2011 Elite Series - Sunshine Showdown Harris Chain of Lakes - Tavares, FL, Mar 10 - 13, 2011

Practice makes perfect!

2008 Classic champion Alton Jones

I'm here on the Harris Chain in Florida today for the first day of practice of the Elite Series season. I've been idling and trolling around quite a bit trying to put the finishing touches on my game plan. Eliminating water is one of the most important things you can do in practice for a tournament, and I've done quite a bit of that today. I have found some stuff, too.

The first day of practice is really about figuring out what "mode" the fish are in. Here on the Harris Chain, there are still some fish that are spawning, but it's the late part of the spawn right now, so there are postspawn fish, too. This means that guys will be able to bed fish as well as fish out a little bit. There aren't as many big ones up on beds right now as we usually see here because it's a little late. There are lots of small males, some with white sores on their mouth from playing the game already this year.

Like I was saying, eliminating water is important. You're really trying to eliminate water so you can determine where you want to fish in the tournament. So far, I've checked about eight or nine different areas and of those, I've found about two that will be worth visiting during the tournament. I've found enough fish right now for one day. During practice, if you can find enough fish for one tournament day, you're doing pretty good. With that in mind, I hope the rest of the week goes as well as today has.

It's really good to get out on the water in a competitive manner. I did a lot of fun fishing in the offseason, but it's not the same as when you're out there and have your brain and focus on 100 percent. I'm really enjoying it, and hopefully I'll have a good report for you all next week.

Little Alton is fishing a tournament at Lake Amistad soon. From there he goes straight to Toledo Bend for his first collegiate tournament for the Baylor Bears. He's on spring break right now and enjoying it. It kind of reminds me of my spring break; you fish all the time then go back to class worn out!

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