The way I define this article may be in third person living the life after being on both sides of the fence. I would like to use the word pro loosely meaning "anyone who thinks they are tournament ready and take fishing seriously."
First, lets start with the life and day of a pro -- smiling from ear to ear when he picks up his new 21-foot bass boat worth $39,000 being pulled by his new pickup truck worth $26,500 -- getting ready to put in at the Buster Boyd Access Area on Lake Wylie. Oh, how his face is bright as a child on Christmas as he hears that motor fire up. Once the pro gets to the first stop, he pulls out his new rod and reel ($175) ties on a new crank bait ($6). After working different types of presentations, lures, he finally nets a 2-pound bass and his blood boils. He gives God all the glory and throws the fish back in for another day. Well its 3 p.m., and the pro has been out on the water for eight hours. It's time to head in. What a day for the pro -- $65,181 later -- and he throws the fish back in?
Now, Joe drives a 1989 pickup truck his father gave him (free). Joe stops by the pawnshop and buys a used pole for $8. Joe stops by the bait shop and buys three dozen minnows for $9. Joe parks his car at the Buster Boyd Access parking lot and pulls out a bucket from the trunk of his car to sit on. On his first cast, he gets a bite.
Joe cannot sit on the bucket anymore because he is filling it with fish. Oh, what a day. Joe gives thanks to God for life, health and strength. Joe heads home with all 12 of his fish for dinner tonight (priceless).
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Now, as I sit back and think about it, do I want to be a pro or an average Joe? I must say I love to fish, off a bucket or a boat, but I am just an average Joe with a boat.
Maliek Carrington, known as Mr. Maliek, of Steele Creek is an amateur angler who fishes in the Bassmaster Weekend Series. He started Fishing4Reel about five years ago to expose children to fishing by taking them on freshwater and saltwater fishing trips. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Thursday Night Team Trail: Through August from 6:30 to 11 p.m. at Buster Boyd Access Area. Entry fee costs $40; membership is $5 per angler per year. Register at the ramp between 5:30-6:20 p.m.
• NBC PRO SERIES: 2009 Catawba Division tournament will be held June 28 and Sept. 12 on Lake Wylie, launching from safe light to 3 p.m. from Buster Boyd Access. For more information, visit national-bass.com.