A LOT of guys fish for these in California…

Math and I don’t get along. But then, sometimes bass and I don’t get along…and many times in the fall, bass fishermen and I don’t get along.

And, wow! There are a lot of those guys. Consider, California sells about 1.8 million fishing licenses each year and from that you can guesstimate how the number might swell if you add in the under 16-year olds plus any other demographic you care to tally.

Anyway, whether do-or-die seriously or just on occasion–a lot of guys fish for bass.

How many could it be? If you use as an estimate the number usually put out by the national surveys, it’s somewhere around 60 percent of all fishermen who take a shot at bass during the year. In the Golden State, sixty percent of that 1.8 million works out to about 1,080,000 (and you wondered why the parking lot was crowded).

Moving ahead, when attempting to evaluate the quality of those bass fishermen, it’s pretty clear today there are virtually hundreds and hundreds of elite level anglers out there (and virtually tens of thousands who would have been considered legendary perhaps as little as 20 years ago.)

So when a certain list comes out in the fall, an assessment committee takes all the known information/statistics/testimonials (even police reports) and attempts to calculate a select few anglers for recognition. When that happens, a tiny cadre of bass chasers: one thirty-seventh thousandth percent (.0037) of all of them is published on The List.

That’s what the Top 40 is all about. And the numbers are pretty impressive.