A knock on my hotel door.
Outside is Elite Bassmaster pro Brian Clark. In his hand is a drained iPod.
"db, can you charge this up for me on your computer? I need it tomorrow as I get ready for launch."
No problem. I have a playlist to wake me up as well. It's called WAKE UP.
As we sit watching the iPod charge, Brian tells me a story about his first day on Lake Dardenelle.
If you were charging his iPod instead of me, this is what you would have heard:
Brian Clark: "At 1:15pm, I didn't have any fish in the boat. None. So I told myself, 'Don't get all boogered up about it, just go fish.'"
"So I just started fishing around and pretty soon I had four fish, four keepers. I lost one 4-pounder but it's getting time for me to check in. As I'm pulling up to the weigh-in I see on my depth finder it's 3:40 and I have to check in at 3:50."
The iPod is still charging.
"So I go to a spot on the other side of the jetty from the weigh-in. First cast, nothing. The depth finder says it's 3:43 and change. I make another cast and bang. The second cast was a 2 1/2-pounder. I get it in the boat and blast back around the jetty and pull in at exactly 3:49."
"db, it tells me every cast counts, and that whatever you do, never, ever give up."
Brian Clark finished Day One in 24th place with 5 fish at 13 pounds even.
And a fully charged iPod.
Don Barone is a member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association. Other stories of his can be found on Amazon.com. For comments or story ideas, you can reach db at www.donbaroneoutdoors.com