It's great to be fishing again!

I’m finally back on the water catching bass. It’s been too long for me. This is a refreshing experience, getting ready for the Open later this week on Toho. I have to admit, though, that it’s been a long day. Heck, I’m already sunburned and the tournament hasn’t even started, but that’s late January in Florida. It’s not like I don’t know about what it’s like down here.

This event looks like it’s going to be a good one. My best guess is that it’ll shape up to be a classic Florida tournament. At this time of the year there are always some fish on the beds so there will be a few guys at the top who’ll really catch ‘em. They’ll figure something out that’ll put them ahead of the field. Big, winning weights are pretty much the norm. That’s not likely to change.

There are a couple of ways to catch bedding bass. You can mark visible beds and throw plastics into them until you get a bite, or you can target general spawning areas and cover water with something that runs over the top of the grass or drag a worm around and wait for them to grab it. I’ve done both over the years. Really, I don’t know that one is any better than the other.

Technically, that not true. I suppose if you catch more bass with one approach that’s the approach that’s the best, at least for that particular day. But that’s pretty much the way with all fishing, isn’t it? If you catch them, you were right. If you don’t catch them, you were wrong.

I’m not worried about all that for right now. I just want to enjoy the chance to get out in the warm weather and sunshine, catch a sack of fat largemouth bass and enjoy the day. I have to admit that I’m just not into cold weather. I can fish in it if I don’t have any other choice but that doesn’t mean I like it. Snowmobile suits and gloves are fine, but shorts and a t-shirt are better.

The Classic is the one exception to what I’m saying. There’s nothing like one of them no matter where it’s at or what the weather is like. I’m sure I’ll feel the cold but it won’t be quite as bad with all the excitement surrounding everything, not like a regular tournament anyway. 

I’ve been thinking about things like that as we get closer and closer to going to Tulsa. This past year has been something else. I’m going to write a column or two starting next week about what it’s like to win a Bassmaster Classic and how it’s changed my life — personal, fishing and financial. I want to get that all down before the next one’s over.

That’s enough about that for right now. If I think too much about it I’ll get all misty eyed and sentimental, start thinking too much. I need to find some fish for Thursday.

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