Before I get into the column I want to say congratulations to Timmy Horton. He did a fine job and deserved the win. More power to him. It was nice that his family was there, too.
It doesn’t seem to matter what happens in my fishing career I’m never satisfied. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a column about how much I loved Florida. That was true then, and it’s true now. The thing is, though, I’m not satisfied with last week.
Here’s the deal…
We had great weather all the way from the Sunday before everything started until the Sunday night when I left. I honestly can’t remember any time when it was unpleasant, and it certainly didn’t affect the fishing in a negative way. You can’t ask for a better week, especially after the cold in Tennessee. But other than that I have a “what if” kind of feeling.
I didn’t have an especially good practice. I found good fish, but they weren’t the ones I knew I’d need to win. Besides, catching good bass on Okeechobee is nothing special. Anyone can do that. Catching great bass is what it’s all about. Someone in our bunch always finds them and then catches them. If you’re not that someone, you’re dead meat. I knew that.
Thursday morning was another story. I did get on a shallow pitching and flipping pattern that produced. I was able to identify places that were holding the bigger bass so that kept me in the running every day.
Saturday night I honestly thought I had a shot to win, but I made a decision that turned out to be wrong. It cost me. I thought I’d need at least 25 pounds to win. I planned my strategy with that goal in mind. I concentrated on the places where I thought I could get at least that much weight. It turned out that I wouldn’t have needed that much. If I’d known that, I’d have fished differently.
Don’t get the wrong impression. I’m not complaining and like I said, Timmy deserves the win. What I am saying is that no matter how well I do — I finished fifth — I always want to do better and I beat myself up for any shortcoming in my career.
Honestly, if I won a tournament by 5 pounds, I’d be happy but not satisfied. I guarantee you I’d look back and think I could have won it by 10 pounds if I’d only done a few things differently.
I think about my inability to be satisfied sometimes and wonder why I feel that way. I think it’s the competitive side of me that causes it. Being brutally honest, I’ve had a good career. You’ll never hear me complain. There’s no objective reason for me to think the way I do sometimes. But that doesn’t keep me from thinking that way.
The thing that gives me some hope, though, is that I suspect if I ever do get satisfied I’ll get my lunch eaten by the other anglers. There’s some truth in the idea that you can’t stand still. You’re either moving forward or you’re falling backwards. I hope so anyway.
Next week we’ll catch some bass.