The best thing about the 2007 season for me was qualifying for the 2008 Bassmaster Classic. I had some "issues" with standing there last year at the outdoor show in Birmingham, while my fellow anglers were out on Lay Lake competing.
The worst thing about the 2007 season for me was not capitalizing on the lead I had at the Bassmaster Major on Lake Onondaga in New York. I had the win within my reach and couldn't close the deal. I missed the winning fish.
As for the "one that got away," that sticks in my mind the most. My bank account tells me it's that fish I just described at Onondaga (a 5-pounder on a piling on Day 4). However, my memory seems to focus more on Day 3 at Clarks Hill. I only had 8 or 9 pounds that day, but a big bite would have allowed me to the make the Top 12 cut. I was fishing a big flat, and I saw a giant cruising around at high speed chasing shad. I approached the fish as quietly as possible and made a long cast with a jig leading to where I anticipated the fish would swim. As soon as the fish swam near my jig I twitched the rod tip, and I could see the Yum Craw Papi trailer stand straight up. She nailed it and took off hell bent for leather! I set the hook and had her on for several seconds. She was churning up mud on the bottom, and then she just pulled loose for no reason. I had a 7-pounder the day before, and I swear this fish was even bigger. It hurt!
When I look back at the one lure that brought me the greatest amount of success it was a 1/2-ounce Title Shot jig tipped with a green pumpkin 3.75-inch Yum Craw Papi trailer.
The best or most memorable meal I ate over the past 40,000 miles would be the fresh sushi at a little sushi bar next to the hotel I stayed at in Sacramento, Calif. I got to know the sushi chef and made him a fan of pro bass fishing. He's anticipating our return to the California Delta at some point, and so am I — for both the sushi and the fishing.