Today was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. This has been a different Classic. First I thought one big day would do it, and then I thought the weights would go up as the tournament progressed. Neither one of them happened like I thought it would. Although I do think the weights might go up tomorrow for reasons I'll give you in a minute.
The biggest problem today, for me at least, was that even though the water is warming they dropped the levels. My area is pretty shallow anyway so when the water went down 8 or 10 inches it made a big difference. I think that might have affected some of the other guys, too. All the anglers in the Top 10 dropped today except for Matt Herren.
At the same time, this is a transitional season. The water is warming. The bass are moving. That presents tremendous opportunities for a big catch but it also carries huge risks, especially when you have high, clear blue skies and almost no wind all day long.
Under those conditions you have to pick a place and a pattern or technique and go for it. There are no guarantees in this business, and there's no other way to win a tournament like the Bassmaster Classic. It's full steam ahead.
Besides, it's the same fishery for all of us. No one is blessed with some positive condition of nature that the others aren't. If the water keeps dropping for me it'll be dropping for the other guys as well. I'll fish what Mother Nature gives me and take as many pounds as I can get. That's my philosophy and, so far at least, it's served me well.
Here's the deal: You have to accept things like that and fish the water the way you find it. You can't let any of this stuff get into your head. This is basically the same thing that happened in 2007 when Boyd Duckett won here. You can't let something like that rattle you or put you off your game. This is fishing. You adapt or you don't catch bass. That's all there is to it.
As far as tomorrow is concerned, we'll have to wait and see. A lot of what I will, or won't, do will depend upon the water level. I think everyone knows that the weather will be fairly good. It's supposed to be around 36 tonight and go to 66 tomorrow afternoon under partly cloudy conditions. That's about as good as a guy can ask for at this time of the year.
At the same time, they're predicting an approaching front and possible rain tomorrow afternoon. That could change things. If the fish become more active — which is likely to happen — and start chasing our lures, this thing could turn around quick. You could see several heavy sacks of bass tomorrow at the weigh-in.
We'll all have to wait and see. Remember what I said yesterday. There are a lot of good anglers out there. It isn't only about what I do. They have a say in this thing, too. Jeff (Kriet), Todd (Faircloth) and Mike (Iaconelli) are all top bass fishermen, and they know how to win. Don't ever forget that. I don't.
Remember, it's all about the attitude.