Soakin' it in

The weather’s been a little tough out here, but I have to tell you that this has really been a fun Classic for me and the family. When I won last year I went through the whole thing not knowing I was going to win. I felt good about things but at the time I was just another competitor trying to figure out where I was supposed to be and when. This year I’m the returning champion. People treat you different.

I don’t mean anything when I say that. It’s not like they treat you like you’re a special person or give you privileges you aren’t supposed to have. I wouldn’t have any part of that. It’s more a matter of respect. A lot of the people here are anglers. They know what it takes to qualify for, and then win, one of these things.

There’s no way I could know what this would be like. I’ve talked about it before but it’s just so amazing. To have that trophy in your house is something out of this world. I get all emotional just thinking about it.

Something else that’s made it fun this week is that I can take everything in and really enjoy it. Everyone knows that this week is about more than fishing. There are countless media requests for interviews and dinners to attend, and that doesn’t count all the other meetings. Basically, in between all that you try to get the most out of your practice days and then get ready for the real competition. It’s really busy and it can get to you if you let it.

This year I’m more relaxed. I can enjoy things a lot more, but at the same time still do everything I need to do to get ready for the tournament. It doesn’t seem like there’s so much time pressure. I’m sure that’s my imagination. This one has to be as busy as the last one. But it doesn’t seem that way right now.

We’ve talked about that enough. In a few hours we’ll be headed out for the first day of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic. I can’t wait. There’s always something more you can or could do to get ready but I’m ready right now. Let’s get going.

This afternoon I spent a little time looking at the new app we’re releasing for Guntersville. It’ll come in real handy for next year’s Classic. It covers places to stay, restaurants, auto and boat dealers and the TVA Flow Schedule. Heck, it even has a list of fishing guides if you want one. You can get it at the Apple store. It’ll be updated frequently.

I’ll spend the rest of this evening relaxing and getting my head ready for tomorrow. I’ll try to get a good night’s sleep, too, but that can be a problem before something as big as this. This is the Bassmaster Classic, man. If you’re not excited, you’re dead.

Hopefully, tomorrow night I’ll be able to tell you about all the big bass I caught.

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