This week was a good one for me. I not only got another Elite Series win, I pulled up into the top 12 in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race. I've never made a secret of the fact that my goal is to fish the postseason.
After the first day I knew I had a chance to earn a few bonus points. That really pushed me on, made me fish even harder. Twenty points is huge, especially when you're down a ways from where you want to be when the season ends. (Twenty extra points is what you get if you lead a tournament all four days.)
I'm in eighth place with 1,549 points. That puts me 272 points away from Skeet (Reese) but only 38 points into the top 12. That means I have to turn my attention to the Arkansas River and really do well this week. This is no time to slip or have a bad performance.
But, like I said in one of the post-tournament interviews, sometimes you're on a roll and sometimes you're not. Just one or two things can make all the difference in the world in your results. I never predict anything before it happens. I can tell you, however, that I'll be giving it everything I have all week long. I intend to fish in July if at all possible.
I don't mind telling you I was getting a little concerned about things going into Kentucky Lake. I wasn't where I wanted to be, and I wasn't fishing the way I wanted to fish. That's a fact. There's no denying it. I can do basic math.
At the same time, some of what was being said just wasn't true. All the questions about what was wrong with me were silly. I laughed when I heard them. There was nothing wrong with me. I was doing just fine. I had a few things that didn't go my way. That's all there was to it.
Here's the blunt truth about life at the Bassmaster Elite Series level: Make the slightest mistake, or have the slightest thing go wrong, and the other guys will jump up and bite you. Everybody out here can catch fish. This is a sport of ounces, not pounds. I had some things go wrong and I was paying the price for it.
I know you're thinking that a lot of the tournaments are won by pounds, but that's the final result. Those pounds are made up of fish that are separated by very little weight. Miss a good bite, have one shake off at the boat or screw up in some other way and you'll get beat — every single time. There are no exceptions.
It all comes down to my performance this week. If I catch fish, I'm in; otherwise, I'm out. That's the way I like it.
Remember, it's all about the attitude.