With only three events left the 2013 Elite Series Season is entering the home stretch. It's a different situation this year. but with a solid northern run (Wisconsin, Up State New York & Michigan) I should be able to qualify for another Bassmaster Classic.
Last year at this time I was leading the Angler of the Year race and I had already clinched a spot in the Classic, by virtue of my Open win early in the year. This year I am sitting in 26th position and inside the cut. That's the good news. The bad news is I can't safe "safely inside the cut", as with this group of anglers nothing is safe until the final day of the final tournament.
I like the places we are headed starting today at the Mississippi River here in La Crosse, Wisconsin. All of the fisheries including this one, the St. Lawrence River and Lake St. Clair are excellent places to fish and should give up some big bags while we are there.
The reason I wanted to discuss the difference between where I am this year and where I was last year is so that I can explain the difference it could make in my fishing, and probably yours, as well. Fishing with the security of knowing I had already made the Bassmaster Classic, allowed me to fish more freely last year. I was able to make decisions without considering the repercussions if they didn't work out.
Decisions that on that seem to mean more like a berth in the Bassmaster Classic, a check to pay the bills, a tournament victory or just beating your buddy for a lunch bet can make it tougher to make and can change the way you fish. That's why for many people their best days of fishing are fun fishing days or pre-fishing days. I believe that's because there is nothing riding on your decisions, so you make them more freely and without hesitation or second guessing.
Combatting this problem is difficult, the more you tell yourself to just "go fishing" the worse it gets. The best thing I can say is fish the moment and don't think about the end results. Focus on the cast you just made or the one you about to make and the end results will take care of themselves.
Heading down the home stretch for the 2013 Elite Series season I am going to try and take my own advice and worry about the moment and not the result and hope that's enough to get me to Guntersville in 2014.
I'd also like to offer a huge congratulations to Randy Howell and the Howell family for Randy's win at the Bassmaster Open and the James River. Randy is an incredible angler and while the wins have eluded him for a few years, success and great tournaments have not. Hope this win snowballs into many more victories for you buddy!