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

Beyond my comprehension

I’m on the water with my new friend, Alan Patterson, getting ready for the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open later this week. We’re having a pretty good time but I have to say he’s a man with a lifestyle I can hardly comprehend. He’s from Tennessee; he works in a marina; he’s going to fish the Open. And yet, he hasn’t been fishing in over a year — November of 2010 to be exact.

As far as I’m concerned, that’s borderline criminal. Just the thought of it makes me freak out. After two or three days, I’m a mess if I haven’t caught a fish. Fifteen months would put me in counseling, or maybe in a lockdown facility.

I have to say, though, that he’s a heck of a nice fellow. I’m really enjoying spending the day (Tuesday) with him. He can fish, too. He has the equipment and the skills, but not the time. Hopefully, that’ll change for him. In fact, it already has to some extent.

He caught his first fish this morning. Was he ever elated. He danced around on the boat, carrying on like you’d expect. His enthusiasm was infecting. After a short while, I was dancing and hollering with him. Tell me this isn’t a great sport!

Come Thursday, he’ll have no bigger fan than me. I’ll watch the weigh-in with interest, hoping that he’s at the top. I guess I’ve said it a hundred times before but this life is something. It can’t be replaced by anything. I got the biggest kick out of him catching that fish this morning. I was a part of his excitement, a part of making his day. That’s about as good as it gets.

As if all that wasn’t enough, I saw Gerald Swindle this morning. He said I was sexy. That made my day even better. I mean, when a guy like the G-Man thinks you’re sexy, you just might be. I’m sure he didn’t say that just to be funny. It had to be his honest opinion. There’s no doubt it’s something he honestly believes.

We also had an interesting experience with three fish this morning. It looked like two females were on a bed with a small male cruising nearby. I caught the male and immediately released him. I then tried to catch one of the females. They showed some interest but just about the time one of them was getting ready to bite the male returned and grabbed the lure.

I’m sure it was the same fish. He didn’t show any hesitation in protecting the nest even though he’d been caught two or three minutes before. It was amazing. You’d think he’d be wary after something as traumatic as being hooked and brought to the boat. Not so with him. He had a job to do and he was going to do it no matter the cost. On some level you have to admire that.

Next Wednesday we’ll review the tournament — lessons learned and all that.

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