It was a good final practice day. On the last practice day of any Bassmaster Classic, I try to do two things. The first is to expand on what I’ve already learned and developed. The second is to hunt around for something that holds giant bass — the kind of fish that’ll put things out of reach. I accomplished the first and made a small start towards the second.
One thing I don’t do is return to the spots I found during the earlier practice … almost never anyway. I followed that plan today. I didn’t fish a single spot I found on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. In fact, I didn’t even look at them. Less temptation is better in some cases.
What I did do was search out similar spots and refine my approach to them. I’m happy with what I accomplished doing that. The basic thing is to see how far you can expand a pattern. Things like how far out or in, deep or shallow you can fish and what other baits they’ll bite can become critically important as the tournament goes along and more and more fish have been caught.
I was also able to eliminate some things. A lot of guys don’t realize how important that can be. We’re (professional anglers) not just talking when we say that after a tough day with little or no action, at least we know where they aren’t and what they’re not biting. That’s a critical time saver. When we’re under the gun, and time is running out, that information will tell us what not to do. It’s an efficiency thing, especially in a tournament like the Classic where there’s really only one place to finish.
My search for the mother lode wasn’t as successful, but at least I have some ideas about how and what it’ll take to get the big kickers that the winner will almost certainly need. I’m not going to say any more about that right now, but after everything’s over I’ll go into it in detail. I hope you understand. This is a Bassmaster Classic.
I stayed out all day, and I wish I could have stayed longer. The weather was tough but this is bass fishing at the professional level. And, in a crazy way the weather was an advantage. I’m actually glad it happened the way it did. We know it’s going to be cold come Friday so this was a great opportunity to put all of my equipment to the test.
Some of my day was spent casting with all of my rods and reels to make sure they’ll work in the cold. I also opened up my boat to see that everything there was OK. Most important, I filled my livewells and ran all the pumps as well as used everything on my boat. I happy to say I had no problems. It all looks like it’s good to go.
As far as I’m concerned, things are great. I’m ready to go fishing on Friday. We’ll get into some other stuff in tomorrow’s column.