Here’s a little something that’s near and dear to my heart. I’m not sure if it signals the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning but it sure is worth thinking about. The beginning, in this case, is mankind’s fascination and obsession with competitive fishing. One of the few sports activities that until now uses the outdoors as its exclusive platform or playing field. The end would be moving the game of competitive fishing indoors into the virtual world, which is about to happen.
Maybe this thinking is a bit premature but with the recent announcement out of the UK that B.A.S.S. and Dovetail Games are partnering up to create the biggest bass fishing game ever made, Bassmaster Fishing 2022, it may not be.
According to a Dovetail Games spokesperson 8 of the Bass Master Trail venues are being virtually replicated for the initial launch some time this fall including the famous Guntersville Lake. How far away is the day where we could be watching the Bassmaster Classic taking place entirely indoors, virtually.
If you think that sounds ridiculous let’s not forget that one year ago, almost to the day, those of us that enjoy the thrills and spills of NASCAR racing were served our adrenaline fix via computer generated images of an iRacing competition sanctioned by NASCAR and broadcast nationally by Fox Sports.
This live event drew over 2 million television viewers and although it didn’t have the look and feel of the real thing, as far as I’m concerned it came too close for comfort. If you didn’t watch it live you missed a great opportunity to witness an incredibly significant broadcast milestone.
Of course, the purists will tell you that it would be impossible to capture the essence that is professional tournament fishing via a flatscreen monitor. However, those same purists are probably the demographic group that think cell phones are for making phone calls—myself included.
So, lets have a quick splash of reality shall we, as the angling community continues to age, the only hope we have of passing on the ritual of competitive fishing is to have it showcased in an environment that the next-gen is most comfortable in. I say bring on the Kevin VanDam avatar.