A crystal ball

Rereading last week's blog is like looking in a crystal ball backwards. I said it — one bad day equals a bad tournament. And once you get behind there'd be little or no chance to catch up. That's pretty much the way it happened for me in the Berkley PowerBait Trophy Chase.

Saturday was tough. I started off the morning with a topwater bait but had to quit because of the boat traffic, not to mention I wasn't catching very many fish. The rest of the day the bite was finicky. I had bass follow my lure all the way to the boat and then just nip at it. Hooking one, and then landing it, was a 50/50 proposition.

My second day was better. I had a chance the first day to work out which spots were good in the morning and which ones were good in the afternoon. That made a big difference. I was able to partially refine my pattern and put more weight in the boat.

Timing the bite is critical in a tournament. There are lots of spots that produce better at one time of the day than another. Some of them produce more numbers, some of them more size. It takes time to figure that out. Unfortunately, I didn't have as much time as I needed.

The boat traffic wasn't nearly as heavy on Sunday, either. That also made a big difference. I was able to manage my spots and my lure choice much better. The difference was 10 pounds, 14 ounces the first day and 14 pounds 8 ounces the second day.

That's the thing I was talking about in last week's blog. A short practice and a short tournament are very different than what we're used to as Elite Series anglers. It's a different animal. In these events you've got to get on them quick and execute like a machine. Anything less and you won't do very well.

Don't get me wrong, though. I'm not complaining, nor am I going negative. It's not about what's good or bad, it's about the facts. With less time to refine your pattern, and less time to recover, things unfold differently.

But that's yesterday's news. Right now I need to finish my laundry, go do a few interviews and then get ready to catch two heavy sacks on the river. Remember, it's all about the attitude.

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