As I sit here, at gate 5 of the Tulsa International Airport, I can’t keep my mind from being on the water. I’m thinking back on the decisions I’ve made on the water during these past few events, both good and bad. “Where would I have finished if I had stayed in that particular area longer? What would have happened if I had tried that particular lure sooner?” It’s easy to critique, after the event, when the pressure has lifted, but it’s also a great exercise that can lead to improvements down the road.
I’m almost through my late summer tournament grind, and it is simply crunch time on the Bassmaster Elite Series. August was a solid month, and we are where we need to be going into the post season. The ultimate goal every season is to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic. While every Elite Series event is big, none hold a candle to “The Classic”. It’s our championship, and only 39 of the 107 anglers on tour qualify to compete for the title. Sitting in 36th place with only one post-season event remaining, I am a bubble boy looking to solidify my spot.
Since writing my last blog, I’ve fished three events. The first of the three (held on the St. Lawrence River) was an event I’ll remember for a long time. After three days of competition, I was sitting in second place, with a chance to win very well within reach. The final day didn’t go as I had hoped, and I fell to 11th place. Although I was bummed to miss out on such a great opportunity, it was a fun week and I caught some giant smallmouth bass. I was able to fish my favorite technique over that week, the drop shot rig. It’s always important to take advantage of events like this that suit your style of fishing. I was able to do that, and took away some solid points towards the classic. The next two events were split – a solid finish at the Chesapeake Bay, and one poor event on the Detroit River.
I’ll be spending the next week at home with my wife. We’re looking into buying our first home and it’ll be a good time to start searching for one. After the week, it’ll be back to Tulsa where I’ll be fishing a Central Open Tournament on Fort Gibson Lake. While I’d love to do well on Fort Gibson, I need to stay rested and healthy leading into the following week where I’ll be competing in the most important event of the season. The Angler of the Year Championship post-season event, which will be the final points event to qualify for the Classic. If I can pull off a solid finish, I’ll qualify for my second career Classic. A lot of pressure… But I wouldn’t have it any other way!