The regular season is over. I'm sitting in fourth place in the top 12 for the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title. I'm OK with that. Of course, I'd rather be higher, but overall I can't complain. I'm in a position where winning is possible. That's about as much as you can realistically ask for as a professional angler.
Fort Gibson was a good event for me. I was able to catch what I needed to stay in the hunt and move up a few places. Just as important — well, almost as important — it was a lot of fun. I don't think I've ever been anywhere where the fans were more enthusiastic or more courteous. It was a real pleasure to fish there.
The fans followed us around and watched us fish but never crowded us, moved in on our spots or tried to catch our fish. They spent their time watching and learning how we picked their lake apart but never interfered with the way we were fishing. They're great. I can't say enough good about those guys.
I've been asked a lot about my season. I won the Classic, didn't do as well as I wanted for a few tournaments early on and then moved up in the standings. A lot of our fans want to know what's going on. That's a fair question, but you might be surprised by the answer. There's nothing earthshaking about it.
Here's the deal: Sometimes things go your way and sometimes they don't. I didn't fish any different at any point this season. I fish every event to win. There were a few tournaments where I had things happen that hurt my final performance. That's all there was to it, no big deal.
Bad breaks — lost fish, equipment malfunctions — happen to all of us. It's how you handle them that counts. I'm fishing as well as I ever have right now. That's what's important. Professionals have to be at their best during the stretch run.
With that in mind I'm really looking forward to Alabama. Lake Jordan and the Alabama River are two great fisheries, perfect for postseason competition.
But they're a month away. Before then I have a couple of things to do. First, as soon as I get home, I'll be heading to Florida to participate in festivities surrounding the Coke Zero 400. It's a part of the Bass Pro Shops' advertising campaign involving Jamie McMurray and me. We're both sponsored by them and we won the Daytona 500 and the Bassmaster Classic in the same week.
Once that's over, I'll fly back home and then we're all going on a family vacation with friends of the boys. I'm really looking forward to that. My travel schedule keeps me away from my family for periods of time so I really cherish the time I do have with them.
Remember, it's all about the attitude.