied behind their backs. They want winners and heroes, but they also want it [to borrow a term from NASCAR] with restrictor plates.

So what is “information,” really? Everybody can see the birds diving on that point over there, plus untold other evidences that things are at hand with the environment both above and below the water. That’s information. And everybody knows how to walk the dog, tie a double uni, trim their motor up to increase boat speed, or read a GPS chart. Isn’t that information, too?

Really, are the areas and the lures used to win the last three club tournaments so sacred (or so damning) that such information should be locked away–inaccessible to the people who hold up the fish for the cameras so the fans can have their heroes.

Or maybe they’re going about this all wrong. Maybe they should scrap the whole slimy weigh-in thing–and just hold a casting contest.


5 Responses to “Competition & the great ‘Information’ dilemma”

Nothing has changed as far as pros exchanging and receiving information. Everything else surrounding the acquisition of information has. It’s a thousand times easier.

I think that it was a few years back and Aaron Martens took some heat when after a runner-up finish at the Classic on Lay Lake, he criticized Jay Yelas who had contacted people pior to the event and got some hot tips that apparently helped him win (shades of Roland Martin).

I believe the point Martens was making was that you should find and catch your own fish. He had a point.

Of course that puts us back to the “honour” thing and that becomes a fluid concept when money’s involved.

Probably one more reason why competitive fishing has it’s limits.

Well, that is the great thing about Lake Mead (US Open). Now that i have been there, i truly feel that anyone can win there. Even the locals have to ‘go find them’.

by George Kramer

Agree, anyone can win. But whoever does will likely have to be flexible in attitude and consistent with their catches, Scott.

by Rich Holland

On the salt it’s called a code group. They are on the water and mutually benefit from information shared. If you simply don’t go because the dope on the bite is bad, then you are eventually dropped from the group. You are only valuable if you do the work too.