The first thing I saw one day last week was my son Cal in the boat between two docks with his rod all bowed over and bent in a circle. It looked like one of those pictures you see in a magazine. I thought he was hung on something but the more I watched I realized that he had a big fish on. To be honest, though, at the time I thought it was probably a drum or something. I wasn’t very excited.
We’d told him he could fish out of an old boat we have here that we use mostly for duck hunting. It was his first trip by himself. Even though he’s only 10 years old, he’s very responsible and has had lots of education on the water. It’s not like he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Besides, he’s only allowed right behind the house in a little bay and he always has to wear his lifejacket.
So, anyway, he’s fighting this fish and I’m watching from the bank. He did it like a real pro. He worked it around the front of the boat and did a good job keeping it off the trolling motor. And, when he got it to the boat, he did a nice job of getting it into the net, just like I taught him. He held it up. It was a giant largemouth bass. That’s when I did get excited.
I managed to flag down a neighbor who was driving by, and we took lots of pictures. I think I was more excited than he was, and I know I was more excited for him than I would have been if I’d caught it myself. Anyone out there who’s a parent understands what I’m talking about.
We didn’t have anything to weigh her with so we measured her. She was 24 inches long and had a 19-inch girth. A friend figured out something with a mathematical formula. He said she weighed 10.41 pounds unofficially. We’ll take that.
That’s my story for the week after my Classic win. The family tradition continues on.
Other than that, the only thing I can say is that I’m beginning to understand what the other guys have done after their wins. It’s a crazy schedule. Two days ago, last Sunday, I had to fly to Little Rock for some shows about the Classic. Then I had to hightail it to Florida to get ready for the first Elite Series tournament on the St. Johns River. This is nonstop. It’s great. I love every minute of it.
I do want to make sure that I get my head straightened out for the tournaments this year, though. There’s no reason for something that happened in the past to affect my future fishing in a negative way. I can see how that could happen if you let things get out of hand. I’ll have to work on that.
Hey — last week was my brother Bobby’s birthday. Happy birthday, Bobby! See you in Florida.