Find your level

Last week was an exciting one for me. On Thursday I did a demonstration at a local pond here in Columbus for the Walnut Springs Middle School Fishing Club and my local high school club, the Hartley Hogs. I spent about an hour going through my boat and telling them all about it. They must have been interested because I gave them the option of going fishing if they were bored and no one left. I guess that means they cared, or at least they were polite enough not to turn their backs on me and walk away.

One funny thing did happen during my presentation, though. I always tell everyone that there are no dumb questions. If you want to know something, you should ask. Well, one of the parents in the crowd asked if they could use my boat for a local tournament last weekend. I was forced to tell him that I was wrong. There are dumb questions. (I think he was kidding.)

After that, we all went fishing in the pond. They seemed to have a good time. There was one little girl there who had never caught a bass. I worked as hard as I could to help her. She finally hooked one, but it got off right at the bank. I think I was more upset than she was. It broke my heart. I was reminded of something by that. Most fishermen and women just want to go fishing. They expect some of them will get loose. That's the way it is. They don't fish professionally, and they don't take things like that so seriously. That's the beauty of our sport. You can participate in it at so many different levels.

Here was this young girl who was happy to just hook and fight a bass. She wasn't at all upset — well, maybe a little — that it got away. On some level, I really admire that attitude. Of course, it wouldn't work for me. I need to land them if I'm going to make any money and especially if I'm going to call myself a successful professional.

Speaking of that, Kentucky Lake is just around the corner. I think it'll be a great tournament this year. The water is in good shape and there should be some current. I'm guessing we'll really catch them next week. Don't forget, it starts on Wednesday. I think that's so we have an extra day to drive to Oklahoma for the final one out of Muskogee, Okla.

It's time for me to go. I'm writing this on Tuesday. I need to get some work done and then head out towards my Tuesday night club event. This week is especially important. I want to get back in the swing of things for next week. I want to make it four in a row.

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