BASSfest from Chickamauga is in the books, and I continue to make rookie mistakes. You can get a lot of “rookie” advice before you start fishing at this level and it seems I’ve tuned out the most important piece I’ve gotten.
I just looked at the website overview of the tournament, and it’s no surprise that the majority of the success came offshore of the Tennessee River ledges, but there was also lot of success found underneath the boat docks on Lake Chickamauga (ask Matt Herren). Really? That’s mostly all I do back home is fish boat docks and marinas, and I totally disregarded that whole option. I went out to those ledges and never found the critical sweet spots needed to be successful at that style of fishing, but I kept doing that because that’s where I thought I needed to be. I can catch them out there, but as we all know finding deep fish is a lot more time consuming; and when you factor in the river current, it’s different than fishing deep as we do back home. I’m sure the majority of the fish were out there, but with limited time and experience on this lake I would have been better off fishing for less numbers but putting myself in a more confident situation. My decisions this year have been way too complicated and it has resulted in one of my worst years of fishing at absolutely the worst time. All I can do is keep trying to go forward, but what I really need to do is get to basics I wish I could say it’s going to get easier, but the next stop is the Delaware River with a 6- to 7-foot tide influence and I have never fished tidal waters. That should be a challenge.
I did get to participate in the High School Elite experience on Saturday and wanted to say thanks to B.A.S.S. for putting that together. It was an awesome experience for me. It was the opportunity for the local high school anglers to meet some of the Elite pros, and they had some good ones in attendance – Randy Howell, Keith Combs, and Todd Faircloth just to name a few. I wish I would have had stuff like this when I was back in high school. The kids got to rotate around and meet with all the anglers, ask questions, and just talk about fishing. Kids now are so far advanced from when I first started. Thanks to their parents and coaches for getting them involved in fishing. They are definitely the future of the sport and if there is anything I can do to help with that I am willing. This sport has provided me with so many unforgettable moments in my life, I love to see the youth participation.
Dream It. Believe It. Live It.