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Josh Smith

Bill Dance And Private Ponds

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Hi Folks,

 

I'd like to have this out.

 

There seems to be a double standard among some of us for folks like Bill Dance and your average hobby fisherman.

 

A while back I asked about a private pond I have access to, and how I felt it would be cheating to claim my personal best from this pond.  I was told to go for it, that it wouldn't be cheating, etc.

 

However, it seems that whenever Bill Dance is brought up, he's derided for using private ponds and lakes on his TV show and videos.

 

I don't understand this.

 

I used to substitute teach.  It's fun, and I'd like to go back if I can find the time between kids and the shop.  Sometimes I'd be asked for specifically by the teacher who would miss because of the lesson plan or content.  For example, I was called in to do some Revolutionary War and Civil War lessons.  I brought a musket ball an a Minie Ball, and showed on the blackboard why the rank-and-file formations firing into each other were so much deadlier with the Minie Ball.

 

Those projectiles were teaching aids.

 

Likewise, I figure if I'm going to learn something, then I'd like to see it demonstrated under ideal conditions so I know what should happen; what the ideal outcome is.

 

The private ponds and lakes look, to me, like Bill Dance's visual teaching aids.  Nothing more, nothing less.  When he catches a big bass, sure, he talks about how pretty it is.  They are pretty. 

 

But, guys, why the double standard?  I'm sure that Bill Dance, Roland Martin, Jimmy Houston, and all the other old timers could out fish most of us on any given body of water on any given day if they so desired.  If Scott Martin's "Challenge" is to be believed, Jimmy Houston soundly whupped S. Martin without breaking a sweat, and was funny while doing it.

 

So, why?  I don't get it.

 

Regards,

 

Josh

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Yeah, Bill is a Pro, period.  He used to grind it out on the tournament trail like Roland and the other guys. If I was at his point in my career and I had access to fishing waters with the numbers of big bass he catches I would do it too. Why fish the big lakes trying to put a show together? I don't feel he has anything to prove and I guarantee he doesn't feel like he does. His shows are meant to be informative and he really does a great job of teaching. He cares deeply about the sport and does all he can to help other anglers learn and succeed. I respect the man and appreciate him. I admire him of course, he's spent his entire life dedicated to doing the thing he loves most, fishing. I wish I could say the same!

 

As far as your PB coming from a private pond that's where my came from. A 25 acre lake of pure fishing heaven. It's still a huge bass no matter where you get it. Be proud! Don't let anyone try to diminish your accomplishment.

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BD is awesome! My DVR is set for his show. His was the first fishing show I ever watched. But most people can't go to public waters and do exactly as he does or catch the quality of fish he apparently constantly catches. So, to a lot of anglers, his show is more entertainment than instruction. I still love it and I'll watch until it's not on anymore. An old rerun of his show is better than almost anything else on TV anymore.

 

All my biggest bass came from private waters. I'm still proud and show pics of them for whoever will look.

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Josh there is a big difference between a public pond or lake and a managed private lake or pond. The managed  water is private with controlled fishing pressure. It will not have a stunted fish population but a maximized quality fish population. Depending on its age there could be a large population of big fish. The owner typically maintains a strong forage base so that the bass reach maximum size & growth on an accelerated basis. Knowing the differences between the public & private managed water the fish caught from the managed water will be bigger & healthier than the public water. They might also be easier to catch but not always because they might be more than adequately fed.

 

The question is it cheating is up to you as an individual to determine. Most guys I have fished with do consider the private pond to be easier to catch a big fish than public water. I think the average knowledgeable fisherman realizes that a fishing show done on private water is not going to be as difficult as filming on public water hence the bias. Rest assured  the Bill Dance does catch more & bigger fish from his private waters than he would from public water. It's just an easier film job.

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How much fun would it be to watch Bill, or any other angler with a show, aimlessly throwing lure after lure and not catch anything except dinks?

