Tempus fugit

Another week has passed. Man, time is flying by! Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting with two groups of people. First, I visited a distributor and dealer show in St. Louis with Tightlines UV. It was good to meet the people that keep our sport ticking. Dealers are extremely important to our sport and keep the industry progressing in a positive way. It was nice to meet so many of them and spend time talking about the front lines of product sales and fishing promotion.

Then I visited the Missouri Bass Federation State Championship. It was great to see a bunch of old and new friends, many of whom I used to fish with and against. The event was held at Table Rock Lake, and the meeting was held in the same bowling alley conference room used for the events I used to fish.

It was surreal to go from one of the anglers in the crowd to the guest speaker. I was flattered to be asked to speak, and it just goes to show you that, with the right amount of work, dedication, preparation and — most importantly — support, almost anything is possible.

I had a bit of an emotional day last week, as well. Typically, when I sell a boat it's exciting to see it go to its new owner, but this boat had sentimental value. It's kind of like that old lucky pair of hunting boots. It's hard to see it go even though I know it's time to move on. I'm looking forward to my new 2013 Triton due to arrive in a few weeks, though.

I keep thinking the off season is starting, but I'm too busy to get started on all of the stuff I need to get done. I have a little time, but I'll be spending quite a bit of it in the woods this winter, so I need to get started soon.

Which brings me to this week's tip: eliminating baits.

During the off season, I do a couple of things that I think may help you as well. First, I get next year's schedule and look at the lakes on the schedule to determine the most likely techniques that will play a role. It's not an exact science, but you can get an idea. For example, if Lake Okeechobee is on the schedule, I know I'll need a bunch of flipping and punching baits as well as topwaters, etc.

Next, I go through the tackle I trucked all around the country this year. What I'm looking for are baits that I haven't used this year or previous years. I'll take all those baits and give them to a kid who can use them. At the same time, I'm taking inventory on what I have and what I need. For the baits I need, I'll get my orders in for those early and make sure I have them in plenty of time to organize them before the season.

This is a great time to cull the old tackle and the tackle I don't foresee myself using.

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