Let me tell you something. The Benton family is living high on the hog these days. We’ve had electricity and running water for four days now. That’s hot showers, laundry washed in a washing machine, food cooked on a stove and all the other amenities of the good life.
Editor's note: Read about the hurricane damage to Benton's home.
That’s taken a big load off of my wife, Amanda. I’m glad about that. While I’m out with a chainsaw most of the day, she has had to deal with everything else. The electricity and water make things a lot easier on her.
Overall, things are slowly getting back to normal. I’m spending most of my time cutting trees off of house roofs and buildings, along with most of the other men in our neighborhood. But, at the same time, the construction people are getting going and things are starting to look a little more normal.
I even had a chance to go hunting for a few hours this weekend. I needed that. Just the experience of sitting in a tree gave me some relaxation and revitalized my spirt. Maybe I’ll be able to go again in a few days. Heck, I don’t even care if I don’t harvest anything.
Fishing has still been on the back burner. Actually, I haven’t even thought much about it. I did move some of my stuff around in my building to help keep it out of the weather. They’re supposed to repair my roof and one wall in the next few days. Once that’s done I’ll clean everything up, repair what I can and replace what I can’t. There’s no point in trying to do anything until that’s finished. It’ll just get wet again.
I have been working with my sponsors. They have been wonderful. My boat and motor is supposed to be ready by the 19th of this month. Assuming that happens I’ll pick up my Phoenix in Tennessee and then go over to the river and scout out things for the 2019 Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.
It would be an understatement to say I’m excited about fishing it. I don’t know a lot about that part of the country, but I’ll know more by the end of the month. Once I’ve seen it and run around on it for two or three days I’ll have a better idea of what I’ll need to fish it. That’ll let me use my time efficiently in the shop putting things together and working with product delivery with my other sponsors.
And, just as soon as I get that going I’ll have to put everything together for the start of the 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series. I know those places a little better so it’ll go a little quicker, but it’s still a lot of work.
Fishing at this level isn’t for anglers who aren’t prepared. And to be prepared you need a wide variety of lures and equipment. You never really know for sure when things will change and you’ll need to switch gears quickly to stay in contention.
I probably won’t we writing again until a week or two after Thanksgiving. I still have a ton of work that needs to be done here at the house and, if that’s not done, I won’t be able to concentrate on my fishing when the time comes.