Catching up

It’s been a while since I took a minute to check in. With the Bassmaster Classic, and the rush to get ready for Chickamauga, then the virus and everything that’s going on in the world, I just got busy. But, as I’ve thought about it, it’s time to sit down and start putting some thoughts on paper.

Let’s start with he Bassmaster Classic. First, Hank Cherry, congratulations. You fished really well in an extremely tough event. I don’t think I can remember a time when Guntersville was as tough as it was during that event, and you figured out the right stuff and earned it — great job.

As for my tournament, I’ve thought about it, and I always analyze and ask myself questions after an event: “Is there anything I could possibly have done differently?” and “If I could get a second chance would I chose a different technique or area?”

The answer to all these questions is no.

I’ve fished eight Bassmaster Classics, and I’ve always wished I had tried something different. Unlike all the other Classics I’ve fished in the past where I could see where I made mistakes, I can’t see those this time. It was a really tough tournament, and I feel good about the decisions I made.

On to the current situation. The world is in a really tough spot right now with this virus. People are getting sick, schools are closed and a lot are struggling financially. While it would be nice to be fishing right now, B.A.S.S. and our field are doing the right thing. We are being responsible and putting the public’s needs at the forefront, rather than running all over the country risking exposure to fans, staff, anglers and our families.

It's not a good situation for the country, our areas and for the economy, but if we look at it with the right perspective, we can find blessings in these difficult times. If I’ve learned anything over the last year-and-half or so, it’s that in every situation, if you look hard enough, you can find a silver lining to just about any dark cloud.

In this situation, I’ve realized that I’m getting the chance to do some things I don’t normally get the chance to do this time of the year. I’m getting the chance to work on Candy’s "honey do" list that she has for me. I’ve been pressure washing and cleaning up the house and working on stuff here. I’ve worked on tackle and done some organizing of my gear. I’ve worked on my Skeeter and Yamaha, doing maintenance things that I would be scrambling to do normally.  

I’ve fished for crappie several times and put some of those good filets in my freezer, and yeah, I’ve fished for bass a few times too. What’s funny, is that with everything going on, I think the population that is having toughest time has to be the fish, at least in the State of Alabama. It’s hard to find a parking spot at the launch ramps right now. With the need for social distancing, fishing is a great activity — if it’s done right.

But, most importantly, I’ve gotten to spend some time with the people I love. Candy and I watch our granddaughters a lot, and right now with schools being closed, it’s helped our sons and daughters-in-law who are both in healthcare. We’ve played games, colored, fished in my pond and just spent some good quality time together.

I’ve done some media work, recording videos for Skeeter, Yamaha and my lure sponsors — Reaction Innovations and Dirty Jigs — at The Loft tackle store at Buck’s Island, and I’m working on staying busy and productive while we are on pause.

Along with all of that, I’m really praying for our country, and for our people in this time. I know things are tough, but I really feel like we will come through it stronger and more prepared than ever before. Stay safe and keep up the faith — I’ll check in again soon.