2014 kicks off now!

This year I've decided (once again) to fish the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Opens presented by Allstate as well as the Elite Series. The Central Opens start today on Lake Amistad in Texas, and I'll be there.

I'm sitting here at the campground only minutes from heading to the boat ramp to kick off the season. It's cold and the fishing is tough, but those were the exact conditions this time two years ago at Lake Lewisville, where I kicked off my 2012 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year season with a win at that Central Open.

It's not going to be an easy start to the season, but even though it's cold (28 degrees right now), it'll be a great warm up for the Bassmaster Classic and the Elite Series season. I think having a warm up event in 2012 was as much a key to my Elite Series success as winning the event. To come off of several months of non-competitive fishing and jump right into the Bassmaster Classic isn't easy. Getting this event in prior to the Classic will hopefully allow me to get in a rhythm that I can ride into the rest of the season. A win would be nice, but right now I'm just focused on putting some fish in the boat and seeing what happens.

I'm looking forward to this year more than ever before. I feel I am constantly growing as an angler and I love the schedule — starting with the Classic and right on through to the final event on Cayuga Lake in New York. I'm also proud to be representing some outstanding companies along the way this year.

Well, it's time to get the boat to the ramp and get this year kicked off. It's going to be a tough and cold day out there, but I know it's going to get my season warmed up right.

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