This week has been a dream come true for me and my family. To win a sixth Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title in the same year I won a Bassmaster Classic is unbelievable. I really can't say much more than that about it. To be honest, I'm not sure it's all sunk in yet.
The AOY title is even more special because I came from behind to accomplish it. This is a tough business with lots of really good anglers fishing in it. It's not easy to make up ground on these guys. They all know how to win. I respect them and their abilities immensely.
The toughest part about it might have been the heat. I don't think I've ever fished that long in that much heat. It was really tough to keep going out there. To handle it, I followed a strict routine when I was on the water.
I start drinking water and Gatorade early in the morning, before I feel thirsty. I usually alternate between a water and a Gatorade and follow that routine all day. (I like the new stuff that doesn't have much sugar in it.)
At the same time I rub lots of ice on my neck. That helps. When that doesn't do enough, I put a few ice cubes on top of my head, inside my hat. I know that sounds crazy but you'd be surprised how much heat that'll draw away from your body. Give it a try sometime.
Taking the time to drink, use ice and eat a little something during the day may cost me a cast or two, but I know it makes the rest of my casts more efficient. You can't fish competitively unless you're at you're best physically and mentally.
We've talked about that in other blogs, but it's worth repeating here. There's a lot of hot weather left in most parts of our country. If we're going to compete efficiently, we have to deal with it. That's true if you're doing this for fun on the weekends or all week long to earn a living.
The rest of this week will be busy. I'm going to Connecticut to do TV with ESPN. When that's over, I'm going to take a day or two off. After that, I have a ton of filming to do for my sponsors. That'll last until almost the 2011 Bassmaster Classic.
In the coming weeks I'll detail some of the tricks and techniques I used this year to catch my fish as well some of things I should have used when I didn't catch them.
Remember, it's all about the attitude.