By Steve Graf, Ranger/Daiwa Pro Staff
Well, we knew this day was coming, but I did not expect it to be in my lifetime. Bass fishing is being attacked, and some states are looking to ban it by 2025. It really angers me to know that a form of our heritage is being taken away by a minority group that would rather hug a tree or kiss a bass rather than eating one. These people who stand at boat ramps and protest any form of angling are the same people pushing the “New Green Deal” that President Biden ran on. While this can be upsetting and make you angry, make sure to read the entire article to get my full perspective.
If this doesn’t get every outdoorsman’s attention, I don’t know what will. Since I was a kid in the early 70’s, I’ve heard about people who don’t believe in fishing. They think that the pain inflicted on a bass as it is caught is inhumane. Now understand, they have no proof of this other than those in their group who have the ability to communicate with fish. Fish have said to them that the pain and suffering they go through is uncalled for and unnecessary. According to the tree huggers, the fish feel that no one has stood up for them until now. The fish have spoken and are tired of people thinking they know what’s best for them. So, I wanted to hear their side of the story.
To complete my own study, I decided to Google “fish language” on the internet, and to my amazement I discovered an online class that would teach me “fish language” so that I could do my own research and interview largemouth bass. This course really was a challenge even with my B.S. degree from Northwestern State. I was never one to try and learn a new language, but I felt it was vital for me to be able to get a true perspective as to what bass go through. After six weeks of intense bass language study, I was ready! Now all I needed was some bass to talk with and see things from their perspective.
How was I going to capture some bass for my study? Ha…I grabbed my Daiwa rod and reel combo (valued at $500), hooked up my Ranger bass boat and headed to Lake X. The first thing I noticed after arriving at the lake was that I could hear the fish talking underwater as I backed my boat in the water. I never noticed this before until I learned “fish language.” You know sound travels extremely well in and across water. It was so loud; it was like being at a rock concert with Hootie and the BlowFish, a very popular band in the fish world. Since learning to speak “fish language,” I now was hearing things in a whole other manner. Only someone who knows “fish language” can ever relate to what I’m talking about.
Now for my study…after making my very first cast, I hooked a good size largemouth bass. I listened intently as the hooked fish jumped, but there was no sound, no screaming or moaning. I thought, “That’s strange, nothing at all….not a sound was made.” Now you would think if hooking a fish really hurt, there would be some horrifying sounds echoing across the water as the fished jumped trying to throw my bait out of its mouth. What I did hear was other fish cheering the hooked bass on and encouraging him to throw the bait back to me…kind of like how bulls cheer on other bulls as they try to throw the cowboy off during a rodeo. The bass were actually more excited to see if their friend could succeed at getting rid of the bait that hooked him.
As I continued to reel and bring the fish on board my $85,000 Ranger boat, still no screaming, no chirping, no howling. But this is where my “fish language” course finally paid off. I asked the fish if being hooked hurt him? His response absolutely blew me away when he said, “No.” I then asked, “Well, do other bass feel pain when they are hooked?” Again, the bass said, ”No,” but shared that one thing that really bothers them is when humans allow them to flop on the deck of the boat, especially those with carpet as it takes their protective slime off their bodies which can lead to infections. So, I finally had my proof that fish really don’t feel pain from being hooked. I had heard it straight from the horses (or in this case) the bass’s mouth. I thanked him for participating in my study and released him unharmed back into the lake like all good bass anglers do.
My conclusion was this…just like our political parties today, they make up fake news for their own benefit. Now we all know that there is no “fish language” course you can take, but to make this article more believable I thought it was necessary that you think that. Again, our politicians do this every single day; they make stuff up that they think we will believe. They think we are like bass in that we have a brain the size of a pea. So, is it true that bass fishing will be banned by 2025? Probably not, but I thought it would be a good April Fool’s joke!!! Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook….especially now that you know bass feel no pain!!!