What’s wrong with people?

Now that I’m in my early 60’s, I’ve noticed that my level of patience is deteriorating rather quickly. The one area really being tested is with the human race and their level of disrespect and stupidity. Now it’s no secret that I too have had my share of crazy moments that I’m not very proud of. But we now live in a time that, for some reason, people have forgotten how to act. The word courtesy has disappeared from the American vocabulary.

About a month ago, I was fishing the American Bass Anglers (ABA) two-day divisional championship on Lake Sam Rayburn. It was during our morning take-off that one human being decided to show just how big a butt head he could be. He CHOSE to make it all about himself instead of being courteous.

Take-off is where the tournament director calls out boat numbers as anglers head out for a day of competition. These take-offs take place next to a boat dock as anglers drive their boats past the dock with their live-wells open. As the boat passes the dock, the director makes sure you have no fish in your live-well and that your aeration system is working properly. It’s basically called a rolling start and is very common among tournament circuits.

Our tournament director, Chris Wayand, who does an outstanding job, was getting ready for take-off when he approached a gentleman fishing off the dock. Chris explained to the man that he was about to release the boats for the tournament, and they would be driving by the dock where he was fishing. Chris politely asked the man if he would like to reel his line in while we drove by so that no one would cut his line with their boat motors.

This is where things went south in a hurry as the boat dock fisherman went off on Chris with a foul language outburst and stated that he had just as much right to fish off that dock as we did to drive by it. Chris acknowledged the man’s point of view and agreed that he did have the right to fish off the dock, but that we would be out of his way in 10 to 15 minutes. Chris was very nice and never even raised his voice even after the guy was rude and inconsiderate.

Recognizing that the dock fisherman was not going to reel his line in for take-off, Chris made an announcement to the tournament anglers and asked that we try and veer away from the dock as quickly as possible so as not to run over the man’s fishing line.

As Chris began to call boat numbers and anglers idled by the boat dock, it was about boat #3 that the moment got really ugly. Boat #3, due to inexperience and inability to control their boat better, managed to run over the dock fisherman’s fishing line and cut it. The angler jumped out of his chair and ran down the dock cursing Chris Wayand while shaking his finger in Chris’s face. The angler used pretty much every curse word in the English language to express his displeasure with his line being run over and that us tournament anglers think we own the lake.

While none of us actually had ownership over any part of Lake Sam Rayburn, this old man (probably in his mid 70’s) was still giving Chris a piece of his mind as I approached the dock as boat #11 during take-off. If I  could have the opportunity to talk with this gentleman, I would ask him a couple of questions. Why was he so uncooperative and refused to show a little respect for our take-off that morning? Why was he so set on continuing to fish knowing that the odds of him catching a fish were basically zero while bass boats were driving directly over his fishing area?

For some reason the dock fisherman decided to try and make a point by refusing to cooperate and show a little courtesy to avoid a confrontation. Instead, he CHOSE to make a public scene and show everyone just how uncooperative he could be. What is wrong with people today? Why do some folks choose to be selfish rather than use just a little common sense? Why can’t people be respectful and get along? Where did we as a country lose our respect for one another?

But this one incident is just an example of the country we live in today. IT’S ALL ABOUT ME! Till next time good luck, good fishing and let’s all try to get along and regain respect for each other.

Steve Graf

Angler’s Perspective