Random thoughts after the St. Johns River

The first two Elite events are in the bag. They were good ones, too. I was a little concerned earlier on that they would both be bed fishing events and that the guys who were really good at that would end up way out in front in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race. That didn’t happen. I’m glad for that.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s always good to have diversity in the schedule. It gives every angler a fair shot and keeps the fans involved. My compliments to B.A.S.S. on putting that kind of schedule together this year. It was well done.

And speaking of the AOY race, I think we should all take note that Mark Davis is leading. That spells a serious run for the title this year. If he can end up out front this early, we’re all in trouble. There’s no better postspawn angler than Mark. He’s really good when the bass start moving away from their beds.

Actually, he’s really good any time of the year. In my opinion, he’s one of the most underrated anglers fishing B.A.S.S. I’m not sure exactly why but I suspect it has to do with his style. He isn’t real flashy or showy. He just goes out and does his job. Check his lifetime record and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

What about that Chris Lane win? He showed us how to do it, that’s for sure. I fished Dexter the last two times we were there and just missed getting a check both times so I didn’t go to Dexter this year. Did I say last week that I’m making better decisions? I think I should have given it one more try.

I had an interesting experience with him the second day of practice. I was fishing Lake George. He pulled up and started talking to me. We had a nice conversation. After he left, I realized he seemed very relaxed, no stress or strain at all. Now I know why. He had the big ones cornered. Good for him. He’s a nice fellow with a nice family.

Another thing I want to mention is that several of the guys came up to me after the Seminole event, including Mark Davis, and congratulated me on making the final cut. They said they were hoping I made it in on Sunday. It’s hard to say how much that meant to me. It’s really great when you know that your competitors are rooting for you. Thanks, guys.

I’m back in Columbus trying to do two weeks work in one. It was 14 degrees this morning. I don’t suppose the ice will melt on Lake Erie until this summer given the way Mother Nature is treating us. That hurts. I love to fish Erie. There’s a positive to everything, however. We’ll appreciate the warm weather when we do get it.

Stay tuned. The Table Rock tournament is next week. It’s not going to be an ordinary tournament, not at all. I’ll explain why next Wednesday.

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