Chad Pipkens has given us all a lesson in fishing, if we chose to heed it.
Pipkens is a veteran of the Elites. Prior to this year his best finish was a top 10 in 2015.
While a lot of things have changed in that time, especially in the last year, those changes have nothing to do with these weights.
Every fishery has a weight that it should produce for a winning weight regardless of who is on the water. And then there’s a weight it can produce, which is heavier than it “should.” That’s the weight where all the stars and planets align and things just work. That’s the weight Pipkens is working on now. Plus, he had a great event at Hartwell and decent finish at Winyah Bay.
The difference. The guy who has been typically border-line spastic on the water at times, rushing here and rushing there, swinging and missing and swinging again, broke his collarbone playing hockey in between the Lake Lanier event and Lake Hartwell. I’m not making this up: A full-time professional bass angler, broke his collar bone playing hockey. There’s some old school bass anglers who have only used the word “hockey” behind the word “bull.” Many of them think a body check is that big old check you see guys holding up at the end of an event.
Still Pipkens was playing hockey and evidently got body-checked into a broken collarbone. While some of us thought his year, and possibly career, was over. Pipkens came back and has limped through the process of competing. The injury has completely slowed Pipkens to an almost snail crawl of activity, snail crawl as opposed to borderline spastic.
That difference has created Pipkens’ best year of his career. By slowing down, because it hurts to go fast, he’s put himself in a position to catch more and bigger fish than ever before.
The clue in all of that is after several years of all of the preaching, stories etc., that there’s no time to waste and you have to go 100 miles an hour in everything, that maybe a change of pace can work when the 100 mile an hour pace isn’t.