2013 Bass Pro Shops Central Open #2 Arkansas River - Muskogee, OK, Sep 19 - 21, 2013

Checking in from the Arkansas River

About the author

Shaye Baker

Shaye Baker

Though Shaye Baker spent his college years fishing in front of the camera, he now finds himself behind it pursuing a career in outdoor journalism. For more from Shaye, click here.

Tough but fair. That’s the mood from the front deck of my boat this week. I’ve been practicing for the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open on the Arkansas River since Saturday and the bite has definitely been hit or miss. I’ve had one good day, one decent day and two terrible days. My good day consisted of only four keepers for around 11 pounds but once I started catching fish I laid off that area and haven’t been back.

That’s not to say someone else hasn’t been pounding that area this week, though. There are a lot of boats on the water so I won’t really know what I’ve found until about midday on Day One. I have a game plan at least through Day One and a couple backups so we’ll see what happens and go from there.

I’m thinking somewhere around 12 to 14 pounds a day could win this thing. If it takes more than that, it will be on the merit of one huge day where someone catches two big ones and hits the 18-pound mark then coasts through the other two days with 12 to 14.

I’m not sure if I’m on the fish to win but I’m on enough to give me a chance. In my main area, my practice partner, Chad Menard, had his three fish co-angler limit for around 11 pounds as well. So the quality is there. Unfortunately, this is going to be a tournament where you can’t overcome mistakes. The winner will have to fish flawlessly.

Either way, Day One is upon us and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. On a side note, many of you may have read my most recent blog, Becoming a Fit Fisherman, about getting back into shape. This week has been my first road trip test and so far things are going really well.  

I’ve been able to avoid the morning sausage biscuits and afternoon hamburgers. Sticking to supplement shakes in the morning and at lunch while I’m on the water and then eating a reasonable dinner consisting of veggies, protein and the occasional brown rice. Keeping apples, peanuts and granola bars in the boat in case I get hungry in between.

Since I’ve been on the water 13 hours a day, I haven’t started any exercise routine. Out here, 13 hours of fishing is workout enough. But I have been receiving several workout and diet tips from other anglers on my facebook page. If you have anything that you want to share, be sure to message me on there.

For now, wish me luck! It’s time to hammer on ‘em… hopefully.

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