 

I don't care if they have a scuba diver hooking lunkers to his line out of our site, I watch fishing shows for techniques and large fish being caught. I couldn't care less where he fishes. JMO of course. 

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Watching Bill Dance is kind of like Bob Ross....he paints some quick happy trees and talks about slapping the brush dry. The resulting painting is impressive looking and easy to reproduce and no one claims it is a masterpiece. That's not the point, it's just for entertainment and somewhat also for education.

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I suspect that the majority of bass anglers respect Bill Dance for his contributions to the sport and his fishing ability.  It is a small, but vocal, number that complains about where he fishes on his show.  

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I was watching a video i forgot who the fisherman was but he was going on about how great his lure was. And he didnt catch a single fish the whole day he even said it. I can understand why bill dance used private lakes. Like yhe guy up there said, its a teaching aid

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I've always liked watching Bill Dance. But, then again, I've always assumed Bill wasn't actually making a guarantee I would always catch exactly the quality and quantity of fish on my lakes that he did on his lake......surely, that's a fair assumption, no?

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I'm with you Josh.  And if I'm misinterpreting your argument the fault lies with me.  I watch and love Bill Dance's show for entertainment and educational purposes.  I don't believe if I use the same Quantum rod and reel/Hi Seas line/Gamakatsu hook/BPS plastic/BooyahBanditGarminRangerMercury etc. etc. etc. that I will also catch giant bass like he does.  In fact, I don't use any of the same gear he does.  AND he never says you will catch giant bass if you use what he uses.

 

It's entertaining because who doesn't like to see big bass?

 

And I find it educational because while each show may be centered around a certain bait he always breaks down where he is finding fish and explains why the bait and presentation is a good choice for that situation.  That's what I get out of it.

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The man is 74, almost 75 years old fer cryin' out loud.  He's paid his dues.  He didn't get where he is by being lucky.  For those who like to bad mouth him, I'd wager he could still whip the flip right out of most of them in a fair "fight."

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I would rather watch a show with the host out fishing  public lakes than Bill Dance fishing his private pond. They dont have to  catch big bass for thirty minutes , heck I woulnt even mind watching one get skunked . As long as they  are teaching something .

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I like Bill Dance....I like his show..and I'd love to hang out and fish with him.  That's pretty much my entire opinion of Bill Dance.  As far as a personal best.  Wherever I caught it...as long as I caught it honestly.... it would count.  I guess I don't put as much thought into as some of y'all.

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Many years ago I fished the phosphate pits in the same area where BD films. Believe me, the fishing was as good as it looks on his shows. I read an interview with him and before he found those pits it would take 3 to 5 days to film an episode. It now takes him a day.

Sometimes the fishing in thoses pits can be so good that it's hard to find a lure/color they won't hit. I have tried.

One of the odd things about the pits in that area is that the fish bite best between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm, even during the heat of Florida summers. Great for filming.

If you were in his shoes what would you do ?

By the way, I understand his pits are off of county road 555 south of Bartow, Fl.

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Hey Bill Dance is an I icon. I watched him every week 40 years ago and still do when I can. He was and still is an inspiration to go fishing. Your PB will probably come from a small body of water with less pressure and size than a reservoir. It's a fact of life but frankly who cares? Do you wanna catch and watch people catching big fish or not?

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It's like shooting big deer in a pen. It's not "cheating" because it's legal, but it isn't impressive to me or many others. Advertising and marketing is the name of the game for him these days, if it wasn't he'd get out on public water and show us actual "ideal outcomes". Just my .02

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I wonder how many of these shows take days to get enough fish for an episode. Also wonder if they wear the same clothes for days.

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Comparing fishing on a private pond to hunting in a pen is completely different.  Sure the fish are less pressured and most likely easier to catch but you still have to catch them.  Hunting is completely different as you can see them and shoot them and don't have to trick them into doing anything.

 

All that being said, I like his shows and once you get past the sponsor crap, you can learn a lot.  Sure i may not have the ideal situations that he does on his ponds but i can still look for and try and find similar situations on my home lakes.  The guy is a flat out legend who was AOY 3 times i believe.  

