New water? Know what’s available

The fans have spoken, and after over 1,500 votes, "Camp Chapman" is the new name of this blog. "Camp Chapman" won with over 42 percent of the votes. That was 11 percent better than the second place name of "Trail Mix with Brent Chapman." I’d like to give a big thank you to all the fans for your submissions and your votes. The "Camp Chapman" name was submitted by John Bennett of Maumelle, Ark., and he’ll win the grand prize pack. The other seven finalists will all receive a Chapmaniac T-shirt. We will be contacting all the winners as soon as we return home from the Toyota Trucks All-Star event this week.

Speaking of the All-Star event, this is going to be one fun week. First, you take 12 incredible fishermen, truly the best of the best, and then you put them on two different fisheries with only one day of practice each. This is going to be a test for all of us, and I hope I can bring home a win. I’d love to add an All-Star event trophy to the mantel, but it won’t be easy.

My advice for the week is also advice I plan to use myself. When figuring out new water in a short period of time, first learn what’s available. Before I even make a cast this week, I will run around each lake for a few hours and see what type of water is available. I want to know the different bank compositions, cover areas and water clarity in all the areas of the lake. By understanding what’s available, I can make better decisions on the water during the rest of practice and, more importantly, during the tournament.

Information like this can turn a bad day into a good day or a good day into a great day. Knowing the water color and key areas will keep me from wondering if I am missing something and allow me to focus on what’s right in front of me. Plus, if I find a pattern I can duplicate it, or if I need to try something new I have an idea of what and where to try it.

This week will be a little different for us — the Chapman family. Typically we camp, hence the "Camp Chapman" blog title, but this week we will be staying in a hotel. I had to pack everything in the Tundra for this road trip.

I’ve been extremely busy for the past few weeks with media and sponsor obligations. This week I was up in northern Missouri working on a commercial for Tight Lines UV when we took a break and did something pretty cool. We, Brett Ware of Tight Lines UV and myself, surprised the Northwest Missouri State’s fishing team by stopping by their meeting. It was nice to speak with the next generation of anglers and to feel their enthusiasm for our sport. I hope they enjoyed the visit as much as I did.

After that trip I returned home and headed out to hang some tree stands for hunting season. It’s been a fun season, but it has been long season, and spending some time away from the water will be nice. I hope to shoot my personal best buck this year. It won’t be long until I’ll be getting the gear ready for next year, starting with the Bassmaster Classic.

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