Rain, rain, and more rain

It’s been a wild week so far. We’re in Virginia getting ready for the Open. All it’s done for the past two or three days around here is rain. I’m not talking about ordinary rain, either. I’m talking about a serious, never ending type water falling from the sky. There’s no escape from it. It just keeps coming.

The river is up, swollen way out of its banks in most places. The water is really muddy and there’s debris floating everywhere. (In case you don’t know, I have a newfound respect for that stuff.) Going south seems to be the only viable option and even that’s problematic. If the rain doesn’t let up — and it’s not supposed to — those places will be as nasty as the ones more north.

Practice has been mostly about finding fishable water and dodging trees. I’m doing the best I can but I’m here to tell you it’s really been tough. I suspect that if any of us find anything there’ll be lots of pressure from other anglers, and there’s sure no guarantee any of us will be able to find anything that’s good enough to attract pressure. So…

On the positive side we’re staying with Becky’s mom and dad. That’s a really good deal. I enjoy being with them and spending time around their house. Everything has a kind of home feel to it. They’re not like in-laws. They’re like family. As I write that I realize they are family. That’s a good deal. It’s great to get along with all of your family, immediate and extended. It makes life a lot more fun.

Let’s get back to fishing for a minute: tournaments like this one are the kind of thing that makes true champions. It’s easy to be a professional when the sun is shining, there’s a gentle breeze blowing across the water and the fish are biting whatever you throw at them.

But that’s not the real-world. This is what we’re faced with as often as not. And I have to say it’s a fair test of what we do and who we are. To win one under these conditions your boat and motor have to perform up to the max, your tackle has to withstand the tough conditions and you have to be able to find tournament winning fish when that seems to be darn near impossible.

You have to keep your head on, too. This is the kind of event where you could go hours and hours without a bite and then, all of a sudden, find a school of good fish that bite on every cast. You never know so you have to stay positive and alert at all time. Most of the time you don’t get any warning at all.

It’s time to shut this down. I’m going back and try to find a couple of fish for Thursday. Wish me luck, and make sure you go out this week if you can. You can’t catch them if you aren’t out there fishing for them.

Mike Iaconelli's column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitteror visit his website, Mikeiaconelli.com.