“Strolling” into Ridiculousness

First there was Paul Elias blowing up the “bassosphere” with the umbrella rig. The earth shook. Bridges and community humps at Guntersville were never the same.

Jeremy Starks "strolled" into victory

Now Jeremy Starks has been thrust into the spotlight after “strolling” into his 2nd Elite Series win. The murmuring calls to “ban it” are in slow crescendo.

Loopholes are all the rage nowadays and some Elite Series pros aren’t very happy about it. But hey… legal is legal, right?

However, I do have some questions for the various tournament organizations out there. As with the infamous ******* Rig or any other gizmo that makes a mockery of poorly written rules and bylaws, a few clarifications are in order.

NASA photo of Lake Guntersville

I forsee miles worth of line webbing across all community holes over the next few weeks as a marriage between the two latest crazes are consummated… resulting in “Alabama strolling”… or “A-Rolling”… as in “Roll Tide!”

Uh oh… somewhere I just started a war amongst those in a “house divided”.

“War Eagle!”… “Roll Tide!”… “War Eagle!!!”… “Roll Tide”… “WAR EAGLE!”… “ROLL TIDE!!!!!!!!!”

The various tournament rules committees need to be mindful of a few things as we further explore the viability of the veritable validity and legality of this loophole technique.

I know, I know… these rule gods are swamped these days playing catch up and trying to justify their various declarations, “official statements”, bans, excuses, changes, and amendments, etc… and then creating “Major” new tournament organizations that allow the very things they banned, but I have some real questions that demand immediate attention.

First here are four general safety concerns…

Stranded boats

I foresee a sharp increase in dead trolling motor batteries starting around 11am on each lake as anglers push the envelope and stroll further and further to outdo one another. In an attempt to salvage their “stroll”, anglers will daisy-chain to their cranking battery and finally drain it too. With no trolling motor or outboard to crank, they are helpless.

Rise in heart attacks

A few of the more ambitious anglers will dig out their paddle and attempt to row back, but since most fisherman still don’t follow the FishStrong lifestyle, they aren’t acclimated to that level of exertion and will soon have a heart attack. “Marshals” and co-anglers aren’t trained to handle heart attacks, so an emergency medical orientation segment will have to be added to the pre-tournament meeting agenda.  Arrangements must be made with via the Chamber of Commerce officials.

Environmental concerns

Do we really know the environmental impact of strolling? All the lines criss-crossing lakes across America could impact bird populations as the intersecting webs trap them like a dolphin in a tuna net. It’s too early to tell, so we need the state fisheries agencies to research this before dead coots start floating to shores across America. This will rile up PETA for sure.

“Clotheslining”

What about all the poor jet skiers who will experience the fishing equivalent of the The Rock’s “People’s Elbow” as they unsuspectingly drive over a taut stroll line? They can be “clotheslined” WWF Raw style right off of their jet ski, only to be snared by the web of two dozen other “strolling” lines.  Since fluorocarbon has “less stretch”, the effect is intensified.  Worst of all, the source of the line (the angler) is miles away, too far to notice the drowning jet skier who will no doubt be gaffed by 35 Buckeye J-Will swimbait heads before being reeled in back to the boat like a wet towel for 30 minutes.

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Now I have some serious technical questions involving the implementation of this groundbreaking technique…

1) Reel size limit?

I know there is a limit on rod size, but what about reels. I’m thinking of using the biggest Penn International they make. It’s supposed to have 11 miles of line capacity with the new super lines!!!

2) Locking through?

Lots of bass hang out by the dams, so I was hoping to drop an ******* Rig near McFarland Park on Pickwick Lake and lock through the Wilson Dam before “strolling” it back to me. I want to rig my ******* Rig wires vertically so it can slip through the cracks in the lock door. I guess my question is this… does my lure have to be in the same lake for my fish to count? Similarly, if I’m not allowed to lock through, can my lure?

3) Turbining?

If fishing a lure on another lake is in fact legal, can I feed my ******* Rig through the dam’s turbine and let it blow out the other side before strolling it back? In a way, this is more like conventional fishing, since you are actually delivering the lure to a target rather than dropping it off and leaving it.

4) Stroller Teasers

Can I rig up actual strollers to the rig? I don’t have to rig up all the strollers with kids in it. A couple of them can be vacant and used as “teaser” strollers. This would cut down on kid trauma.

5) Trailing stinger hook allowed?

Actually, this would be better than a stinger hook… How about a Batman style grappling hook trailing behind one of the above strollers? It could be a money making venture as I dredge the bottom for all the lost ******* Rigs in the lake. I could then re-sell them.

6) Acceptable Uniform Code?

While I’m on the subject of comic book heroes and their equipment, how about that Avengers movie! It’s supposed to be good. Are competitors allowed to spruce up their uniforms in the vein of these comic book heroes? We’re always needing to “grow the sport” and attract new fans so why not give this a shot?

Just think…

Instead of Captain America, we could have…

“Captain Elias” – master of the “The Original” multi-wire rig, a legend among the ranks. He can go strong for “4 Long Days”.

Instead of Ironman, aka Tony Starks, what about…

“Jeremy IronStarks” - he boasts special strolling powers that not only wins money, but can “clothesline” his on-the-water opponents.

But wait!… THERE’S MORE!

How about these characters?…

“Moneybags” - He has special persuasive powers that are cloaked as “jokes” and a cash-laden daddy waiting by the ramp to pay off any willing accomplice.

“Capt. Old Man Jigger Poler” - An old skool original who prompted one of the first bans to limit equipment options (the 8′ rod rule). His jigger pole wields special powers. He also prides himself on knowing how to use early Lowrance flasher units, even though he never needs them because he fishes in 5ft of water or less.

“The Creeper” – A young master of thoroughbred lineage has made a name for himself by sneaking into enemy territory in defiance of legendary jig masters and poaching the goods from their spot.

JetBoat JuggernautHe can get into areas most others only dream of, prompting his opponents to whine and cry themselves into defeat.

Alright, alright… Enough of the comic hero stuff. Let’s talk about romance. This sport has more women in it than ever before. You could potentially meet your next wife by “A-Rolling”.

Think Lady and the Tramp.

Just imagine… It’s just before sunset when the fading sun turns the whole sky pink. The stars align as two strolling ******* Rigs cross paths and tangle some 800 yards away.

You feel a tug on your rod that sends a sensation coursing through your veins. The excitement builds as you begin to reel. You’re so focused on the prospect of a monster fish that you keep reeling. Next thing you know you are bow to bow with your very own bass fishing tramp.

It gives new meaning to taking a sunset stroll.

Fish Strong!

About Hale White

Hale White, tournament angler and fitness enthusiast, is originally from the bass capital of Florida, holds a Masters degree in Exercise and Nutrition Science, is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and has an insatiable appetite for bass fishing.
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