Conversing about bass fishing

Bass fishermen can be outspoken at times, and especially so when it comes to favorite lures, techniques and related topics. Everybody has an opinion on the nuances of prespawn, the headaches of post-cold fronts, and whether it's best to use superlines or fluorocarbons for specific situations.

The debates run wide open at tackle stores, boat ramps, weigh-ins and bass club meetings. A few years ago, the World Wide Web added a new dimension to the communications pipeline in the form of the chat room, also known as the message board.

Bass fishing message boards offer a rogue means of adding to your knowledge of bass fishing. Scrolling through the bashing of issues, you'll oftentimes come upon a golden nugget of information posted by a bass fisherman who offers his firsthand experience with a lure, technique or pattern. Sure, the content is by no means written by a respected outdoor journalist. But when folks begin adding to the thread with their own advice, the post becomes a valuable spot to keep building on the initial thought. Such is the case on our own Message Board at Bassmaster.com.

Now the techno-savvy braintrust at ESPN have added yet another online element to our ability to weigh-in on subjects pertaining to bass fishing. Through our partnership with ESPN, we've added a new feature called ESPN Conversations. The feature allows readers to comment on select editorial features. Look for the red-and-gray colored ESPN Conversations link at the conclusion of a story. (This links to an example of the content.)

As editor, I view this feature as a means of building community within your Web site. Swapping bass fishing information, whether it be online, on the water, or in a magazine, is what belonging to BASS is all about.

And who knows, you might have a better idea than the experts in the article on how to outsmart the bass. Go ahead, weigh in. Bass fishermen are known to be outspoken about their favorite sport. And that's a good thing for those of us who want to enjoy the sport by swapping helpful advice.