I gave it everything I had

 guys, sometimes it comes together for you and sometimes it doesn't. This year I came up a little short. Nevertheless, I'm proud to have fished the 2010 Bassmaster Classic. I gave it everything I had. Hopefully, my next one will go better.

I started today in Beeswax Creek — that's where a lot of the guys were fishing and catching them — but it didn't work out for me. I was fishing a little Berkley grub about the same size as the baitfish. It's got a shorter tail that doesn't wiggle as much as most grubs. That's exactly what you want for cold water conditions like we had here. Too much movement in cold water is not a good thing.

I caught four but they didn't weigh much of anything. They were definitely not the kind of bass I needed to pull out a victory so I ran about 20 miles up the lake and tried my hand at flipping and pitching. That was a waste of time. There was no current, and no bass.

After a few minutes I turned around and ran 20 miles back down the lake and tried just about everything I had in the boat that I thought might attract a 4- or 5-pounder. Just like before, it was a waste of gas and time.

I finally landed one more fish on a jig for a total of five bass that weighed 10 pounds, 9 ounces. That was good for sixth place. (In fairness, even if I'd caught the 20-pound sack I talked about last night, I would still have come up short. Sometimes it's just not in the stars.)

The truth is I never really developed a fish catching pattern this week. It seemed like everything I tried produced some fish but not enough fish, and even those were too small to put me in the winner's circle. You can't win a Classic fishing like that.

You have to have a solid pattern or place — preferably two or three of them — and enough fish to last three days. I didn't have any of those things and I paid the price for it.

I do have one thing to be proud of, though. I had six bites on Friday, five bites on Saturday, and six bites today, Sunday. That's a total of 17 bites over three days in a Bassmaster Classic. And I'm telling you that's all I had — there was nothing else, not even a tiny nibble.

Out of those 17 bites, I boated all but one bass. That's 16 keepers from 17 bites. My average weight was better than 2 1/2 pounds. That's not too shabby considering the fact that I was struggling all three days.

Anyway, my hat goes off to Kevin on his third Bassmaster Classic win. He fished hard and effectively — like he always does. He earned his win fair and square. Congratulations, Kevin.

Becky and I are going home tomorrow. I have a guy who's going to drive my boat to California for me. We'll take a little time off to decompress and then it's time to get serious about the 2010 Bassmaster Elite Series.