This Post Has Nothing To Do With Party Poker
Let's talk fish, let's talk about the river, and for a change I don't mean the bastards who hit their gutshot straight draws and make you question God's existence. The 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Classic
will be held in Pittsburgh starting on Friday and ending on Sunday, and like me you're probably thinking, "Wait...in Pittsburgh?"
I thought these events were usually held on lakes the approximate size of France, where good 'ol boys zipped along the waters in boats with the same sensor package as an Aegis-class cruiser and the thrust-to-weight ratio of an F-15. You really can't go booming along the rivers the same way, since, you know, there are bridges every 50 or so feet, and enormous barges toting coal, and railroad ties and tires and abandoned Chevrolets and God knows what else floating around in there. The Three Rivers are infinitely cleaner than they were back in our boom town days, but I think there's still a warning out that you shouldn't eat more than one fish per week pulled from our waters.
Not that winning the Bassmasters involves your skill with flour and lemon. No, the idea is to catch a messa fish. Thing is, I never knew our rivers were reknowned for large-mouth bass. I've never fished the rivers, but I know lots of people who have, and they've caught bass, but when Pittsburgh was awarded the 2005 Classic the first thing I thought was, "Is there gonna be enough to go around?"
My fears may not be unfounded. Takahiro Omori, the defending champ, said
he only caught 3 keepers in 5 days of practice. The article says Omori could be bluffing, which is as close to a poker reference as I'm going to get.
I work right along the Allegheny, and I'm sure on Friday we'll see some boats flitting hither and yon. They're also predicting a lot of boats will be following the competitors around to watch the, uh, action, which makes me wonder if the fish will be able to find a quiet spot to swim. There are also concerns about crowd control
, after a few reports of folks harassing the anglers. I heard one story about someone telling a fisherman he was pissed because "you guys are stealing our fish," which could only be made more hilarious by translating it into the Pittsburghese it was almost certainly spoken in, "Yinz is stilling our fish n'at".
I'm still trying to learn if you can bet on this. I'll keep you posted.
I hope the Classic is a huge success, I hope it brings much honor and lucre onto our city. I hope it isn't a debacle that gives everyone the impression that even the FISH are leaving Pittsburgh in droves.