I was recently driving back from an Unaccomplished Elk Hunt (more to come on that later), crossing the vast expanse of Eastern Washington. Helping to ease the pain of the fruitless hunt and 6 hour drive was a Fish Schtick podcast in which professional bass fisherman Darren Gallaher was interviewed. Now I’m not a particular fan of a tournament bass fishing (nothing wrong with it, just not my cup o’tea per se), but I do like fast boats so I listened with great interest as Fish Schtick host Teeg Stouffer (of Recycled Fish fame) recalled his butt-puckering experience of racing across the surface of a lake at well over 70 miles per hour. Apparently he left behind some brown stains on the upholstery of Darren’s boat. Good stuff right there – recommend you listen to the podcast HERE.
Another sport of which I’m not a particular fan is car racing, although I do appreciate fast cars (unfortunately I do not own one or the trip would have taken far less time). As I listened to the Fish Schtick podcast I couldn’t help but draw similarities between professional bass tournaments and NASCAR. With the emphasis on speed and uniforms adorned with sponsor logos, they share much in common, not to mention there are a lot of southern accents in each sport, too. Undoubtedly there is also some overlap with the fan base of each sport. My revelation isn’t anything new, but I’ve yet to see a formal proposal for a new sport that combines the two so here it is…BASSCAR: The inevitable union of NASCAR and Professional Bass Fishing.
NASCAR race cars are to be fitted with hitches (which will attract new sponsors from the hitch manufacturing industry), to which will be coupled bass fishing boats/trailers. Obviously some alterations would have to be made to the trailers in order for them to be able to withstand speeds approaching 200 mph, but that won’t be an issue for the motor heads out there that love to tinker. Lightweight alloys, racing wheels and tires, high speed axles…no problem.
The race courses will be a combination of oval tracks, open roads and boat ramps. And of course, waterways. The cars will scream around the tracks much like they do at NASCAR races, although the track segment of the competition will be considerably shorter so as
not to bore the audience to allow for the remainder of the race to conclude within a reasonable amount of time. A certain number of laps would have to be completed before the cars pull into the pits and have their tires changed and bass boat trailers hitched up. At this point the cars, with their boats in tow, would exit the race stadium and hit the open road en route to a distant bass fishing body of water, again at break-neck speeds. Obviously roads would be blocked off to prevent civilian traffic interference. Wildlife that would wish to cross the roads during the race will be on their own.
Once teams have reached the destination waters the drivers will be tasked with quickly backing their trailers through a challenging obstacle course, again at the greatest speeds possible, before descending the ramp and getting the trailers into the water. Good brakes will be essential here. At this point the pit crew would be on hand to quickly unhook the boat and tie it to a nearby dock. A good pit crew will prove invaluable here, tending to matters such as insuring that the drain plugs have been installed and the beer coolers adequately stocked. Prime positioning will be on a first come, first served basis–an incentive to obviously do well prior to this point in the race. The driver must then quickly park his race car and trailer in a designated location some distance away, change out of their race suit and sprint to the dock where the vessel awaits. Once in the boat the angling portion of the competition begins and will play out very much like a bass tournament.
A sport like this would combine the skills of race car driving, recreational trailer maneuvering, and of course, bass fishing. But another aspect of BASSCAR would be physical fitness. The foot race from the designated vehicle/trailer parking lot would be far enough from the boat dock that the race entrants would be required to have a certain level of agility and fitness in order to be competitive. I believe that by including this element it would make the sport more appealing to a wider, west-coast audience, and would of course attract a greater number sponsors, such as Nike and other running/fitness industry companies.
I’m not sure how quickly BASSCAR will take off in popularity, but I do know that the Unaccomplished Angler wants to sponsor a team. Unfortunately there’s not a lot of money in our camp, so Team UA may not be very competitive.