I've been in Columbus enjoying Christmas with Tracey and friends. It's been a great experience. We don't spend as much time together as I would like, so this year has been special.
Join a club or a group and go somewhere so you can fish competitively on a regular basis. It'll make you a better angler. It will force you to fish different types of cover and structure with different lures and different techniques.
For the last few weeks I've been in between boats, and it's occurred to me that one of the most important decisions you can make is what boat you buy and where you buy it from.
I have a strict agreement with myself. If I don't go to work because I'm too sick, I don't go fishing. Last weekend I reached for a tackle box and went down like a rock.
I'm getting ready to go back on the road at the end of the week. At this level, fishing never stops. It's a 12-month activity regardless of what else is going on in your life.
I'm back in Columbus after three tournaments in three weeks. I got a check in two of them and should have had one in the third.
Last week was an exciting one for me. On Thursday I did a demonstration at a local pond here in Columbus for the Hartley Hogs.
Indian Lake is the place where I once fished a tournament in which no keepers were caught. In all my years of fishing, involving hundreds and hundreds of tournaments, it's the only time I've seen everyone in a tournament blank.
At the Classic qualifier level there isn't as much difference between these guys' fishing skills as you might think. Longtime competitors didn't get here by accident. You don't survive in this business if you can't fish.
Charlie and Tracy Hartley express their gratitude for all of the support they received when Charlie's mother passed away.