Kickin' back

Last week was great, absolutely fantastic. Becky, Vegas and I spent a few days at a motel near Douglas Lake just kickin’ back and enjoying life. It wasn’t fancy and there was nothing special going on. We haven’t done that in a while. My normal schedule is to always be working at something related to the fishing industry. This was definitely a change, and I think I like it.

It takes a while to calm down, though. It’s like you’re always looking for something related to your career to jump up, slap you up alongside your head and demand attention. Let’s face it, that’s the way I’ve lived most of my adult life. But then you realize that you can spend time doing something else, you really can, and the world doesn’t end. In fact, it gets better.

I did have a little relapse, though. I have to confess to that. Vegas and I went trout fishing behind the motel one afternoon. It wasn’t serious, and we spent more time laughing than fishing. Still, it was a relapse. I suppose I should admit that I’m a hopeless addict. If it swims in the water, I want to catch it. Is that a good thing, a bad thing, or just a thing? I’m not sure, sometimes.

From there we drove over to Becky’s parent’s house in Richmond for a birthday party for her mother. It was a surprise or I would have mentioned it last week. Actually, if I had mentioned it, Becky and her father would have put a contract out on me.

As I get older, I find myself liking things like that more and more. They seem to take on added importance every time we do one. No matter how successful you are it’s your family that matters in the end. Their love and the good times you have with them will last a lot longer than your professional accomplishments.

That’s not to say that professional accomplishments don’t matter, however. They do. I’m working on them right now. It’s Sunday evening and I’m trying to put everything together to make a good showing here at the Douglas Lake Challenge.

If you read this column regularly, you know I have three goals at the beginning of each year. I want to win at least one tournament, qualify for the Classic and win the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title. I’m still working on all three.

There’s no win yet, although there’s still time for that. The Classic qualification is far from a sure thing. I’m currently in 20th place. That might look good to some of you but you have to remember who I’m competing against. If you stumble or half-step they’ll run right over the top of you.

The AOY race is far from over but if I’m going to win it I have to do better than I have been doing, starting this week. Basically it boils down to following my own advice — never give up!

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