Before I get into anything else I want to thank everyone for their concerns and prayers about my health. I’m happy to report that I’m doing fine. My surgery is healing properly, and the cancer is no more.
In general, I feel pretty good right now and my long-term prospects are good, too. That’s a blessing. It takes a guy a while to realize that some things are more important than catching fish. You need to keep things in their proper place.
OK, let’s get going…
I was asked an interesting question recently. The fellow wanted to know what I thought was my strongest point going into the GEICO Bassmster Classic, and what was my weakest. That’s really two sides of the same coin. Everything blends together at this level of our sport.
Let’s deal with the weakest side of the coin first.
Those of you who know anything about me know that I refuse to think negative. I just don’t do it. Because of that, I’m not really in a position to think or talk about a weakness. It’s not that I don’t have them. I do. But if I acknowledge them they’ll become a part of my thinking and that won’t be good for anything.
I will, however, discuss something that might make things tough for all of us. That’s the weather. The situation we all dread, or at least I think everyone does, is a late spring with the water muddy and cold. When I say cold I’m thinking 45 degrees, give or take. That’ll make finding quality bites difficult. And, it’ll make it harder to keep your focus.
My difficulty with those conditions won’t be any different than any of the other anglers, though. We’ll all struggle. But I will say that the guys who get on a good bite can probably put together a darn good stringer.
If the water clears and it’s in the 50 degree range, we’ll see a lot of fish caught. It’ll probably be an exciting Classic with things going down to the wire. If spring comes really early to Oklahoma and the water’s in the middle 50s, hold on to your hat. There’s no telling what’ll be brought to the scales. Grand Lake can grow ‘em!
Now, let’s talk about the strongest side of that coin.
I suppose my strongest point is that Grand Lake sets up pretty good for me. It’s surrounded by hills, so even though it isn’t a true highlands reservoir it fishes like one. That matters because I grew up fishing highland reservoirs and waters that were almost highland reservoirs. I think I have a depth of knowledge about reservoirs of that type that will help me if conditions change or the going gets tough.
Of course, that’s not unique to me. Several of the other guys have the same background and even those that don’t will be able to figure things out. This is a tough business that’s full of guys who know how to find bass and know how to make them bite. Nothing comes easy in the Bassmaster Elite Series, and especially not in the Classic.
Let’s all hope for a safe and pleasant Classic with decent weather.