I made bad decisions

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James Overstreet

The 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods didn’t turn out to be anything like what I expected. I missed the mark with my predictions and my thinking. That, coupled with bad decisions, put me behind the eight ball. 

We’ll talk some more about all that in a minute. Right now I want to congratulate Jordan Lee on his win. He put everything together, and he was rewarded for doing that. He deserved his win. 

The thing about him that’s so impressive is that he doesn’t need for everything to go his way for him to win. It seems like he just takes things as they come and then makes the best of what they offer him. That’s not what normally happens in this business. Most of us win when all the chips fall into place. Jordan doesn’t need that to happen. He wins even when the chips don’t fall into place. He can fish.  

He made a fine Classic champion last year, and he’ll do the same thing this year. There’s no doubt about it. 

As far as my Classic is concerned, here’s the deal: I thought it would be won when the bass moved up towards the bank. I knew the smaller fish would be right on the bank, but I also thought that the better bass — the winning ones — would be out a ways. I was looking for staging females.

After practice, and just before the tournament started, I thought it would take between 53 and 56 pounds to win. I’d have never believed that the winning weight would be at the 47 pound mark. If I had, I’d have been up there beating the bank instead of fishing the staging places.

There’s no real way to know why the fish didn’t move like I thought they would. One thing is that the weather didn’t warm exactly right for my kind of fishing. It was a slower process, and I think that held the bigger females back. 

Another thing was that there was a really strong wind blowing on the main body of water the day before we started competition. Normally that wouldn’t hurt anything but in this case I think it did. The big rollers stirred up the water and brought the cold water that was down deep up to the top. That messed up the movement. 

What I’m talking about is just my theory, though. I’m a professional angler with a lot of experience. I should have analyzed the situation better and made better decisions about where to fish. My finish is on me, not Mother Nature or anything else. I can live with that, even if I don’t especially like it. 

A career in professional bass fishing is a marathon, not a sprint. I try not to get too high when things go well or too low when they don’t. I’d have liked to have done better (win) but I’ll take the fact that I was there and that I’ll be there again — I hope.

Next time we’ll get into some serious how-to stuff.