Lintner trying to turn it around

The fickle nature of tournament bass fishing - that's Jared Lintner's 2018 Elite Series season in a nutshell. A season that started with so much promise - Angler of the Year-type promise - has ended with Lintner struggling to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic.

If he doesn't win today, the struggle will continue into the Classic Bracket Championship at Georgia's Carters Lake next week. As you can imagine, he'd love to avoid that drive and the extension of an increasingly trying season.

Lintner's first four Elite Series finishes this season were 4th at Lake Martin, 49th at Grand Lake, 37th at Kentucky Lake and 15th at Lake Travis. Then the wheels fell off: 82nd at the Sabine River, 85th at the Mississippi River (La Crosse) and 67th at Lake Oahe.

"I've thought a lot about that," said the 45-year-old California native. "A lot of it was I started second-guessing myself. I felt myself going, 'What am I doing?' Then I tried to right the ship, and it was like I was trying too hard. It's unbelievable how mental this sport is. Everybody can cast, find fish and pattern fish. But it's making those decisions and not fighting with your gut instincts that's the key to success."

Lintner has been successfully listening to his instincts this week. He might appreciate a victory today more than anyone else in the field.

Lintner has been successfully listening to his instincts this week. He might appreciate a victory today more than anyone else in the field.