The first tournament of the year is off and running, which always brings excitement to the sport. A new year, new goals, and new guys will qualify for the Classic and Bassmaster Elite Series.
I wish I was down in Florida fishing in the BASS Open this week, but I am stuck here in TN getting everything lined up for the Classic. I am following the event very closely though, because my brother, Jordan, is fishing in it. His goal is to qualify for the Elites and join me on tour. He came real close last year, finishing 14th place in the BASS Southern Open standings. I really hope he can do it this year, and he is off to a good start (sitting in 21st place after day 1).
I was able to take some time off last week and get down there to pre-practice with Jordan before the official practice started. We don't get to fish together that much, so anytime we do is always a treat. We caught a lot of fish and had a great time.
It seems like every time we go to Florida, we learn a little more. We figured out several different patterns while I was there. We caught fish flipping stickbaits to lily pads, punching creature baits to the real thick cover, and sight-fishing bedding areas. And we got them fired up on "The Ace" (a custom vibrating jig that I make). "The Ace" is very unique and very few people know about it. The ones that know about it are sworn to secrecy. We caught some real good ones on it.
Who knows which pattern Jordan will use tomorrow, but he does have options. The fishing down there is real funky right now with the cold fronts that keep coming through. Having different options is essential in tournament bass fishing. If you only have one pattern going, nine times out of ten, it doesn’t work out. When Jordan and I practice, we try to keep everything as broad as possible, and only get dialed in on each tournament day.
He is only 2 lbs. out of the top 12 cut. I hope he can build on what he learned today and move up to fish the final day. If he can get dialed into to exactly what they are doing tomorrow, he will bring in a good bag. I think Jordan will do it; I’ve got confidence in him.
Dare to fail!