Douglas Lake: A new day

You hear it all the time. This is a sport that’ll humble you, right quick. Well, I got mine this past week on Bull Shoals. I was looking to upgrade my Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings but what I did was take a bad whippin’. I’ve had them before but that doesn’t mean I like them.

You see, you don’t move up with a 78th place finish. I’m not completely sure what went wrong except that I didn’t catch big enough fish. That’s a heck of an analysis, isn’t it? What is it the kids say? “Duh!” I wish I had a better one but I don’t. For me, it was fishing, not catching.

But that was on Bull Shoals. Next week we’ll be on Douglas. That’s a new tournament and a new day. About all I can do right now is relax and enjoy the house along with the family. Maybe I’ll figure something out while I’m mowing the grass and trying to whittle down my honey-do list. I really hate to have a tough event and not learn anything from it. That’s not what I’m about. You don’t get better that way.

More power to the guys who caught them, however. They did what they’re supposed to do, and you can’t have anything but admiration for that. Hats off to you!

As bad as it was, the AOY race isn’t over yet. I may have slipped a little but it’s still within reach. I’m far from dead. As of right now, I’m 33 points behind but there’s still over half the season left. If I win one and fish a few Sundays, I’ll be in good shape. And Douglas isn’t the worst thing that could be on the horizon.

I fished an Open there back last June. I finished 28th. That’s not great but it’s not a total disaster. I know something about the lake, although it’s a little earlier in the year this time. Knowledge can be a two-edged sword, though. I thought I had something going at Bull Shoals. I did but the weights caught me by surprise.

I had looked at some other tournaments on the lake and it looked to me like 14 1/2 pounds was a pretty good sack. It was, I guess, but I didn’t factor the skill of the Elite Series anglers into the thing enough. I was catching a lot of fish, maybe 200 in three days of practice. They just weren’t big enough. I’ll tell you what, those guys can catch them. That’s for sure. Never underestimate the weight at an Elite tournament. If you do, you’ll pay a price. I know.

It’s about time to go. I’ve got grass to mow and tackle to organize. Bull Shoals was a wakeup call for me, and I heard it loud and clear. I need to get dead serious, put my head down and catch four big sacks of bass next week. A guy can’t get that done talking about what happened yesterday.

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