Beware of falling trolling motors

I forgot to tell you all about the Mark's Outdoors event in Birmingham a while back. It was a huge success. The coolest thing about it was what's called the "tackle toss." It's on the last day, and all the pros get up on a stage with thousands of dollars of gear and throw it into the crowd.

Now, this isn't tossing some crankbaits to a few folks. There were thousands of people there and a dozen pros. Manufacturers from all over the world donate tons and tons of gear for this. It turned into a mob scene very quickly. We threw boxes and boxes of baits, electronics, reels even trolling motors. It seemed kind of dangerous tossing a trolling motor into a crowd, but I don't think anyone got hurt.

I have to say I'm pleased with my finish at Clarks Hill. I finished 28th, which normally wouldn't get me excited, but when you consider I was in the 60s after the first day, that works for me. It's gotten to the point in the season that I can put a pencil to the standings, do the math and try to figure out what it's going to take for me to make the Classic. What I've come up with is that I've got to average a 28th-place finish at the last two tournaments. Obviously, I'm not shooting for that. I'm aiming higher, but it's nice to know that you at least have a decent chance of making the Classic.

With that said, I can't afford another poor tournament; I need to have a strong finish. I think Clarks Hill helped me get some momentum, and heading to Kentucky Lake, I'm optimistic. I've done well there the past few times we've been.

We'll be a little out of our routine for the next event. Our motor home is having some major engine problems, but fortunately, it's under warranty. It's going to be another few weeks before we see it again. This means that I'm going to have to pack and plan differently. Usually I carry all my spare stuff in the motor home, and put a minimal amount of stuff in the boat. If I find I need something else, I can get it from under the bus. This time I'm going to have to go through and thoroughly organize because I'm limited on what I can take in the truck. 

The good thing about these two tournaments is that they're summertime events and I really don't need all the winter stuff. I need structure fishing and flipping gear. I'll pack up a lot of Fat Free Shads, 10-inch Yum worms, Carolina and Texas rig stuff and football jigs. That's going to be my arsenal. Kentucky will be bait-specific, but it's definitely a Fat Free Shad lake. It's all about location. You have to find a few sweet spots that just have more and bigger fish. Look at what Bobby Lane did last year. He won the whole tournament from one ledge.

For now, though, I'm enjoying the off week. I've taken some time to do some trading in the market and catch up on some rest as well as business. We're going to my best friend's house for dinner tonight for some steamed crab legs and shrimp.

I guess the shrimp come pre-oiled from the Gulf now. All joking aside, this is a serious problem. I have met a lot of people who make a living down there in those marshes guiding or commercial fishing. They're in a world of hurt because of this spill. It's really sad to see that happen. What's more, it's going to impact whether or not we can have the Classic there. It's a day-by-day thing and I hope it turns out the best that it can given the circumstances.

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