The coverage of professional fishing has become much more interesting than in years past.
Just think, you can watch live video from anglers' boats in the Elite tournaments. There are live leaderboards, live video of the weigh-ins, a huge gallery of same-day photos and stories at Bassmaster.com, and some of the most engaging coverage of pro tournaments on TV when you tune in Bassmasters. It's awesome!
However, something is lacking. Something isn't drawing the folks from the margins. I think I've figured it out.
Pro fishing needs a good bad guy.
I'm talking about a bold, take-no-prisoners character. Someone in the mold of some of the old-school pro wrestlers like Ric Flair or Jesse "The Body" Ventura.
People booed and hated these two wrestlers with an intense passion, but they also loved to watch them on every show they appeared and at arenas around the country. These two and others like them packed the stadiums and boosted the television ratings for pro wrestling.
For a while it appeared that Mike Iaconelli was being groomed for this gig at BASS, but the reality is he's a nice guy who does some fabulous charity work.
Hmmm, such a quandary, who can step up and be this person?
Jason Quinn had the whole pirate wild-child thing going, but again, a nice guy. Some of the pro walleye and muskie anglers are reminiscent of lumberjacks, but not bad guys.
The redfish pros seem very well-behaved.
So, I'm guessing we will never have the good bad guy to draw the folks from the fringe into the sport.
Sure, many of you may think I'm nuts for talking about our beloved family sport of fishing needing some sort of injection of bad guys, but think about the possibilities.
Gerald Swindle gabbing on his reality show at the dock and the bad guy of bassin' walks into his camera shot and challenges him to a two-out-of-three bass match where the winner has to retire from pro fishing only to get whacked over the head with a spotted bass before the match details can be decided.
Ah, a boy can dream can't he?
Dave and Kristin Landahl host The Fishing Fanatics, www.TheFishingFanatics.com, radio show on ESPN radio affiliate AM 1360 WLBK in northern Illinois Thursday evenings from 6-7 PM Central time. You can also tune in to hear The Fishing Fanatics at www.1360wlbk.com and check them out at www.walleyecentral.com