When Jeff Coble approached the Bassmaster Classic stage on day one with three fish for 8 pounds, 10 ounces, his comments were, as usual, candid.
"For those of you who are always asking me why I don't go pro, here's the reason right here," said Coble to the weigh-in crowd as he pointed to his day's weight on the scale. "That's why I keep my day job as a boat rep."
His day's weight put him 36th place.
"That's what happens when you compete against the best in the world," he said back stage in the press room. "You blink and there are 35 of them that blow right by you."
As for Coble's day, he said he stuck with a jig around docks most of the day. His Mop jig produced three keepers, one being about 4 pounds.
"That 4-pounder was my first fish of the day — I caught it about 10 o' clock," he recounted. "Then I caught another one right after it and I thought I might get a little something going, but it was just enough to keep me fooled into thinking I was doing the right thing. And from there, it was all downhill."
As for tomorrow, Coble says he plans to return to the scene of his day-one disaster for a little redemption.
"All I can do is hope that the change in weather will bring the track my way," he said. "Maybe a little sun will get those fish dock fish going."
And as for the brush piles he planted?
"They're dead," Coble said. "I tried a few today and they treated me about as well as they did in practice — nothing. There's no sense in running around trying to figure something out now. I'm going to stick with what I'm doing."
"Like I said," he summed up. "This is why I don't do this for a living."