One more day to go

The final practice day is now history. I can honestly say that despite the tough, nasty conditions I'm pumped and ready to go. I might have something going out there. You never know for sure but I think I have a couple of patterns that'll work for me.

If they hold up over the three days I should be in pretty good shape. Now, I'm not saying I'll win or anything like that. That would be stupid on my part. Sunday's a long way away and a lot of things can happen between now and then. You never know.

I am saying, however, that I think I have found some bass that'll bite. I found them the way I always do — with my maps, my electronics, my notes and by spending long hours on the water. There's nothing secret about my approach to this sport.

Today was a typical Classic Wednesday for me. I followed the same game plan I've had for the last three Bassmaster Classics. I used my time to look at totally new stuff. I didn't go to my other areas or spots, and I didn't work on the pattern I developed last weekend. I stayed away from all that stuff.

When I counted them up, I had nine for certain bites today. From what the other guys are saying that's pretty good. How big the bass were is a mystery. I never set the hook.

They may have been giants or they may have been little ones. I do know they were bass, though. In a tournament as difficult as this one, that counts for something. Actually it might count for a lot. My guess is that 13 or 14 pounds per day will win this thing. Every bass will count.

More important than the number of bites I got, however, was the fact that I was fortunate enough to develop a secondary pattern. I don't think it's strong enough to win with, but I do think it'll put a few keepers in the boat before everything's over. They might come in real handy by Saturday or Sunday.

A backup pattern like that is especially important when conditions are tough like they are this week. You never know when things might change. Other anglers — Classic competitors or local guys — could be on my spot; my fish could move as the weather warms or they could develop lockjaw. You just never know what's going to happen out there. That's why you always need a backup.

It's time to go. I have a BASS dinner to attend tonight and then Media Day is tomorrow. I like that part of the Classic. I get to talk to all the writers and photographers. It's interesting to answer their questions. I get even more enthused when I realize that the articles they write help other anglers catch more bass. That's what it's all about as far as I'm concerned.

And, speaking of the writers, when all this is over I'll detail everything about my patterns including what they were, the lures I used, and how I discovered them. I know you want to know about all that. I'm also sure you understand why I can't talk about it now.

Until tomorrow...