2011 Bass Pro Shops Northern Open #1 James River - Richmond, VA, Jul 7 - 9, 2011

Pratt’s win on the James River

B.A.S.S.

It’s a dream come true. Anyone who’s ever fished a bass tournament wants to go to a Bassmaster Classic as a competitor. I’m going. What else can I say?

A lot of guys think I’m a newcomer but I’m really not. I fished several big B.A.S.S. tournaments about 10 years ago. I did pretty good, too. But then my life changed and I only fished local stuff around here because of that.

To begin with I started a landscaping business. Building it up took almost all of my time. At the same time I lost my will to travel. I don’t know what happened or why it happened but it did. I just didn’t want to go on the road. It seemed like it was more trouble than it was worth.

Some of the scheduling bothered me, too. I don’t like to fish in the spring as much as I like to fish in the summer. The hotter the better for me. It seemed like there were more spring tournaments than summer tournaments.

This year I decided to do things differently. I signed up for all three Northern Division Opens in the hopes I could do some good. I was especially excited about the James River. I fish it all the time in local tournaments and was hoping to do well. I didn’t expect to win, though. That’s special.

Everyone has been asking me if I want to fish the Elites if I qualify, or if that’s really my goal. The truthful answer is that I don’t know at this point. Being an Elite Series angler would be nice but there are other things going on in my life.

My business is going good, and I sure don’t want to neglect it. I’m really proud of what I’ve built. You don’t throw 10 years of work away. In fact, I had to work on a fellow’s yard yesterday (Sunday).

At the same time I’m still hesitant about all the travel that’s required. That’s a hassle and I’m not sure I’m ready for it. It would be nice to fish with the best of the best, though. That’s one way you can really test yourself out there.

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I haven’t qualified yet so I’m not going to worry about it until it’s a reality. Where I come from you don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.

And I’d like to see what happens on the Red River next February. I’m pretty excited about fishing down there. That’s my kind of fishing — rivers and shallow water. I’m hoping to be competitive but you never know. Everybody in a Classic is good.

Until all that stuff works itself out I’m just going to relax and enjoy my good fortune. I’m just plain worn out tired. It’s one day at a time as far as I’m concerned.

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