2011 is here!

The holidays are over. It's 2011 and time to start thinking about the future.

First, I want to say that Becky and the baby are doing fine. She's due in early February, just in time for the Classic. The only unusual thing we've noticed is that the baby never stops moving. It's constant. I think it's cute. It reminds me of my break dancing days. Becky thinks it's cute, too — sometimes.

Another thing has happened that's really neat this week. My partner, Pete Gluszek, and I are holding The Bass University this weekend in Shreveport, La. We're going to be honored with an appearance by Jerry McKinnis on Saturday. He's one of the new owners of B.A.S.S.

That's a big deal if you stop and think about it. It shows a serious B.A.S.S. commitment to the grass-roots level of our sport. Jerry isn't just thinking about the professionals, he's also thinking about the weekend anglers who make the professional level possible. It shows the new owners are here for the long haul. I like that.

Our last seminar is scheduled for the weekend after this one. It'll be in Framingham, Mass. Jerry won't be there, but we'll have a fine group of instructors nonetheless. There's still room in both cities, so sign up if you're in the area ... or even if you're not. It'll make a big difference in your fishing next year.

And speaking of making a big difference in your fishing, I've signed with a new sponsor who'll really help you do that. They're called Hat Cams. Basically, they make hats with camera fittings on the bills. You can mount a camera on your hat and then review exactly what you're doing on the water as well as document your catch.

This is such a big deal that I'm going to devote a whole blog to it in the near future. When you read that blog, you'll know why I'm so enthused about this product. We'll be able to review film of our performances like other athletes in other sports.

Before we do that, however, I want to devote the next two blogs to my Classic strategy. It consists of three phases, all of equal importance.

Phase I started last summer. I collected all the maps and fishing articles about the Delta I could find. I studied them and familiarized myself with what the place looks like now. (It's not the same fishery it was in 2003.)

Phase II was last fall. That's when I spent two weeks down there checking things out. My goal was to learn my way around and try to find places from which I could catch the winning weight.

Phase III will happen just before the Classic. It's about using my four practice days efficiently before the tournament starts. I have a specific plan for each day. If my plan works out, I should be in good shape come Friday morning, February 18.