My recent win at Smith Mountain Lake — my 15th BASS victory — really means a lot to me. It gives me a certain satisfaction to have won a sight fishing tournament, a style of fishing not usually associated with me or my career.
I've been asked several times about the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race and what it means to me. The short answer is that the AOY title is my goal every year, no matter how many I win, don't win or have won. It's the most prestigious title in all of bass fishing. To win a fifth one would be an overwhelming honor.
The Dardanelle event was an interesting one for me. I chose an unproductive spot on Thursday, but, having learned my lesson during the last Classic about staying in those kinds of areas, I moved along quickly and found a productive area to fish.
Let's use our time this week to talk about a couple of things I learned at Amistad. From my perspective they're important. Keeping them in mind will help us all become better competitive bass anglers.
I want to take this opportunity to share with you some of my observations from the 2009 Bassmaster Classic and to tell you what I think they say about the sport of bass fishing.
I feel much better today. I fished where I should have fished yesterday and I caught them. I made a bad decision yesterday; that's really clear to me now after the one I made today. It's all about location.
I found a spot in practice the other day and decided to take a chance on it. (I wish now I hadn't found it.) They were really in there and really biting. I thought I could find them today even with the cooling water temperatures
Tomorrow's the first day of competition. I'm ready to get started. I'm doing Mike & Mike in the Morning and then it'll be time go fishing. I'm ready to get this thing underway.
I've been busy the last couple of weeks. It's boat show season so I've been flying around the country making appearances and giving seminars. In between shows I've been trying to get my tackle organized for the Classic and this year's Elite Series.
The Red River has always been a "grind it out" kind of fishery for me. I don't expect to catch 30 a day here. I know some guys do but that's not been my experience. I look for five quality fish a day. If I get them I'm happy.