Hackney: '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'

Fishing was probably the farthest thing from Mick Jagger and Keith Richard’s minds when they wrote “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” but I have to say that it’s a good description of how I feel about my Bassmaster Classic fishing.

It’s not that I’m complaining. I’ve won my share of tournaments over the years, and I’ve earned my share of titles. Bass fishing has been good to me and to my family. It’s just that the Classic is the big one. It’s what everyone seems to remember, and I can’t seem to win it.

I’ve fished an even dozen of them now and never finished higher than fifthwith only three more Top 25 finishes. That’s eight Sundays I didn’t get to go fishing. That’s really no big deal, though. I mean it would be nice to be in a position to win, but as for the final finish, if you aren’t the winner it doesn’t much matter.

The thing about the Classic is that it’s the Classic. It’s the tournament of tournaments. There’s no other tournament like it in the world, and there’s no other title like Bassmaster Classic Champion. So, when you don’t win it creates a longing in your heart, a hollowness that nothing other than a Classic win can fill.

That’s kind of what I meant when I said last week that if you’re not the winner, you’re the loser. It’s not that you’re a loser. It’s that you’re the loser.

I don’t know how many professional tournaments I fished before I won one. It was several. I certainly didn’t win right off the bat. So maybe that’s it. I just have to keep at it until things turn in my direction.

No one should misunderstand what I’m saying. Every guy who won the Classics I fished deserved to win. The competition was fair and square. They caught the most fish. I congratulate every one of them. In fact, if you think about it for a minute it seems like fate selected the best man at the time to win. We’ve only had a couple of champions who didn’t really live up to expectations. And they didn’t do anything wrong. They just didn’t do much at all.

That gives me some comfort. But I’m still not satisfied, and I won’t be until one of those trophies is in my house.

That’s enough of that. I need to get ready for the Sabine River in a couple of weeks. I finished 45th there in 2013. I’d like to do better this time.

Next time we’ll talk about jig size and why it matters. I got to thinking about that at the Classic. I wasn’t getting bites with smaller jigs so I switched to a 1-ounce model. I caught a couple of good fish with it. At the time I thought that was the ticket. We’ll talk about why I thought that and why I think that jig size and weight is more important than a lot of anglers think.