That’s great for the participants, but the concept of fishing as a competitive sport—and a spectator sport at that—is one I have trouble with.
I was brought up to believe that fishing was not a matter of skill, but luck. Oh, you could brag if you caught the biggest fish or the most, but you shouldn’t expect anyone to believe that it was the result of any ability you had.
For me and my family, fishing was a pretense for lazing on a boat with a leisurely lunch and endless snacks and beverages. Or a reason to get up early and marvel at the beautiful mornings we’d been missing. Or an excuse to sit on the water and gaze into gorgeous sunsets at the end of a perfect day.
We certainly wouldn’t want to spoil this idleness by striving to perfect a skill. So we never caught many fish. My mother, whose interest in fishing was slight, usually caught the most, a fact that reinforced the belief of my father and me that luck was the only significant factor.
This approach to fishing is the exact opposite of the one taken by the people who travel on pro fishing tours, angling for prize money. These are serious fishermen competing for serious money. For instance, The CITGO Bassmaster Classic in Kissimmee, Florida, in February 2006 will award $1 million in prizes, with $500,000 going to the winner.
Last year’s Bassmaster Classic, billed as the Super Bowl of bass fishing, was televised on ESPN and ESPN2 for 12 hours. More than 500,000 households tuned in on the final day to see the weigh-in where the winner was named.
As fishing tournaments have grown, more and more of the participants are traveling in RVs. For those who are doing well, big, elaborate motorhomes are becoming the rule. The pro sport fishing business is now big enough for one company to target competitors with a new product—a luxurious motorhome pulling a trailer garage that can carry a boat, truck and fishing gear. On Page 38 in this issue, you will find a story on a new RV specifically for competitors on pro fishing tours.
Pro fishing is just one of many pursuits that invite extensive use of RVs. Anyone contemplating the adoption of the RV lifestyle might want to check out the approach of writer Marti French and her husband, Dave. As Marti describes it in this month’s issue, they spend part of the year traveling the country in an RV, part of the year living in an Arizona RV resort and part of the year at a cabin in a remote part of Colorado. It’s the kind of lifestyle that many retirees would like to emulate. Her account is on Page 18.
Not all of us can spend months on the road, but any vacation time is always welcome, and in this month’s issue, we report on several worthwhile travel destinations.
Donna Ikenberry, a prolific author of guidebooks on hiking, biking and camping, takes readers on a scenic tour of Utah. She acquired her expertise on RV travel during 16 years as a full-time RVer, and she still spends a lot of time on the road even though she and her husband, Mike, now have a house in South Fork, Colorado.
In her article, Donna describes what she perceives as the most scenic places in Utah. She arrived at her opinion after five months of traveling the state to compile Camping Utah, one of the FalconGuides series on outdoor recreation.
Donna has written 13 books over a period of 18 years. Her latest is Hiking Colorado’s Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness Areas.
One place that many people like to visit this time of year is Leavenworth, Washington, a town that has become a tourist draw by recreating itself as a Bavarian village. In this month’s issue, columnist Sharlene Minshall shares her impressions of Leavenworth, a town she is well acquainted with since her daughter and family live there.
Leavenworth is celebrating Oktoberfest the first two weekends in October this year and has scheduled numerous Christmas events in December. You can find tourist information at the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce Web site at www.leavenworth.org.
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