The past few days have been crazy busy trying to prepare for the biggest tournament in bass fishing. And considering roughly 1,100 students competed in Carhartt College Bassmaster events last year, I can’t tell you how humbling it is to be the one college angler blessed to have qualified for the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.
Even the veteran pros feel a little added stress going into this event, so there are a few familiar items I made sure I didn’t leave home without before I started the 11-hour drive from Bethel University in West Tennessee to the Houston area.
Bible – Nothing brings a clearer reminder that He’s always with me and a clearer perspective on what matters most in this life. So when I’m driving, my Bible is tucked in the pocket of my Tundra’s side door panel. And at night, it’ll be in my hotel room. I may not have a ton of time to read it during Classic week, but it will always be within eyesight or arm’s reach to keep me focused.
Strike King 6XD Crankbait – Those who know me best know I love to throw crankbaits, and thankfully Lake Conroe offers a lot of targets in that 10- to 18-foot depth range where the Strike King 6XD shines. From underwater ledges, to stumps and brushpiles, it should be a player at Conroe.
Paws’ homemade hound dog lure retriever – If you’re going to be a deep crankbait fisherman, you’d better have a lure retriever. My granddad “Paws” made me this one using his old baitcasting reel spooled up with marker buoy line. I call him “Paws” because he had an all black cat with white paws that matched his white hair. He’s my best fishing buddy, and he’ll definitely be at the Classic to support me.
Carhartt Force Extremes Shoreline Angler Rain Jacket and Bibs – We should have great weather at Conroe with high temps around 80 degrees, but they’re also calling for a 40 percent chance of rain. This new Carhartt suit is the perfect weight, and it has a feature called FastDry with 37.5 technology that captures and releases moisture. This creates the perfect amount of warmth and dryness whether it feels like summer outside, or it is snowing 4 inches like it did on me during a tournament in Tennessee last weekend.
As you can imagine, I packed every fishing and non-fishing item I could to help me do well for my family, my friends, sponsors and all the students that participate in college fishing – but those four items were for sure on my list.
Wish me luck. I’m truly grateful for everybody’s support.