There is always disappointment when you're leading a tournament and then don't win, but especially when you lead the whole thing and fall to third. I want to win every event that I fish, but losing in a situation like this is tough. At the same time, you have to be realistic. I'm still pleased with my finish.
I knew after practice that all of my eggs were in the sight-fishing basket on Lake George. That's where I spent my entire three days of practice. I knew that if there were conditions that killed the sight bite, I'd have to scramble. Unfortunately, that's the way that it played out, and it happened on the final day. I still feel like my decision to practice all three days in that area is what led me to a third-place finish. If I hadn't done that, I wouldn't have done as well.
By the way, Yum's new F2 formula took first, second and third at this event. Both Terry Scroggins and Edwin Evers were using Yum soft plastics. Edwin was pitching a Money Craw and a Woolly Bug while I was using the F2 Dinger. At the Harris Chain last week, Terry and I made the last day using Yum F2 plastics. I guess the secret is out!
I really don't have any regrets, but on a more spiritual and philosophical side, I completely believe that I went out and caught the fish that God wanted me to catch. I went out and gave it my best and left the results in God's hands, and I'm grateful for the fish that I caught this week. Looking back at it, now that I'm leading the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race, I'm pumped. The swing through Florida was positive, and I look at this as a momentum shift from last year.
A lot of you know that I'm a big fan of playing the stock market. One of the things that you watch for in stocks is momentum. When stocks bottom out, they'll oftentimes turn and be pushed back upward with very powerful momentum, and I think the same thing occurs in fishing. That's what I'm going through right now. I'm on the way up!
This gives me a lot of confidence going into the next event and makes me want to bear down, work hard and do everything I can to retain my lead in the Angler of the Year race. While leading AOY is great, the best part of the week was having my family — Jimmye Sue, Kristen and Jamie — there at the dock for both launch and weigh-in. They're like any kids whose father goes to work — they don't care how Dad did at work, they're just glad that he's back. They add such a positive dynamic to my fishing. It's great, and I love them very much and appreciate their support.
We spent 19 hours in the car yesterday coming home, and I didn't realize just how exhausted I was until we actually hit the house. My intent was to sleep in this morning, but sleeping in for a fisherman is 6:30. So I was up bright and early and making phone calls to my sponsors to get ready for the upcoming event. I'm already starting to plan the next leg of the season. I'm going to try and get some R&R. Included in that is some Baylor Lady Bears basketball.