As the tournament season has officially begun, I have big goals in a quest to make this year my best yet. My main goal is to qualify for the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Championship as a co-angler. Anticipation and preparation is greeted with the first Opens event to kick off 2018. Fishing as a co-angler, my biggest asset is to capitalize on each learning opportunity. I was very fortunate to finish sixth in the first Eastern event on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes.
Josh Douglas helped me prepare on the water during official practice. I set out to find key confidence baits for each given area of the water. We primarily focused our time on Lake Kissimmee, leaving our last day of practice to look around Lake Toho.
Day 1, I was paired with local David May. We took off on boat number 50 going out in the third flight. We started our first day in Lake Toho and I was able to boat one keeper before we locked down towards Kissimmee. Fishing up to the last minute, I weighed in 8 pounds, 1 ounce, my biggest catch being a 4.5- to 5-pound kicker.
Day 2, I was paired with my peer, Mason Brown from Northern Florida. Setting out for a longer day of fishing, we were due in at 4:45 p.m. in boat #159. We caught bass after bass, slowly upgrading our limits and capitalizing every minute of the day to catch the bass needed to make the cut for championship day. I was grateful to land in ninth place for Day 2, weighing in 7 pounds, 12 ounces.