Tournament fishing is a confidence thing, and I've been doing this long enough to have a good grasp of that concept. When I first started in tournaments, I did measure myself against KVD and other talented guys, but not now. It doesn't matter who I'm competing against. I just want to beat them all.
At Harris, I knew that I had to be prepared to fish a heavily pressured lake. I've been on the chain a few times before, so I was pretty familiar with it. During practice I found three patterns working: some bedding fish (a couple of nice ones), a main lake pattern on Lake Harris and a few fish in the canals. I also saw that the majority of the fish were done spawning so, for the most part, we were looking at a postspawn bite.
In a situation like that I knew it might not be hard to get a limit, but catching big fish would be the trick. I decided to go with what I was most comfortable with from practice: finesse and crankbaits.
Since the canals were pretty pressured, I threw a Berkley Power shaky worm. This allowed me to be quiet and take my time. I soaked the bait pretty good around cover and was able to pick up a few fish.
On the main lake points on Harris, I concentrated on little points of Kissimmee grass and eelgrass on hard bottoms. A Little John crank bait worked great for me there. It's a small, shallow running crankbait that I designed for Spro, and it's really performing well for me. I throw it in a lot of places that other anglers might throw a spinnerbait. It has a great action and drew a lot of strikes.
In all, I believe this tournament was a successful start to my 2008 Elite Series. Going from 60th on Day 1, to 43rd on the second day, to 30th on the third was the key. It's always better be going up in the standings from day to day. So, a top thirty finish gets me off on the right foot and I have to be happy about that.