I gave it my best

Have you ever heard of being a day late and a dollar short? Well, that’s me. I caught a heck of a sack today and I’m really happy about that but it’s not going to be enough to get me past the cut after what I did (didn’t) do yesterday. I pretty sure we’ll be able to talk in the LB3 booth tomorrow.

The crazy thing about today is that it’s exactly what I had planned for yesterday. I fished the exact same spot, from the exact same angle and with the exact same lures. Heck, I used the same rods and reels. Today I put over 19 pounds in the boat. Yesterday I put nothing in the boat. (I’m writing this before the official weigh-in so I’m not exactly sure of how much weight I have but I think I’m pretty close.)

I’ve been thinking about yesterday. No matter how bad something is you can always learn from it. I have an idea of what might have happened.

I’m fishing shallow, way up in the rocks. The water temperature was about 42 degrees there, but it was dropping from Thursday night into Friday morning. That got inside my head. The confidence factor that I talk so much about got away from me. I let myself start to think they weren’t going to bite.

As a Florida, warm weather kind of angler I’m not used to water that cold, and that’s still getting colder. I made a few casts and didn’t catch anything. From there it went downhill. I made cast after cast with nothing happening. That reinforced my idea that it wasn’t going to happen. And, on top of that, when I didn’t get any bites I didn’t have anything to build on to make my presentations more efficient.

I’m not happy about any of that but I want everyone to know that I gave it my best. I left everything out on the water. That just wasn’t good enough this time. This was not my year, at least not at the Classic. It would have been nice to win two in a row but that was not to be. And that’s OK with me. Like I said yesterday I know how good I have it and I’m thankful for that

It’s been an honor to serve as the 2012 Bassmaster Classic Champion this year. I don’t know how to say it other than that. What I’ve accomplished this past year and the things I’ve experienced are in every bass angler’s dreams. It changed my life, and for the better. To all of you who have prayed and cheered for me I say thank you.

I also want to say thanks to B.A.S.S. for their support. Without them the Bassmaster Classic wouldn’t exist. Actually, bass fishing as we know it today wouldn’t exist.

Congratulations to the angler who wins tomorrow. I’ll pass the title of Bassmaster Classic Champion to you with pride. I sincerely hope that you enjoy your reign as much as I did.

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