Getting ready

OK, things are better with my sinus problem. I’m not completely back to normal but I’m getting there. That means it’s time to go to work and get ready for the Classic and the first part of the Elite season. That’s a two part process.

First, I need to get with my sponsors and order rods, reels, line and lures. I have the best so that’s really not a big deal; Pure Fishing, Abu Garcia, Rapala and all the others make that easy. Picking all the right stuff out isn’t easy, however.

Becky and I were looking at the calendar and we’re going to have to pack for five tournaments — the Classic and the first four Elite tournaments. There’s no way we can come back home and get anything. We’ll have to have everything together before we leave.

At the same time, I have a new boat and truck to rig. Again, working on the boat with Bass Cat isn’t all that tough. You’re starting with the best so it will go pretty smoothly. It’s a matter of getting with them and the others to put everything together just the way I like it. Every angler is different. We all want things the way we want them.

My truck is a serious piece of equipment, too. I ordered a new Toyota so you know I started at the top. Then, I sent it to Britt Myers at CS Motor Sports for some custom work. What they do is fantastic. I have lockable rod and equipment storage, a custom cap, bedliner and some of the coolest lighting ever.

I can hit a switch on my tailgate and floodlights will illuminate the inside of the truck bed and — this is the coolest part, ever — my boat. The way they put everything together I can see inside my boat after dark. I can’t tell you how huge that is when you fish from dark to dark, day after day. It’s much more than convenience.

While I’m doing all that, I’ll be reviewing my maps and notes to refresh my memory about what I’ll see when I get to the Red River with an eye towards the long-range weather forecast. I want to know about the expected temperature but, more importantly, what they’re saying about rain and snow.

The water level and water condition down there will be critical when it comes to making good decisions. The Classic on the Red River is likely to be won by finding an area that holds winning fish and then managing those fish across three days by adapting, changing and tweaking your presentations.

That starts with the water conditions, and they are almost totally dependant upon precipitation. Of course, weather predictions are just that. They aren’t carved in stone and nobody knows for sure what they’ll be like. Nevertheless, it’s best to be prepared.

Next week I’ll talk about the three basic water conditions that are possible for the Classic and how they’ll affect the way we approach this thing.

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