I told you I was just going fishing on Wednesday (our last practice day) and that’s exactly what I did. It worked out pretty good, too. I found a few spots that might produce for me during the tournament, and I think I figured out a few things about what the fish are doing. Overall, I’m fairly upbeat.
I can’t say I have things figured out, though. I don’t. But I at least have a place to start and something to build on as the tournament progresses. The weather — and more importantly the water — are beginning to warm up and the fish are becoming a little more active. That’s a big plus when you’re in my position.
It’s not like it was back in 2009 when I had “the” area marked and I knew it held the winning bass. Then, all I needed to do was fine-tune my presentation and I’d be right there at the end. But at least now, after yesterday, I’m not still looking for anything and everything. I have a plan.
If I’m right I should be able to follow the fish as they change over the next three days and maybe catch enough weight to be in the hunt on Sunday afternoon. That’s what it’s really all about, anyway — changing and adapting with the fish.
Like I said a couple of weeks ago, you can’t have one pattern that’ll hold up for the entire tournament. That won’t work on the Red River. You have to change and make constant adjustments even if you know exactly what’s going on. So, in that sense I don’t feel like I’m too far behind. I won’t have to do anything the other guys don’t have to do. I’m comfortable with that.
If this column sounds a little hesitant it’s because that’s how I feel. I’m confident that I know enough to get going but I’m not confident that I know enough to keep it going for three days. Remember that the Bassmaster Classic is a compressed tournament time wise, and it’s bigger than life. You can’t afford to waste anything.
You often hear professional anglers say you can’t win a tournament in one day, but you can lose a tournament in one day. That’s true for any tournament, and especially true at a Classic on the Red River. Make a mistake, or spend too much time looking around, and you’re finished. There’ll be no sympathy from fish or man this week.
If you’re in the area, don’t forget to visit the Expo before you come to the weigh-in.