We’re going to take a break this week from my thoughts on the future of the sport to talk about the upcoming schedule. I’m really excited. This is my kind of fishin’.
By the time you’re reading this I’ll be up at Waddington, N.Y., getting ready to fish the Evan Williams Bourbon Bassmaster Elite at the St. Lawrence River. It’ll be smallmouth, I’m sure, although there are some sizeable largemouth that haunt its waters. That means we’re back where I like to be when things get tough, and they are tough for me.
As of right now I’m in 44th place in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race. Obviously, I’m out of it for the title. Even worse, I’m below the cut for next year’s Bassmaster Classic. That won’t do. I love to fish the Classic. Missing one would break my heart.
I never give up, though. That’s been true in past years and things have worked out. I don’t see things changing this year. You fish until you make the last cast. Besides, we’re fishing my kind of water from now on so that’s a plus. That makes it even easier to keep your head down and concentrate on the task at hand.
Another plus, for me at least, is that I’ll be fishing three weeks in a row. I’ve said before that I’m not a fan of off-time. I don’t do well with it. So this is right where I want to be. I say that because as soon as the St. Lawrence event is over I’ll head to Oneida Lake to fish the 2015 Bass Pro Shops Northern Open #2 presented by Allstate.
Oneida’s not all smallmouth but there are enough of them there to keep things interesting.
After Oneida we’ll be heading towards Cecil County, Md., and the Upper Chesapeake Bay for the Huk Performance Fishing Bassmaster Elite at the Chesapeake Bay. Now there’s a fishery! It’s basically a lot of open water and a lot of big smallies. It really doesn’t get any better than that.
Becky and the kids will be with me part of the time, but she’ll come home early to get ready for the Upper Chesapeake Bay. That’s really in my backyard so I’ll have a ton of family and friends around to cheer me on. We love it, but it’s a lot of work for Becky. She’s a trooper, though, so she’ll have everything put together when the time comes. She always does.
While I’m going on about my world I want to remind everyone to get out there and go fishing. It’ll be winter before you know it. I fish all winter long, but I know most guys don’t.
Don’t let the heat get the better of you. The fish will bite if you work at it. Go early or go late. Another option — the one I think is the best — is to go early and stay late. Just be sure to apply plenty of sunscreen and drink lots of water. Put your fish back real quick, too. The hot weather is hard on them if you hold them up in the air too long or handle them too much.