I've decided to talk a little about my practice. Hopefully, I won't say too much.
There are some things you just can't get enough of. Practice for a big tournament is one of them. No matter how many hours or days you spend of the water you always wish you had a few more. And, if you get a few more you want even more than that. I suppose it's a part of being human.
My first three days went fairly well. I had two that were OK and one that was solid. In all honesty I feel like I know where I can find the winning fish. The trick now is to figure out how they'll move between Sunday — the last day we were allowed on the water — and Wednesday, the final practice day.
My fish are in an area. They aren't at or on a specific spot. I know they're going to be moving with all this warm weather so I need to try and figure out where they'll be when I need them. Doing that is not a simple thing. It's not like I can go out on Wednesday and throw a search bait around until I find them.
First of all, I don't want my competitors to see where I'm at or what I'm doing. If that sounds cold, keep in mind that this is the Bassmaster Classic. I make no bones about the fact that I want to win, and neither do any of the other guys. That's just the facts.
Second, I don't want to mess with my fish. Anything I do with them will change their behavior. The last thing I want to do is to find them by catching them or making them wary of my baits. I want them left alone until Friday morning. I'll go with Plan B.
That means finding a similar area or maybe somewhere there are at least a few fish and then trying to figure out what they're doing. Once I know that I can think about what my area has and doesn't have and go from there. The idea is to take the information I gain elsewhere and use it to predict where my fish will be when the tournament starts.
I know all this sounds crazy but that's the way I see it as of today. (I'm writing this on Tuesday afternoon.) Maybe after tomorrow things will change but until then I'll go with what I know. It's all I know how to do at this point.
Overall, I feel good. I don't think I'll jinx myself if I say that I feel as strong about this Bassmaster Classic as I did about the one in 2003 down here. It's something I can't put my finger on or put into words. It's just a feeling, one I have down in my gut. It's telling me things just might work out.