The season's over, and going into that last tournament already knowing that I wasn't going to make the Classic changed my perspective. Last year, if I was to say I wanted to end the season on a positive note I would've said I want to make the Top 12 and possibly have a chance to fish the championship day for the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title.
This year, however, saying I wanted to finish strong meant I wanted to cash a check at the last event. Quite a stark contrast. I did accomplish my somewhat lower goal of cashing a check, but my policy has always been to try and get momentum in the right direction, even if it's in baby steps.
I will be working hard in the offseason to try and get some things changed for next year. My offseason work started at the end of the last tournament. I stayed in Ft. Gibson a few days extra for a writer's junket that PRADCO was hosting. While photo shoots are a lot of fun, they're also a lot of work. Throughout the day you catch a lot of fish and put them in the livewell to use for photos later. Once you're ready, or the light's good, you break out the camera and fish and start shooting. By the time it's over, the photographer has taken hundreds of photos and your hands are bleeding form lipping lots of bass. It was also about 100 degrees that day.
Now I need to find something to occupy my time until next year's season begins! Since I won't be fishing the Classic, I won't have a BASS event until March 2011. That's about the longest offseason I've had. I will be going back down to Falcon to try and catch my heaviest bass ever. The mark is 11 1/2 pounds.
Speaking of next season, I'll give you my thoughts on that. When I look at the schedule, I see a couple really good lakes on there but I wish we were fishing them at a different time, when we'd have a viable chance to go after a Century Belt (catching a 100-plus-pound stringer over four tournament days). There will not be one given next year. I think the Harris Chain and Toledo Bend have the best chance. Those are probably the best tournaments we'll have, and they're the ones I'm looking forward to most. The St. John's River will be another good one. The rest are more or less the same.
Well, the motor home is all fixed up, just in time to go into storage and we're on the way to pick it up in Austin. Oh, I think I'll pick up an iPad while I'm there, they seem pretty handy.