Frantz: Answering all of the bass fishing experts 

Ever had your tires slashed with a Daiichi Bleeding Bait Treble Hook? Me neither ... but I’m watching where I park for a while.

Seems the fishin’ crowd’s got their waders in a bunch over the list of boring sports I’d rather watch than baseball’s Home Run Derby last week. And they’ve been crying like girls with their brothers’ nightcrawlers on their heads ever since. Haven’t heard squat from the hot dog set about my commentary on the Coney Island wiener-eaters on the Fourth of July, and fans of "Dancing With the Stars" have been conspicuous by their silence, too. But the anglers of the world seem to have united in an effort to put the "ass" back in "bass fishing."

Scores of letters have flooded my inbox detailing the arduous nature of bass fishing. Funniest part is that they got their lines all tangled over nothing since my commentary focused not on the physical challenge of fishing, but on the physical challenge of staying awake while watching it on TV. Bass fishing, along with various other sleeping aids that pass for "entertainment" on cable sports networks these days, may indeed be tough on the competitor, but not nearly as tough as the competitors were on me. A sampling:

Trent Peterson from Franklin, Tn., wanted to paint a picture of true professional fishing. "Up at 4 a.m. and on the water at safe light," he writes, "standing up all day long ... out there until it gets dark ... whether it’s 102 degrees with no breeze and 90 percent humidity or 30 degrees and spitting snow." After dinner, Trent says, time to "work on tackle for possibly two more hours ... then up at 4 a.m. the next day to do it again."

Sounds rough, Trent, but you should try it from my side: I sprain my neck every time my head jerks back up after nodding off on my couch watching you on TV doing all the stuff you just said.

Gordon Mitchell in Norfolk, Va., says, "They don’t fish in pre-stocked streams. They fish in huge lakes ... which have been ‘stocked’ by a long and honored tradition of ‘catch and release.’" And, "the guys ... would never, ever drink Pabst Blue Ribbon. On camera or off."

Well as long as we’ve got that straight, then. The upscale Bassmaster’s a Stroh’s man ... right?

Eric Wilson of Marshall, Tx.,: "Bass tournaments do not allow alcohol during the tournament or during the weigh in. Before printing one of Bob’s articles, next time check the facts."

E-mails, Eric, we check e-mails now. We stopped using facts machines a long time ago.

Jeffrey Smith of Winfield, Mo.: "How clueless does one have to be to write a column for your paper? A modern bass boat ... has insulated coolers built-in. Oh, but that doesn’t matter because the point is just to be funny. Who cares ... as long as a column gets a chuckle, right?"

Pretty much, Jeffrey, yup.

Bryan Miller of Chesterfield, Va.: "I hope Mr. Frantz acts with a little more professionalism the next time he decides to make an idiot of himself."

Sorry, Bryan. I find "unprofessional" to be a better quality of idiot these days.

Bill Day from Frankfort, Ky., says "Not only has Mr. Frantz proven that he is a smartass, he has also proven he is a dumbass with his remarks."

From smart ass to dumb ass in the same article? Note to self: Add "versatile" to "handsome" and "witty" on the personality trait checklist.

Greg Newman of Louisville, Ky., says, "I’m one of the rednecks you people like to poke fun at ... I always thought liberals were compassionate toward others."

Whoa, whoa ... hold it right there. Call me an idiot, and we’re fine. A hack, a loser, a wuss, I can take it. I’m a big boy. But call me a liberal again, buddy, and it’s go-time, y’hear?

Finally, from Dennis in Tennessee: "Once the fishing nation gets ahold of this, he’ll regret his fine literary piece."

Regret it? What’re ya’ll gonna do? Even if you caught me, Gordon says you’d have to release me, remember?

By the way — that "Daiichi Bleeding Bait hook" reference at the start of the column? Looked it up on Google. Can’t say I didn’t do my homework this time, now can ya boys?

Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at bfrantz@examiner.com.

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