2013 Classic: Stay or leave?

I’ll tell you what, this is going to be a Classic! I spent three days on the water and at this point the only thing I can say is that the fish are big and scattered. The patterns I found, and the ones I’m hearing about from the other guys, are all over the place. I’m guessing there’ll be several heavy sacks weighed in and they’ll be caught several different ways.

One of the things I noticed is that the fish are in very specific locations and they’re hitting very specific baits within those locations. Several times I’d pull up to a spot and catch — in truth I didn’t always set the hook — a couple. But if you moved the boat a 100 yards up or down the bank you’d get nothing.

I’ll also tell you that the fish had some size to them. It wasn’t like I was catching little ones, and I understand some of the other guys experienced the same thing. That’s why I say you should watch for heavy weights. The guys who figure everything out are likely to really get on them.

Another thing was that I didn’t catch very many in one place. One or two was about it. Now, this was practice and I was moving around a lot so I can’t say for sure that there weren’t more there or that they couldn’t be caught. We’ll figure out more about that during the tournament.

When I look at the whole thing, the decision I’ll have to make will be when to stay and when to leave. It’s the age-old question we’re faced with. If you catch a couple of good ones, it’s kind of hard to move on. But if you waste too much time on a dead spot then you don’t have the time you need to fish other spots. There’s no science involved. It’s intuition and a best guess type of thing.

At this point, I honestly don’t know what I’ll do. The thing about a Classic is that there’s only one way to finish. That’s as the winner. After that, nothing much matters. Whatever decisions I make will be based on that. It’s win or go home.

One good thing is the weather. It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the cold. It looks like the mornings will be pretty cold but the days will be better. I can’t call them warm but at least they’re bearable.

Other than that I have to say it’s pretty much a typical Bassmaster Classic week. There are lots of things to do and not always enough time to do them in. I’m not complaining, though. I’d sure rather be here than not be here.

I hope most of you can come visit us for a day or two. You’ll really enjoy the weigh-ins and the Expo. If that’s not possible, and I know sometimes it isn’t, be sure to follow all the action on Bassmaster.com. There’ll be complete coverage and pictures from early morning until late at night along with a daily column from me starting on Wednesday.

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