A few pounds more

I'm on Pickwick getting ready for this week's tournament. By the time you read this, we'll all know the first day's weights. I suspect they'll be high with a ton of limits caught. A lot of the fish are shallow, and the bite is hot. In an Elite Series event, that means lots of action.

That's OK with me. I'm just glad to be back on the trail. Last week was really hectic. We had several sponsor obligations and some personal stuff to do. When it gets like that, it's almost a relief to go fishing, even in a pressure-filled tournament. It gives you an opportunity to concentrate on one thing, and one thing only.

That thing for me is finding bigger bass. I told Becky that I could catch 100 bass a day out here, but I'm not sure they'd be big enough to climb to the top over the weekend. A 14 or 15 pound bag isn't going to get it here unless something radical happens.

It'll take at least 2 or 3 pounds more — around 17 or 18 pounds — to bring home the bacon in this one. And, given the way the bite is picking up, it could go to more than that. Of course, you never know. Things could change for the worse. That doesn't look likely, however.

In some ways, this is the toughest kind of tournament there is to fish. When everyone's catching them, you have to make a decision to go for the big ones or finish way down in the standings. That's not easy. Each way has its advantages and disadvantages.

One positive thing for me is that this isn't going to be a sight-fishing tournament. Most of the bass are postspawn. That means that even if I can't turn my back to the bank, at least I don't have to spend all day squinting into the water and going home with a stiff neck.

As of right now, I'm in 9th place in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings. That's good but not great. To tell the truth, I'm glad of that after Smith Mountain. Still, it's not where I want to be.

Being 200 points behind anyone is not my idea of a good time. That's especially true when you look at who's in front of me — Skeet Reese and a bunch of other great bass anglers. They can all catch fish. Most of them can't even spell "choke."

This is not going to be an easy year. But, you know what they say — if it was easy, everyone could do it. That's my attitude. Keep fishing, knowing that in the end I'll do my best. In most cases, that'll be pretty good.

Wish me luck. We'll all know the story by next Friday. Actually, now that I think about it, by next Friday we'll be doing all this again on Lake Guntersville!