John's Journal...


Worst Days of Bass Fishing for Paul Elias and David Fritts

Editor's Note: You're suppose to have fun when you fish for bass. When you go bass fishing, you don't expect to find yourself chained to a wall in a medieval dungeon to learn how much torture you can endure. However, many anglers earn their living professionally fishing for bass. Their vocations and jobs mean they have to go to work when they don't want to, fish in bad, nasty weather and endure sickness, disaster and disappointment as parts of their jobs, although most of us think of bass fishing as recreation. You may think that you've had a bad day of fishing before or fished in a really-bad bass tournament. But once you read the experiences of some of America's best bass fishermen and learn what's happened to them on their worst days of fishing or during the worst tournaments they've ever fished, your bad day of bass fishing may not seem so bad.

Paul Elias: Pachuta, Mississippi, native Paul Elias's winnings on the BASS circuit exceed $1/2-million. The 1982 Bassmaster Classic winner has fished in the Classic 14 times. "The last day of the 1994 Bassmaster Classic in Greensboro, North Carolina, was the worst day of bass fishing I'd ever had," Elias recalls. "I wasn't doing great in the tournament, but I was in a position to win - if I could have a good day and catch a lot of bass. I got bites all day long, but I just couldn't catch those bass. I had enough bites and hooked enough fish to have weighed in a 20-pound stringer of bass and win the tournament, but I only put one 3-pound bass in the boat. I don't know what happened, and why I performed so poorly, but I know I've never had a day when I've gotten more bites and missed more bass. What makes it even worse was on my worst day of bass fishing, I had the opportunity to win the Bassmaster Classic if I had just had an average day of fishing. I'll never forget that day and what might have been."

David Fritts: Fifty-six-year-old David Fritts, of Lexington, North Carolina, has all-time BASS winnings of almost $860,000. Fritts, who won the Classic in 1993, received the Angler-of-the-Year title in 1994. "Last year I was fishing the Elite 50 tournament in Columbus, Mississippi, and I'd had a great day of fishing," Fritts explains. "I'd caught one of the biggest limits of bass taken that day, and I was on my way to the weigh-in. However, to get back to the weigh-in site, I had to go through a lock. When I got to the lock, there was a barge in it, and the lock gate was shut. So, there was no way for me to reach the weigh-in on time. For two hours, I sat outside that lock gate and waited on that barge, and I realized I couldn't get to the weigh-in to weigh my fish. I probably would've finished the day in the top five. But when I arrived at the weigh-in, I was so late that I had to release all of my bass and didn't get to weigh in a single fish. As I sat outside that lock, I thought to myself, 'Bass fishing doesn't get any worse than this. I've got what could be the winning stringer of fish, and I've worked hard all day to catch them. Now I won't even get to weigh them.' "



Check back each day this week for more about MY WORST DAY OF BASS FISHING ...

Day 1 - Harold Allen and Chad Brauer
Day 2 - Worst Days of Fishing for Rick Clunn and Ken Cook
Day 3 - More Worst Days of Bass Fishing with Mark Davis
Day 4 - Worst Days of Bass Fishing for Paul Elias and David Fritts
Day 5 - Learn More about Pros' Worst Days of Bass Fishing

John's Journal


Entry 261, Day 4