There’s a happening among professional anglers called tournament hangover. It’s what happens after the first cut when you wake up and realize that the tournament didn’t go your way. All the anticipation is over. Reality has arrived. You feel awful, tired, stiff and cranky. My wife, Tracey, helped me find a cure for that on Saturday of last week after the cut in Detroit.
For the past couple of years, she hasn’t traveled with me. It’s just too much. But last week she decided to drive up and see me. She said Detroit was fairly close and she felt like doing something special for me. It was a total surprise.
She brought my niece, Morgan, with her. I love to hear that kid say, “Uncle Charlie.” There’s something about how she does it that makes me feel like the most special guy in the whole world. It’s an ego thing, I know, but I don’t care. I love it!
After a good breakfast we waited until the anglers who had made the cut were finished fishing — I didn’t want to take a chance on interfering with them in any way — and headed out to catch some smallies of our own. Despite my lousy finish, I was catching a lot of fish, between 50 and 80 a day. So, I wasn’t concerned about finding a few hungry fish.
Morgan has done little or no fishing so this was all new to her. I pulled up to a spot I knew had fish on it, helped her lower her drop shot rig down on top of them and, in less than a minute, we had doubles on. She had one and Tracey had one. This went on all afternoon.
They had a ball catching smallmouth bass and I had a ball watching them catch smallmouth bass. The thing that made it so much fun was that they were enjoying catching bass. It wasn’t about finding big ones, although Morgan did have a 4-pounder, and it wasn’t about making the cut or cashing a check. It was about the sport of getting a fish to bite your lure. Size wasn’t important. It was the pull and the fight that mattered.
Another thing that I got a kick out of was Morgan being tired at the end of the day. She’s 14 years old and full of energy. She can go all day without a nap or even slowing down. But, after a few hours in a rocking boat with the wind in her face, she was exhausted. I was afraid she was going to fall asleep on the way back to the dock. It’s funny how a few hours on the water will take it out of you.
Anyway, we had a really good time. I enjoyed their company, and they enjoyed surprising me and going fishing. I’m thinking that if we could bottle all of what they did we’d make a fortune selling a tournament hangover cure — Tracey & Morgan’s Elixir. We’d offer a money back guarantee with each sale, and never have to pay a dime.