Bummed out!

Am I ever bummed out. I mean, I know that the Arkansas River was high and muddy. I know the current was swift and dangerous. I know everything was a total mess.

But let me tell you what else I know — I was whacking them. I had a couple of patterns going that were absolutely out of this world. The bass couldn't resist what I was doing. We call it dialed in, and I was that. I couldn't wait to get started with the tournament.

Don't get me wrong. It's hard to criticize BASS for their decision to move the tournament. It really was dangerous out there. It's just that I was whacking them. They were mine. I was ready to go, couldn't wait.

I was afraid — knew — it was coming. Nevertheless, when I heard the official announcement, it turned my stomach into knots. It's that killer disappointment that you feel as an angler every now and again. It consumes you, at least for a short while.

To make matters worse, yesterday was my birthday. (Becky says I'm 38 going on 16. I just stick with 38.) You're supposed to get something nice on your birthday. I thought maybe a big, heavy sack of bass would be nice. You know, something heavy enough to put me out front for a change this year.

That's the way things go in this business. I really shouldn't complain. In reality I'm no worse off than the other guys. I'll tell you, though, I didn't learn much on our only day of practice. All I really accomplished was looking over the lake and maybe developing a few ideas for the tournament.

Note that I didn't say I developed a few patterns, only that I developed a few ideas. Ideas are different than patterns. Basically, what I'm saying is that I'm clueless and will probably end up combining my practice and my competition. That's rarely a good thing.

It can work out, however. I've had tournaments where I was in this shape and stumbled upon something that really caught them. It sounds crazy but a good practice can hurt you. Sometimes you get stuck in a certain mindset, and then conditions change but you don't change with them. All you can remember is what worked yesterday.

That's what I mean when I say, "Fish the moment." You have to do what works now if you expect to be successful in this business. At times, I can be pretty good at that, so maybe all is not lost. Maybe if I write long enough I'll convince myself that everything is going to be OK. You think?

I'm starting to ramble. I can't help it. This move has my head spinning in circles. I need to go and spend some quiet time with Becky, get things together before I have to go tournament fishing in the morning.

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