A frustrating day

This is a Bassmaster Classic. It’s the biggest bass fishing event anywhere. Mechanical troubles are hard to swallow. It’s one thing to not catch them because you made a mistake or didn’t execute properly. That’s your fault, no one else’s. I can live with the problems I make for myself. That’s a part of being a professional. But mechanical problems are something different, especially the kind I had to deal with today.

My best bite has been in the first hour of the day. I pull up to my spot this morning and drop my trolling motor — nothing. It’s completely dead. I had to take at least 20 minutes to replace it with my spare. OK, that one worked until sometime around the middle of the day when a short caused it not to work. I had to switch boats. That took another 45 minutes or so.

The thing that really got to me was that my trolling motor had water in the head, or somewhere, or something. That kills it dead. I’m not much of a mechanic so I only half-know what that means. I do know, however, that my trolling motor didn’t work. It was useless. The killer is that the same thing happened during the second day of practice. I thought it was fixed.

That’s one of the things about bass fishing. We’re really equipment dependent. Without all our gear working we can’t work. In some sports it’s all you, but not in bass fishing. You have to have your equipment if you’re going to catch bass.

So anyway, I lost about an hour of fishing time. That’s a lot in a Classic. I’m right on the edge of this thing. One fish, a pound or two heavier, would make a big difference. Every fish matters in a tournament like the Classic.

The good thing is that I think I handled it pretty well. I’ll admit to being a little upset at the time but I pretty much got over it and went back to fishing. That’s good. Five or 10 years ago I’d have come totally apart with a problem like this. I didn’t today so that’s good.

They’re supposed to have everything fixed by tomorrow so I’ll be able to fish out of my own boat. I hope so, anyway. It’s really nice that Kevin Ledoux let me use his boat — I appreciate it and won’t forget it — but your boat is still your boat. It’s a comfort thing.

I said yesterday that I was going to work on the timing thing today but as you probably can guess I didn’t get much of that done. Between changing trolling motors all day and trying to stay calm and under control about all I could do is struggle to catch enough to stay near the top.

I’m fairly sure I did that. The weigh-in isn’t official yet but I think I’ll have enough to stay within striking distance of the guys up near the top. I hope so, anyway. I’d like to pull this thing out.

Mike Iaconelli's column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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