Also, I don't want to see a guy get skunked, how does that teach me anything?  Now one thing that i think would be pretty cool is a show that basically takes Bassmaster magazine's day on the water and puts it into a show.  

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Bill Dance went head to head with the Infisherman Linder boys in the tournaments besides Jimmy Houston etc.

I think he earned his dues.

I fish a few private ponds that has a small area for public access thanks to a judge who owns the land. Am I not worthy of the fish I'm catching? I earn it.

You know who I'd love to fish with? The mad fisherman. Head to head. From shore my choice of spot. Charlie Moore an Irishman playing a Italian godfather. Fish with me the real Tony Soprano will show up.

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His show was so good, it really does not matter. I don't think you can find a more informative show, but I am a Fan for sure!

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The sport of bass fishing owes a lot to The Great Bill Dance. He brought millions into the sport. Part of catching LMB is more than just going to a public lake and attempting to catch bass. I've done it and will continue to do so. My PB came from a private lake learned about from a coworker who liked me and allowed me to fish the private property. I don't feel guilty in the least. Tournament fishermen look for every angle they can get, legally, to know about the large reservoirs they fish. It ain't any different for the common basser to use his wits ....to get the best possible circumstances to catch the beloved LMB.

 

The Old School Basser...

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Our Glenn here with his videos explains more about the bait rigs, setups and how to fish them. When someone explains more clearly it's easier to understand.

It's old school vs new school. It's the passing of the torch soon. Things have changed a lot in the past decade+ I can't keep up with it.

Every time I go away and comeback there's a new rig or a renamed rig.

The fishing game changes. The fish don't change but our equipment surely does.

I learned from Jerry McKinnis, Hank Parker, Bill Dance, Jimmy Houston, but this site with Glenn and u guys really helped educate me to go out there and figure the rest hands on. I respect everyone for doing that. It's skill that catches bass.

The trick to watching how to videos is listen to what they say and do with the rod or how the rig is made. With Bill Dance I watch the rod action closely.

God bless, bill

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A fish from a private pond or a hatchery is much less a challenge to catch.

I fish for a challenge.. if it were that easy I'd go do something else.

I dont fish for survival.. if I did maybe I wouldnt think this way..

 

I never really cared about peoples PB also.. that to me is not an overall judge of how good a fisherman is in my book.. and that is also a measure of fat fishes.  PB is just ego candy.

Thats just one data point.. and a data point from a private pond?  Sorry cant compare that to a more challenging situation on a pressured public lake.

 

No knock on Bill D.. hes gotta shoot a show and show hes catchin bigger fish easy..

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The sport of bass fishing owes a lot to The Great Bill Dance. He brought millions into the sport. Part of catching LMB is more than just going to a public lake and attempting to catch bass. I've done it and will continue to do so. My PB came from a private lake learned about from a coworker who liked me and allowed me to fish the private property. I don't feel guilty in the least. Tournament fishermen look for every angle they can get, legally, to know about the large reservoirs they fish. It ain't any different for the common basser to use his wits ....to get the best possible circumstances to catch the beloved LMB.

 

The Old School Basser...

You make a great point about the pros using every angle they can. Bill has earned the right to not have to trek around for a week or two to get the bass needed to film a show. Besides, most every show on TV-while maybe not filmed on private water- is likely filmed on very fertile public water. Tons of shows have filmed on Okeechobee, Lake Fork, Toledo Bend, Toho, etc. Having good waypoints on these lakes is akin to having access to private water in my opinion.

John Cox is now one of my favorite guys on FLW after I read he fished this year out of a sixteen foot aluminum boat sans transducer, and finished second to Martin in the AOY by less than twenty points! I would love to see the Bassmaster and FLW- for one year-ban all electronics and access to tournament waters nine months prior to tourney. It would be interesting to see who would reign supreme in this format.

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