2011 Elite Series - Pride of Georgia West Point Lake - LaGrange, GA, May 5 - 8, 2011

A new phone and an old RV

Alton Jones
Jimmye Sue home-schooling our three children at the table.

Well, those of you who follow along weekly may recall last week how I waded into Toledo Bend and destroyed my iPhone in the process. That stinks, right? I wish all of my phone troubles went away at that point, but it got worse.

That was during practice, so during the tournament, I borrowed Jimmye Sue's phone because you always want a phone on the water in case of an emergency situation. Then, we gave Jimmye Sue my daughter's phone so that I could reach her in an emergency. Well, the very next day Jimmye Sue dropped my daughter's phone and shattered the screen! So that was two iPhones down in a week. But it's still not over. I made a long boat ride on Day Two, and wound up getting Jimmye Sue's phone wet on the way back. That brings the count to three phones in a week!

However, we heard of a neat trick to rescue a phone that gets a little wet. You take a bag of rice and put the phone in it, and it should dry it out completely. Thankfully, the trick brought Jimmye Sue's phone back to life, and I only had to buy two new phones. I'm glad that my mishaps on the water at Toledo Bend all dealt with iPhones and not fishing performance or Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year points.

I'm very grateful to have survived Toledo Bend, and also to have extended my lead in the AOY points race. I was a little concerned when I was in 28th after Day One, but one thing that you always want to do if you can is to move up in the standings each day, and thankfully I was able to accomplish that and finish in 16th place. I must say, perspective and momentum are everything.

Last year, I had one of the worst seasons of my career. At this point last year, my attitude was such that I was thrilled to make a check. This year, I'm disappointed when I don't make the Top 12. It's amazing how quickly expectations can change. Again, I'm thankful to the Lord for allowing me to get this far.

I know He's the one who is providing my fish each week, and I want to walk as closely as I can to Him. A verse that I've been focusing on this season is Matthew 6:33 which says "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." In my life, I'm seeking after His kingdom, and he's adding the other things (fish) to me. Now, there's no guarantee for the fish each week, but I'm grateful for each one.

When we got home this past week, we had so much laundry that we didn't attempt to do it ourselves, so we dropped it off at a cleaners. I think Jimmye Sue told me that we had 105 pounds of laundry that we dropped off this morning. Yikes.

On a more exciting note, we're purchasing a new-to-us motor home, and we're excited about it. The one that we have isn't quite strong enough to pull our double decker trailer, so this new one's got more grunt to it and will be an all-around upgrade. With the economy the way it is, we got a good deal on it. So, if you want to buy a motor home, I've got one for sale!

It's a Phaeton that we bought when the kids were small, and we have lots of memories in it, so it's kind of sad seeing it go, but we're ready for an upgrade.

One final thing: I'm cautiously optimistic about West Point Lake. Although I've never fished a tournament there before, I did get a chance to get out and do some scouting a little while ago. There are three things that make me optimistic: (1) the fish will probably be out of their postspawn funk by the time the tournament gets there, (2) the water will have cleared up (there was flooding in the area when I scouted earlier), and (3) the water will be at full pool. It was low when I was there before.

I think I learned where the bar is set, and I know the size of fish that I'll need to do well there. But the three most important days are still coming up: the official practice. Stay tuned and I'll keep you all up to date.

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