Don Barone versus Bassmaster Elite Whiners

Published On August 15, 2014 »» By Dan Rice » Bass, Fishing, News
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Don Barone

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There is nothing more heated than an argument involving the sport of fishing – better yet, make that bass fishing. After the Bassmaster Elite Tournament at the Delaware River in August of 2014, B.A.S.S. writer Don Barone called out the Elites because he was “sick” of hearing them whine about how tough the fishery was. In an article titled “Decorum” you can see Barone’s final stance as he tells the anglers who complained about the tough fishing to “Shut the hell up”.

Looking at the situation from two perspectives, there is a lot to be said and even more to think about. From the coverage angle, or Don Barone’s angle, his passion and excitement comes from covering all aspects of fishing. From practice weeks to the heart-pounding blast-offs, you can be sure Don Barone has “seen it all”. His pen, his pad of paper and his memory carry more than the average angler could possibly care about. Rules, statistics, bodies of water, the nearby towns…just think about how much Don Barone has seen in covering professional bass fishing.

From Barone’s perspective, he’s been able to craft and mold his messages any way he sees fit. That’s the beauty of proving your talent. Over the years, Barone has drawn quite a following for his writing. So you can imagine when your pen and your pad begin to feel the pressure of people complaining about the very sport you have helped cover. Small complaints turn into big complaints, especially if you hear them over and over.  Why you ask? Because everyone sees their perspective from a different angle.

Writer versus angler – they’re responsible for different tasks.

Now take the angler perspective – you have poured $4,000 into pre-fishing (gas, hotel, food, more gas, etc). You have spent hours, days and many nights studying, fishing and preparing yourself mentally for the battle. When you show up for the “big game” and perform less than expected, real-world concerns enter your mind.

Brent Chapman by Dave Rush

Photo from, credit to Dave Rush

You miss a fish, oh man…will I catch another one?

You missed the cut line…but you’re living off of your credit card?

You just didn’t perform as you expected…how far are you going to fall in the standings?

An angler’s livelihood exists on the water. That bass boat is not a boat, it is your home. Your rod and reels are not fishing gear, they are essential tools to your survival. Those sponsors are not discounted products, they are the relationship that keeps your dream alive. Your family is not just your family, they are your support system for all things human. Well, you get it…your personality would speak for your mouth at this point. Maybe it’s positive…a shade of grey…or negative. Who knows, you’ll react one way or another, right?

Brent Chapman has responded to Don Barone with his perspective in an article titled, “Complaining or keeping it real?“. I’ll let you decide which side of the fence you sit on after reading both articles. By the way, they are friends.

My suggestion for Don Barone, a writer who I have come to enjoy over the years, would be to realize that just because you are covering the Elites, what you hear and what you decide to write can have negative effects on those who follow your content – because you are the ears and eyes to the majority of fans. By exposing your dissatisfaction with the anglers who are dissatisfied about their experience, no matter which city is hosting,  you’ve only turned a stone that will continue to roll because their reactions, their emotions and their choice of direction were greatly affected by their feelings. The very same feelings you have, but are derived from a different perspective.

Your emotional response was planned and executed, while their responses were based off of pure emotion.

They fished. You wrote.

The two are totally different.

Tasks I might add.

Definition from:

:  a usually assigned piece of work often to be finished within a certain time

:  something hard or unpleasant that has to be done

c :  duty, function

:  subjection to adverse criticism :  reprimand —used in the expressions to take, call, or bring to task
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About The Author

Dan Rice is an outdoor writer from Spokane, Washington. He writes for his website, FHC Outdoors, and is a contributing writer to Western Bass Magazine. Be sure to visit his YouTube channel for action on film!

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