It’s been a while since I’ve had this opportunity so I first want to bring you up to date on my world. Trait and I are both healthy. Trait’s dad had COVID-19, but he fully recovered. All is good on the health end of things. And, Nebo is as spoiled as ever, and he has a new playmate — a Belgian Malinois named Micci. They get along fine, most of the time anyway.
I’ll be fishing the Bassmaster Elite Series as usual this year, and Trait will be fishing the Central and Northern Opens. She wanted to fish the Southern division, too, but we just couldn’t make the travel schedule work.
Now, let’s get to the meat of what I want to say to start off 2021 …
We’re just a couple of weeks away from the start of the 2021 Bassmaster Elite Series season, and I’m more than ready for it to happen. The offseason has been short and stressful — boats, sponsor contracts, tackle, travel arrangements — but everything got done so I guess the old adage that all’s well that ends well is true.
Last year was tough on a number of different levels. Our schedules were constantly in turmoil which made it tough to plan much of anything. At the same time we had calendar changes in our schedule that haven’t been talked about much.
Most years we fish in the spring and go a little bit into the summer. We develop our skills for that kind of fishing. Think about something for a minute. How much do you hear and read about prespawn, spawning and postspawn bass fishing at the professional level? Now, compare that to how much you hear about late summer and fall fishing at the professional level?
But, that’s the schedule we had to deal with last year. Our skills aren’t as good during that time frame, and the weights we brought to the scales showed that. The good side of that change, though, is that we all learned about late summer and fall fishing. Actually, most of us learned more in 2020 about that than we have in our entire careers. I know I did.
At the same time I say that, though, we’re fortunate to have fished an entire season. B.A.S.S. and the whole of professional fishing faced a tough situation. The COVID-19 virus was serious, and things were constantly changing. When I look back at all of it I have to say that the management of B.A.S.S. did one heck of a good job keeping everything together. It could have been a disaster. Instead, it was an inconvenience.
That was back in 2020, though. This is a new year. Things are looking more like normal. Our first event is on the St. Johns River in February and our last event is on the St. Lawrence River in July. Of course, things could change. Tournaments could be forced to reschedule. But even if that happens it won’t come as a surprise. We have weeks set aside to deal with that issue, and unlike last year we know about them in advance and can plan for them. We won’t schedule anything in those open times that we can’t change.
So all in all it’s going to be pretty much business as usual in 2021, and that’s a good thing.
Stay tuned: Next time we’ll catch some fish.