2012 Bass Pro Shops Southern Open #1 Harris Chain of Lakes - Tavares, FL, Jan 19 - 21, 2012

2012 is underway

A lot of guys ask me how many tournaments I fish in a year. The truth is I’ve slowed down recently. A good guess would be that I’ll hit maybe 40 big ones and another dozen or so smaller ones this year. That’s really about all I can handle. Last Sunday was my first one for 2012.

Terry Segraves and I fished one on Toho just for fun. He lives down here and we’ve been friends and competitors for years. I can’t say we did all that well because we only weighed four ordinary size fish. Let’s face it, when you have a team that catches a 10-pounder and an 8-pounder that doesn’t get you much of anything. Our take for the day was a couple of free hotdogs. (They were good, though.)

Nevertheless, we had fun spending time together on the water. And I had a chance to thaw after the Ohio cold front. That’s not all bad.

I’m on the Harris Chain right now. This weather is wonderful. I ran full throttle this morning in a shirt and a pair of shorts. How great is that? I know I talk a lot about Florida but I’m telling you I’m in love with this place. It has great weather and great fishing. That’s pretty much all I need — other than Tracey, of course.

Terry is a serious bass angler who’s going to fish the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open next week. We’re going to share a room, I think, even though he only lives about an hour away. A surprising number of guys do that. It helps them get into their tournament mode and allows them to concentrate on the task at hand — accumulating weight and cashing checks.

He’s also working on a new rig — note that I didn’t say new bait — that I think will be a huge success. I can’t say too much about it right now because he’ll probably want to protect it with a patent or something. It’s really unique. We’ll do more on that in a later column after he has some legal protections for his work.

That’s the thing about fishing. It’s been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years but there’s still room for growth. We haven’t exhausted all the ways there are for catching fish. That’s crazy, isn’t it? It just doesn’t make sense if you stop to think about it.  

With all the technical advancements our world has made we still have room for something new that’ll help us trick an animal that’s basically prehistoric, coldblooded with a brain no bigger than a pea. Maybe we aren’t as smart as we think we are.

Enough of that for now; it’s time to get back to fishing. If I’m going to make the Classic this year, I need to find some big ones and win this thing next week. I just might, too. I’m playing Kevin VanDam, throwing a crankbait and churning up the water. 

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