The 2014 Elite season is halfway complete and my struggles continue. In all of my previous BASS events prior to this year, I had never fished lower than 50th place. So far this year my best finish is 83rd place at Lake Seminole. My goal going into this season was to just re-qualify for the 2015 season. I know there have been only four tournaments, but unless I have a string of consistently high finishes through these last four events, that goal is out of reach.
So I continue to try and understand why. I have never struggled so much to catch fish and am continually having poor practices. While waiting at take-off the other day at Toledo Bend, Jeff Kriet and I have a mutual friend who told him I could catch fish. I quickly replied to Jeff that was in a previous life. We started talking and he told me that he had a similar experience when he first started. You overthink things. You over-complicate it.
He’s exactly right. Maybe that’s what I’m doing. Reaching the Elites is a dream come true for me and I want nothing more than to succeed at this level. Not for the recognition, money, or anything like that. Simply because this is what I love to do! I can tell you that not having success at what you love to do is one of the most frustrating things to deal with especially when you don’t know how to fix it.
My wife and family have all been so supportive and I continually get texts from friends before each tournament. They are all pulling for me and wishing me the best. I feel like I am continually letting them down. Before I began this season, I prayed about making the right decision on whether to fish or not. I still don’t know if I made the right decision and I may never know. One thing we all need to understand (and this goes far beyond fishing) is that God takes each of us down a path and has a plan. What we have to realize is that path may not lead us to success. We may not get what we want out of it. There may be another purpose that we are not aware of or even see.
That’s what I’m taking from this. So where do I go from here? I’m going to keep the faith and keep working hard. I know I have the ability to compete at this level, but if it doesn’t work out than I know there was another reason for me doing this which I may never understand. Dardanelle awaits and the Arkansas River has been good to me in the past. This can all change in one event.
In closing, please send all your thoughts and prayers out to Kevin Short, his family, and all those who had tragic losses because of the tornadoes in Arkansas last week. It’s things like that which help to keep everything in perspective for the rest of us. Dream it. Believe it. Live it.
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