Practice time at a premium

The real negative to having a rainy practice day is it cuts down on already limited practice time, Mark Tucker said. With much time spent idling through stump-filled backwaters, time is at a higher premium on the Red River.


“The biggest thing is the water being so dirty and just trying to maneuver,” Tucker said. “The water is dirty. You can’t see the stumps, the shallow water, you can’t remember all that stuff.”


Ken Cook’s analysis using date found that this Classic should be won in backwater, and getting back to check out them out can take valuable time.


“You can’t get around like you can in a lake. You’re not covering as much water as you’d like,” he said. “It takes time to get through them, so you can burn a day up in a hurry.”


Tucker said one has to take the allotted time, the three-day practice period that ends Sunday and Wednesday’s final practice, to check out as many places as they can then analyze which will be a winner. If anglers don’t get that accomplished, they will be sunk.


“You have to keep an eye on places that have potential. You get in a little bit of a hurry, you can go right by some fish,” the St. Louisian said. “You have to be calm and just take it minute by minute. You can’t rush around out there.”


Even if time inspecting a number of areas isn’t fruitful, and the rain prohibited the fish from biting, an angler has to have something to fall back on.


“If you don’t have a very good practice, you’re just going to have to go back and fish the best looking stuff,” he said. “You don’t have a whole lot of time to investigate stuff."

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