Three goals

We can put the 2011 Elite Series to bed. If I rated my season, I’d have to say it was no better than mediocre. Every year I always have the same three goals. I only attained one of them this year. That’s disappointing.

1. I always want to win the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title.

Obviously, I didn’t come anywhere close to doing that this year. I finished 18th out of 99 anglers. That nothing close to what I wanted from this season. True, it’s not a complete disaster — but it’s sure not very good.

2. I always want to win at least one event.

This one is especially painful. I was in a position to win a couple of times and didn’t take advantage of the opportunity. Those chances only come along every so often. You can’t let them pass you by. I did, and I paid a heavy price for it.

There are still three Opens left for me, however; so all may not be lost. I’ll take a win in one of them as a substitute for an Elite win at this point.

3. I always want to qualify for the Classic.

I did that this year. And while I don’t take that for granted — it’s an honor that’s tough to earn, no doubt about that — it’s not something I hoop and holler about. I’d like to think fishing the Bassmaster Classic is something I do.

Why my season was so ordinary is problematic. There’s no doubt that the tight schedule bothers me. I get physically and mentally tired as the season wears along. At the same time, however, some of my problems in this regard are self-inflicted.

I should take more time off and not schedule other tournaments in other circuits or media events during the off-weeks. That sounds good at the beginning of the year because it cuts down on travel time and expenses. A smarter decision, though, would be to go somewhere and chill.

And I can’t blame the venues. I knew going into the year that I’d have to figure out a way to survive two or three bed tournaments. I did that OK but then didn’t do better when I had the chance.

This last event really hurt. It’s ugly to pass over the winning fish and then watch the other guys catch them during the tournament. (Read last week’s blog if you want all the gruesome details of that disaster.)

The bottom line is that I didn’t do as much as I should have this year. Regardless, I’ll survive. The Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Opens are still in front of me. I’m looking forward to them in a big way.

The James River is right in Becky’s neighborhood. All her family will be there and probably some of mine. Some of them will be able to attend at least one of the other two. A guy can’t complain about that.

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