R & R

The 2010 Bassmaster Elite Series is in the books. I didn't have a very good event in Oklahoma. Finishing 56th out of 93 isn't my idea of a good time. And I didn't qualify for the postseason. That's not where I want to be, either. Still, all is not lost. I'm a solid qualifier for the 2011 Bassmaster Classic. I'm proud of that.

Despite my disappointment in not making the Top 12, I have to admit that I'm looking forward to some time off. Becky and I have had a long year. I don't know why, but this season has been tough. I think it was the scheduling. A couple of the tournaments were close together. That really cuts into your down time and doesn't allow for much rest and relaxation.

The driving was a factor, too. The first events were out in California. That's a long way from New Jersey. Then, after everything was over in the East, we headed west again to Oklahoma. Ike is just plain worn out. He needs a nap.

The kids are out of school. That's a big plus. We'll get to spend time with them. I love taking them fishing, going to the beach and messing around with them, just being a father. There's a lot of joy in that. In my opinion it's more fun than catching a big fish.

Another thing about going home and having some time off is that it gives you a chance to catch up on the routine things that need to be done around the house. My yard needs some serious work with the mower and the trimmers.

You guys are going to think I'm crazy but I actually like to mow the grass. It's a mindless activity that accomplishes something. You can look over your shoulder and see progress, without the hawk shouting advice to you.

And I need to spend some time reviewing this year's tournaments. I'll organize and file all my notes so that the next time we go back to a particular venue I'll have some of my homework done. That takes time now but saves time in the long-run.

Along with that I'll look over my performances to see what I did right and what I did wrong. That'll give me a picture of how I'm fishing and what needs to be improved. You never get any better unless you spend some time looking in the mirror and analyzing what you see.

That can be a brutal process, but it's absolutely necessary if you intend to keep learning and improve. You have to spot negative trends and bad habits before they start messing you up. Do anything less and you'll pay the price.

Next week I'll see if I can't put together some good, solid fishing tips that'll help everyone catch more bass this summer. Until then, I'll wave at you from my John Deere.

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