We have about six weeks before the next Elite event, but you know, I won’t have any trouble filling that time because I have a lot to do. First and foremost is spending time with my family.
My girls have a lot of ballgames, basketball camps and soccer camps. June is always a busy month for high school kids, and I really like that my kids stay busy through this month and into July.
It seems that every day they’re at a team camp, an individual camp or workouts. You hardly ever see my kids sleep past 8 o’clock in the summer because they have that mentality of having to work harder than anyone else.
That’s the same perspective I’ve taken in my career, but it’s not like I’m sitting there cracking the whip. I’ve always wanted this to be their decision, so I told myself a long time ago that I wasn’t going to make them do anything they didn’t want to do.
What helps is that they’ve surrounded themselves with friends who have the same kind of perspective. For example, my youngest daughter goes to a camp this week that might be little intimidating to attend by herself. But she’s going with a couple of her friends, so have some familiar faces there will make it more comfortable.
On my end, I’m happy to be able to attend a lot of my kids’ games. I had to miss my oldest girl’s all-state basketball game while I was at the last Elite event on Dardanelle. That’s a pretty big deal; I mean I didn’t make the all-state event when I played in high school. But she also made the all-state softball game, and I will get to watch that one.
In addition to this family stuff, I have a pretty good list of home improvement work to accomplish. I really get into this stuff and a recent project had me working longer and harder in a 12-hour day than I have in a long time.
I was enclosing the pool pergola so I can put a TV out there. It’s stuff like this and other little things I don’t have time to do during the season that can take up a full day here and there.
I’m like my kids — I can’t sit around all day. The first priority is to get all the things around the house done and once I get caught up, I need to go down and mow some food plots. When I get all that done, I’ll start going fishing every other day.
I’ll admit, it’s a little harder for me to go fishing in the summertime because of the heat. But I live close enough to the water that I can go out early and come in around noon.
I’m going to do my best to get some quality time on the water just to stay sharp. One of the biggest reasons is that having a poor finish on Dardanelle kind of took the edge off of the momentum I had established before that event. It would have been good to have a good finish, then sit comfortably during the break and then carry that momentum into the home stretch. But I had a pretty good hiccup, and it’s been on my mind quite a bit.
I don’t like having to sit and stew over that one tournament, but Dardanelle set up well for me. For whatever reason, I couldn’t put it together. I think it was a lot like an Okeechobee event where I was fishing in an area that didn’t have a whole lot of fish.
The good thing is, there’s still a lot of time left in the season, and I’m still in position to make a move at the end of the year. At the end of June, I’ll make a trip up north to get in a few days of smallmouth fishing.
I’m really looking forward to the last three regular-season events and the Angler of the Year Championship because we’re going to some of the nation’s top fisheries. It’s also going to be nice to get back into sweatshirt weather while it’s so hot here in the South.
The only downside of the northern swing is the long drives, but that’s ok; I keep telling myself that I can look forward to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.