I'm ready

Today was Media Day. I spent the first part of it with all sorts of writers and photographers. I always enjoy that. I have to admit, however, that I'm chomping at the bit to get going. I can't wait to get the 2010 Bassmaster Classic underway.

This may be my 20th Bassmaster Classic appearance but it doesn't feel that way. I never take one of these things for granted. Fishing in one is a privilege, not a right. Every one of them is an honor, and I treat them that way.

I've been asked several times about my strategy this year. Obviously, I can't give you all the details until after it's over. What little I've learned this week needs to stay with me for a few more days. After Sunday, however, I'll give you all the detail you can stand.

That said, I will tell you that I didn't come here to fish on Sunday, or to make a good showing, or to finish with a respectable weight.

I'm here to win. My on-the-water strategy will reflect that. I have no intention of trying to boat five small keepers and then upgrading my weight. No, that's not going to happen. I'm going right out and look for the weight I think it'll take to be crowned the 2010 Bassmaster Classic champion.

My baits are big, and so are my goals. I'll be concentrating on big bass spots where I think there's a good chance of sticking a heavyweight, the kind of bass that'll make a difference.

Tomorrow, if I find myself out there at 1:00 p.m. without a fish in the livewell, I'll keep throwing those big baits over my big bass spots. There'll be no change in my game plan. I'm not the slightest bit afraid of being whipped — or blanking for that matter — so long as I can say that I gave it my all, that I was trying to win and did everything possible to accomplish that goal.

Now, I'm not saying I won't make adjustment based on the weather and what I see happening around me. Learning and adjusting is a never ending process. But I won't be heading up to the river looking for keepers just because I'm not catching big ones where I thought I could.

The big reason for my attitude about that is the nature of this Classic. It's very different. In most Bassmaster Classics you need to catch fish all three days to win. You need plenty of bass and you need to manage them properly. That's not the case this year.

One big day and you're going to be in good shape. Actually, given how fast it can happen out there maybe I should say one good 10-minute stretch. That's all it'll take to win — one good spot, or one good school. And believe me when I say that Lay Lake is full of spots and schools. It's a matter of hitting one of them when the timing is right. It can happen fast.

So you won't see me looking for keepers. When the weigh-in starts I'll be in line waiting my turn, and hopefully carrying a sack full of them. But, if I'm not, rest assured I'll be good internally with what I did. There'll be no regrets.

Remember, it's all about the attitude.

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