A good start to the 2013 Elites

Last week I talked about the Sabine River and how the tournament was likely to be a good one. It sure turned out that way. The finish was exciting. Congratulations to Todd Faircloth for a fine performance. Nothing was settled until the very end. He hung in there. That’s what a winner is all about.

Things went well for me, too. I found some fish in practice, managed to keep my emotions under control so I didn’t catch them until it counted, and made the first cut on Friday evening. Heck, I had an outside shot at making the Saturday cut. That’s as good a start as I’ve had in several years.

When I say that I’m not just talking about where I finished on Saturday, although that’s certainly important. I’m talking more about my mental attitude and the way I fished. It’s no secret that sometimes I like to catch fish too much. I’ve been known to wear out my fish before the tournament starts. That’s not a smart way to fish competitively but sometimes I can’t help myself. I just love to catch fish. Of course, that kills me during the tournament.

This time was different. No matter how much it hurt, I kept my hooks bent in and refined my pattern. I was throwing a jig and chunk most of the time. I never — not once — stuck a fish in practice. That paid off in the end when things got tough. I was able to catch a couple of good fish on Friday at the last minute to keep me in the hunt. Now, the thing is for me to keep doing that.

That won’t be so easy on Falcon. The Sabine River was really hurt by the hurricanes and the storms. Most of the fish we caught were from the first or second generation after that. Those are very different fish from the giants we can expect this week.

My prefishing at Falcon, so far anyway, leads me to believe that the weights might not be as heavy as they were the last time we were here but they’ll be pretty spectacular nonetheless. I’d say you’ll see some really heavy sacks on Thursday and Friday, maybe all the way through. And there’ll be more than one giant brought to the scales.

What that means is that it won’t be enough to just catch fish like we did on the Sabine. You’ll have to find big ones if you expect to finish anywhere near the top. With that in mind, I’ll stick a few just to see what I’ve got. Still, it’ll be important not to wear them out in practice. Even a lake as good as Falcon can only give up so many big, tournament winning bass. No matter how good the fishing is during prefishing, I’ll have to save the best for the tournament.

OK, enough of that. I need to get back to the business of fishing. Hopefully, I’ll keep my start going this week. One tournament doesn’t make a season. Wish me luck.

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