I'm very grateful to have caught the fish that I caught last week and to have gotten the 5th place finish that I had at Pickwick and to have retained the lead in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race. But right now it's too early in the season to think about the AOY race, other than the fact that it feels good to be leading at the moment.
There's a lot of fishing left to do, and the key to each tournament is to be consistent and keep yourself in position to have a shot at winning. The beginning of the rest of the season starts this week at Toledo Bend. My goal for the rest of the season is to give myself a chance to have a shot at the title at the end. I'm going to keep pressing forward, praying and fishing as hard as I can, hoping that it happens.
We got to Toledo Bend without any incidents, and I wish I could say that my first day of practice was uneventful as well. But, about midday, I had a mishap. It was a really windy day so I put in in a protected area, fished it, then took out and put in at another protected area. When I launched that second time, my boat floated off of the trailer without me! A gust of wind caught it, and it started heading out into the lake. I jumped out of the car real quick and started wading out to get it, but before I knew it, I was swimming. I had stepped off of the end of the ramp and into deep water. Unfortunately, I had my cell phone in my pocket. The rest of the day went OK, though.
I didn't find the fish to win the thing today, but I had a pretty good day of practice. Like I mentioned previously, in each practice day I want to find enough fish to sustain me for one day.
That's about what I found today. I probably would have had 17 or 18 pounds, so I feel like it was a productive practice day. I'm hoping that the wind lays down a bit for tomorrow so we can move around a bit more. Most of my fishing today was in protected areas, and I'd like to get out on the main water. When it's windy on most lakes, you can fish everywhere, but not here.
On Toledo Bend, there are boat lanes that you have to stay in. It's full of standing timber and you have to run in the lanes. If you get outside of them, you have to be really careful and keep your eye on your electronics. On a normal lake, you can run with the waves and go anywhere. Not here. The key here with the wind is practicing smart, and, hopefully, I did that by launching in some areas that have some potential. But I still want to get out and fish the big water.
I want to thank everyone who has written a nice comment on my Facebook fan page. Each and every one of them means a lot. I go on there and read them all. I'll continue to keep everyone updated there and here as well throughout the season.