Mr. Jakubowski doesn’t like competitive fishing and the fact that all --- instead of just most — of the essays aren’t about the idyllic aspects of fishing. I understand and respect that point of view.
But I would like to clarify a few points.
1. He says, “Too many essays extol the virtues of B.A.S.S. and the reputed contribution of competitive fishing to angling.” In fact, one essay is about B.A.S.S. and how we all have benefitted from its founding. Another is about that organization’s leadership in dealing with the largemouth bass virus more than a decade ago.
But if you don’t like competitive fishing, I guess that even two essays are two too many. As a matter of fact, though, I never have fished competitively and wouldn’t ever want too. My appreciation for fishing probably is more in line with Mr. Jakubowski’s. But tournament anglers have just as much right to the water as the rest of us, and we owe much in the way of innovation and conservation to B.A.S.S.
2. Mr. Jakubowski seems critical of my mention of a report in an essay about the anti-fishing movement and he says that I have provided “no reference.” I’m not sure what he is talking about here. I include the complete name of the report, which would enable a reader to further research it if he so desires.
3. Nor am I sure what this means: “Name calling and defining the opposition are not helpful when you need to have your ideas understood by the opposition.” If he is suggesting that I might offend those who oppose fishing, instead of persuading them to come over to our side, then possibly he is correct. But my essays are not written for them. They are written for anglers.
It is quite possible, as Mr. Jakubowski suggests, that non-anglers and casual observers see bass boats and tow vehicles and think “This is what I need to fish?” But I did not write this book to correct this misconception.
I wrote this book to celebrate with my fellow anglers the joy of fishing and, on a much smaller scale, provide perspective on how we came to be where we are and what the future might hold for recreational fishing.
As Mr. Jakubowski points out, most books of fishing essays are written by devotees of fly fishing. I fly fish too, but I’m not a devotee, just as I am not a competitive fisherman. Thus, I did not write this book in the way that a fly fisherman would, focusing solely on the idyllic.
Rather, I am someone who loves fishing in all of its forms and has been fortunate enough to combine that passion with a small ability to write. And during my years of writing about all aspects of fishing, I have learned to appreciate the “big picture” of why we fish. That is what I have tried to convey in this book.