Florida's over. It's time to get serious about the rest of the season, and the Alabama Charge on Pickwick Lake is the place to start doing it.
Last week was a really good week. I got to spend uninterrupted time with the family, and we had a media event with Toyota on Guntersville. That refreshed me to some extent. I was able to talk with Becky, play with the kids, go fun fishin', take a few photos and do several interviews. I guess you could say I'm of a new mind these days.
By the time you read this, I'll be on my second day of practice. This tournament is scheduled differently. We're competing Wednesday through Saturday, so we have enough time to drive to Toledo Bend for the next one. Hopefully, I'll be developing Plan B and C. If not, I'm in a world of trouble.
My idea is to launch Sunday morning — I'm writing this Saturday — with no preconceived ideas about what's going on. I'm not thinking about prespawn, postspawn or (thankfully) bed fishing. I'm just going to go out and cruise around looking for a strong bite. I'll let the fish tell me what's happening.
That's the way we should do it, anyway. It's always a mistake to think you know about the bite before you start fishing. Every year is different. Weather changes, temperature changes and fishing pressure can wreck the best plans. I know. It's happened to me several times over the years.
To be fair, however, it's a little easier for me to do this on Pickwick than it would be to do it on other lakes. I've always had a good amount of success here, so I feel confident I can find them and catch them. Last year I finished 11th here, and, if a few things had gone my way, I might have been in a position to win it.
Another thing that factors into my new attitude is that I'm coming off a tough tournament. For some reason — honestly, I don't know why — I seem to have a good tournament after I've had a bad tournament. I think that might be because I go back to fundamentals and because I pay more attention to the little things.
There's nothing like screwing up to get your attention. There's this sudden realization that success is not guaranteed, that there's a hundred guys out there who will eat your lunch in a New York minute if you let them.
Like now, as I do this blog, I'm thinking about developing multiple plans. If things go my way, I'll spend Sunday and Monday developing two or three ways to catch them. Then, on Tuesday, I'll spend the half-day I have left fine-tuning everything and looking for the detail within the plan that'll make a difference.
We'll see if history holds true this week, and maybe talk about it next week in the blog.