Theoretically, I should have a built-in advantage competing on the Arkansas River during the Bassmaster Junior World Championship this month. Not only does the Arkansas have its origin in my home state of Colorado, its waters also form Pueblo Reservoir which is my favorite bass lake in the state – a place that I have fished many tournaments. Unfortunately, that’s the extent of my familiarity advantage.
First of all, I’ve never fished in Arkansas. I’m guessing that many of the other competitors may not have either, so that shouldn’t matter too much. More importantly, though, I have never fished for bass in a river, whereas I suspect that most of the others have. You see, while a lot of great rivers like the Arkansas, the Platte and the mighty Colorado start here, they don’t have a chance to get very big by the time they leave our borders. For instance, when the Arkansas exits Colorado for Kansas it is only about fifty-feet wide – just a little smaller than the thousand-foot width I’ll encounter during the tournament. Also, bass are pretty rare in any of our rivers where trout are the most common species.
I haven’t let my lack of river bass fishing experience discourage me. I am excited to learn during the heat of competition and make my first ever flowing-water catches count. I also look forward to competing against the best of the best young bass fishermen in the world. I wish them all luck and, win or lose, we should all be proud of earning our spots in this tournament.
I would like to thank my parents, St. Croix Rods, Lazer Trokar, Strike King and Chad LaChance of Fishfulthinker.com for supporting my fishing passion. I hope to represent them well and to make the home state of the Arkansas River proud.