Back in the saddle

I'm on my way to California after a very busy week. I made a number of appearances for Bass Pro Shops and have been doing interviews for various media outlets. Most of the other guys have been doing the same kinds of things — appearances for sponsors and media interviews. It's fair to say we've all been pretty busy.

One thing that struck me last week was the number of outdoor radio shows there are around the country. There's no telling how many of them interviewed me. I didn't realize there were so many of them.

That's a good thing, though. It tells us there's a lot of interest in the outdoors and that it's not limited to just one or two sections of the country. If they weren't popular, with a sizeable audience, they wouldn't be on the air.

In all honesty I'm ready to get back to fishing the Elite Series. At the heart of things, that's what we do — fish. On some level, I think we're all addicted to it. It's in our blood. We're competitors. We aren't happy doing anything else.

California is a great place to start the season. The only drawback is the drive. I have 30 plus hours, some of the guys have well over 40. That can be tough, but in the grand scheme of things that's a small price to pay for the opportunity to fish the Bassmaster Elite Series and to compete on two of the best bass fisheries in our nation. I'm not complaining.

I'm taking the northern route out there. It's a beautiful drive with lots of wildlife and beautiful scenery, especially the second half of the trip. The weather's been pretty good. So far I've only hit one stretch of nasty road. Coming from Michigan, I know how to deal with that. Really, it's no big deal. It's a matter of slowing down and paying attention to what you're doing.

We'll be fishing the Delta first, and then we'll move on to Clear Lake. Both are giant bass factories. For most of us, it's a chance to catch the biggest bass of our careers, especially given that we're fishing them in March. That's a big bass month on the West Coast.

The Delta doesn't have the numbers of big bass that Clear Lake has, but you can catch one in the teens. It'll almost certainly happen. One of the guys will do it. Clear Lake's record speaks for itself. The weights that come out of that place are truly extraordinary. I'm excited about competing in both events.

Next week we'll get back to talking about the nuts and bolts of fishing — how to find them and make them bite. I should have some good stuff after three days of practice and four (hopefully) of competition.

Remember, it's all about the attitude.

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