Before I say anything about fishing, Becky and I want to extend our prayers and condolences to the people in Oklahoma who were hit by the tornado. We know first-hand what the power of Mother Nature can do. There’s no way to tell someone about the feeling of helplessness that rolls over you when you know someone who was killed and you look at all the destruction. You have to experience it for yourself. Please help them if you can.
We got home last week after four tough weeks of fishing. Things have really piled up around the house. I tried not to do much of anything other than fish during this trip. The reason for that should be obvious. I need to keep producing if I’m going to qualify for the Classic next year, and I fully intend to do that.
My fishing was better. I made better decisions. The thing is, though, I haven’t been able to put several days of good decisions together. I’ll have one or two good days and then one or two mediocre days. That’s not the way you win a major professional bass tournament.
If you’re fishing an Elite Series tournament, you need four good days back-to-back. If you’re fishing an Open, you need three good days back-to-back. When you don’t do that — not every time but at least some of the time — you end up in the middle of the pack. That’s where I am right now.
With all that going through my mind, I’ve really appreciated my time at home. I took care of a number of business issues and answered about a million e-mails. (OK, maybe not a million, but there was a lot of them. It seemed like a million.) When I wasn’t spending time with Becky and the kids, I was working on the yard.
Now, if you’d told me when I was a teenager that I would actually enjoy mowing the grass, digging in the garden and trimming bushes I’d have told you that you were crazy. There’s no way I could ever envision yard work being a fun part of my life. But, like a lot of things in life, my perspective has changed.
I like getting outside and working on our home. It’s a fun thing. You can see the progress you’ve made. All you have to do is look behind you when you’re mowing and you can see the grass you’ve cut. With a lot of what we all do in life, that’s not the case. Look behind all you want. You’ll still wonder what you did and why you did it.
That’s enough for now. I’m on my way to Florence, Ala., to speak at a college bass tournament. In my mind, that’s as important as anything I do as a professional angler. These men and women are the future of bass fishing. I’ll talk more about the how and why of that in a future column.