St. Johns: It was the real deal

What a week! 

The first thing I want to do is congratulate Rick Clunn. There’s almost nothing a fellow angler can say about him. He’s caught them for years. It’s obvious he still has what it takes. He’s the man. Honestly, about all a guy like me can do is look at him and be thankful you’ve had the privilege of knowing him. He’s a living legend. I can only imagine what that must be like. 

And, for my money, he couldn’t have picked a better tournament to win. The 2019 Power-Pole Bassmaster Elite at the St. Johns River was awesome. It was the real deal when it comes to bass fishing tournaments.  

If anyone had any doubts about us, those doubts should be gone after what we did this week. The number of 25 and 30 pound bags was unbelievable. And they weren’t all caught by the older, more experienced anglers either. There were plenty of new names in the upper standings. You wanna tell me our guys can’t figure them out?

I’m a Florida guy. I’ve seen big bass and heavy sacks of bass all my life, and I was impressed with what I witnessed last week. We’re talking serious weight.  

And another thing: The Expo was just as good as the fishing. The crowds were heavy and everyone seemed interested in what was going on and wanted to improve their catch. Along with that, the companies that were there were staffed by personable men and women who let every visitor know they mattered.

Angler’s Alley was pretty cool, too. It looked like all the guys had plenty of visitors wanting to talk bass fishing and get an autograph along with a selfie. I’m told that’s going to be a regular part of things. I hope so because it creates a real connection between us and the fans. 

The whole thing was an example of what a professional bass tournament should be like. I can’t tell you how proud I am to have been a part of it. Well done to everyone involved — B.A.S.S., the sponsors, all the staff people and the anglers.

As far as my performance is concerned I’ll say I’m a little disappointed. I knew what was happening and what was going to happen, but I just couldn’t put things together. I tried hard, but I was never able to time the move up towards the spawning beds right. I knew it would happen for someone, but that someone wasn’t me. 

I say a little disappointed because there isn’t much you can do when the other guys are catching them the way they did last week. They had the timing down. I didn’t. They caught them. I didn’t. That’s how it works in this sport. But hey, I’m not in too bad of shape in the Toyota Angler of the Year standing to start off with. Overall, I’ll take it.

And now we’re off to Georgia for the 2019 Toyota Bassmaster Elite at Lake Lanier. That should be a good one, too.

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