March 12, 2011
Harris Chain, Day Three
Well, I didn't have a great day yesterday (11 pounds, 12 ounces), but I did make the cut and am fishing today (Saturday). Forty-nine anglers are done and will be wishing they were fishing.
My day was basically a repeat of Thursday. I knew I had my work cut out for me, so I went out, put my head down and fished hard again today. Fortunately, my first bite was a 4-pounder, and that made a big difference. It was basically what separated Friday's weight (11-12) from Thursday's (9-0).
Now the worst I can do is finish 50th, and that gives me some perspective. I moved up 30 places today. If I can move up another 20 or so, I'd have to classify this as a successful tournament. I can do that if I put 17 or 18 pounds in the boat on Saturday. A finish in the mid 20s would be very good in this group of anglers. They truly are the best in the world.
My biggest fish yesterday — that 4-pounder — was on a bed. I'm going to spend some time looking for more bedding fish Saturday. I considered going to a place I found some bedding bass a few years ago, but my roommate, Shaw Grigsby, is fishing there, and he's leading the tournament. He's already sharing the area with Day 1 leader Pat Golden and Grant Goldbeck, who had more than 27 pounds yesterday.
You know, there's a saying about the Bassmaster Classic that you can't win it in one day, but you can lose it. Well, the same is true about the entire Elite Series season. You can't afford a disastrous tournament at this level. It'll kill your chances of a successful season, a shot at the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year award, a spot in All Star Week or a berth in the Classic.
Everyone's going to have a tournament or two that's not great, but your bad finishes can't be really bad or you're in trouble. If you take the same approach and attitude to your bass club tournaments or another circuit that has a points system, you'll take your game to the next level.
And yes, I'm already thinking about Angler of the Year, All Star Week and the Classic. Goals like that are important and help you keep focused. Two days are gone in my tournament season. I can't get them back, but I can build on them and think about how each pitch, flip or cast carries me toward my goals.
We all have to fish one day at a time, one fish at a time and one presentation at a time. We need to stay in the moment and allow things to happen, to trust in our judgment and decisions. To do anything less is like running around with your head cut off.
That might get you somewhere, but it's probably not where you want to go.