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To be clear, the major professional tournament leagues do an excellent job of providing honest, quality television coverage of their tournaments; I am not speaking or insinuating about it. But as a friend of mine brought up a few days ago, let’s take a look at what we really see when we go professional fishing on a Saturday morning.

First of all, the fields are big and there are a lot of people fishing these tournaments. But you have to remember that the camera crews are only with the guys who really catch them in the tournament. With people sitting there eating their cereal and drinking their coffee without too much context behind what they’re looking at, tournament bass fishing looks like one hell of a time. People catch them, you see lots of hooks and life is good. It sounds like the dream hobby and the best way in the world to earn a living.

What we don’t see, however, is the rest of the field just not catching them. Again, this is not an affront to anyone as I am sure they are better anglers than me. But there are plenty of guys who are stressed out about a paycheck and worried about their next mortgage payment. But you don’t see that on TV because of course people want to watch the guys who catch them… not the guys who fight. It all makes sense when you sit down and think about it.

The problem, however, is that it can give some people the wrong perspective on bass fishing. I don’t care if you’re the best fisherman in the world; you will struggle. Bass fishing is a lot like baseball because you will struggle and fail far more than you will succeed. Heck, a guy who hits .300 in baseball is considered a stud. But dive a little deeper and you’ll also learn that these same guys fail 70% of the time. So when you see the top 10 guys catching them in a televised bass fishing tournament, there’s a bunch of guys that aren’t doing too well.

You are not going to destroy them every time you go fishing and if you have this perception you will be deeply disappointed and you are much more likely to lose patience after a difficult fishing period. I think this is one of the main reasons you see so many guys selling 2 year old boats, rods and reels on your social media feeds. It’s important to keep a realistic perspective and understand that it’s not as easy as TV makes it seem.

You will suck sometimes. We all do. Don’t compare yourself to the top performing pros you see on televised fishing tournaments; there are a bunch of guys out there struggling to get a bite to eat. It happens to every person who has ever held a fishing rod.