2012 Elite Series St. Johns River Showdown St. Johns River - Palatka, FL, Mar 15 - 18, 2012

Spending time with dad

I’m in Florida fishing the St. Johns River and getting ready to pick my dad up at the airport. He’s flying in from out West to fish with me for a few days. It’s been far too long since we’ve had a chance to do that. I’m really looking forward to it.

Besides, he might find a good spot that holds lots of big bass. That wouldn’t hurt my feelings one bit with the upcoming Elite tournament on the horizon. Pros catch more bass than recreational anglers but that doesn’t mean that recreational anglers can’t catch them. They can, and do. Their input is invaluable.

The St. Johns goes off-limits February 13, about a month before the competition starts on March 15. That’s one of the tough things about the Elite tournaments. With such a time lapse between the water being open to fishing and then closed, it’s hard to target and pattern bass, especially at this time of the year when they’re moving around.

The bass aren’t all moving to their beds in one or two waves like usual. They’re moving whenever it suits their fancy, or at least that’s the way it looks to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if the spawn is basically over by March. That’s OK with me, though. I’m not the best bed fisherman, anyway. I’d just as soon cast and wind.

For now, though, I’m going to concentrate on spending time with dad. Fishing’s a great way to do that. You can have that one-on-one experience and it doesn’t much matter if you catch them or not. I mean, it’s better to catch them but that’s not what the next few days are all about. The quality time together is what matters.

All that’s even more true on the St. Johns River. This place is beyond beautiful, and it’s full of wildlife. There are animals of all kind and description along the bank as well as about a million birds. Of course, the alligators are the real thing. I’ve never gotten used to them being around the boat. They’re beautiful but at the same time frightening. You can’t help but admire them.

Once dad leaves, I’ll be on the road for awhile. First, I’ll be fishing a tournament in another circuit and after that it’ll be sponsor time. I have appearances at sport shows scheduled for Berkley, Abu Garcia, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. That’s a full schedule but I don’t mind. It’s a labor of love.

Sponsors make this sport successful. I’m sure glad to have mine, especially when you consider the high-quality of the products they make. It’s the kind of tackle and equipment I’m proud to own and promote. I can recommend it without hesitation.

I have to go. The airplane might be on time. I don’t want dad to have to wait. Next time I’ll give you a full report on how many we caught and how big they were, and what a great time we had.

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