I always try to stay positive and have the same amount of confidence after a good tournament or bad tournament. This past trip to Wisconsin was tough on me as I had my worst finishes of the year, 52nd and 79th. I’m a little bummed out, but I have to figure out what went wrong, learn from the experience, and put it out of my mind.
My poor finishes came about entirely different in each tournament, and the good thing is that I can see what I should have done differently in each tournament. I had the best practice of the year at the Mississippi River, and the worst at Green Bay.
After my practice at the Mississippi River, I thought I had a good chance to win. I caught them really good in practice and got dialed into probably a little too much. I was catching big fish in water less than a foot deep where grass mats met rocks. It was really awesome in practice, but as the tournament progressed the fish got smaller. The water started fluctuating several inches a day during the competition days and looking back on it, I bet it pushed the bigger fish out to slightly deeper water. I kept catching small fish all day and never adjusted to relocate the big ones.
I can safely say at Green Bay, I was clueless the entire week. I had no experience fishing the Great Lakes, and couldn’t really find any internet info on Green Bay. I thought it would fish really similar to Erie, and that is how I approached the tournament. I thought the bigger smallies would be in deep water similar to what they do on Erie. All throughout the tournament I kept trying to find them out in 20 – 25 feet of water. I should have bailed on the deep water and went shallow like the guys did who finished toward the top. It makes me kind of sick knowing that guys were sight fishing, when that is one of my favorite techniques. I just missed the whole deal because I was too stubborn.
Even after bad tournaments, I am still happy that I have the opportunity to fish professionally. I thank God for the good tournaments and the bad. I believe God has a plan, and I will praise him for my successes and failures.