They’ve been friends since childhood and team tournament partners since their teens; so it makes sense that John Cox and Keith Carson would lean on one another in a tight spot.
Previous commitments prevented the Central Florida anglers from visiting Lake Ray Roberts prior to Wednesday’s official practice day. With a short window of opportunity, the longtime pals teamed up to share lake breakdown duties.
“We were just bouncing ideas off of one another and making changes throughout the day,” Cox said.
The goal was to multiply their efforts by fishing different areas and then comparing notes. Of course the best-laid plans…
“We tried to do the best we could (Wednesday), but we both ended up running one of the same pockets,” Carson chuckled. “We were kind of upset because we were on limited time.”
Cox chalks that up to a miscommunication: “He told me something and I misunderstood it and we both fished an area with one 4-pounder on a bed. We both had the exact same mark.”
Rating the joint practice as fair, but with a lot of potential, Carson said. “If we can put things together, I think we have a solid foundation to build for the tournament.”
Likely pushing different courses, Cox and Carson agreed to put their heads together before and after each fishing day.
“I don’t think we’re going to be in the same areas, so we’ll talk about game plans prior to tournament takeoff,” Carson said. “We’ll also talk about what happened throughout the day after weigh-in and make adjustments for the next day.
“We’re each going to make our own decisions, we’re each going to run our own water. We’re not going to share spots — we’re sharing information on techniques and baits.”
Cox got a little flushed with genuine emotion when he closed with this: “I get chills thinking about it, but our realistic goal is for us both to make the Super 6 and come out together on the final day with the pyros. No matter, win or lose, that would be cool.
“Going into this event, it’s a dream we’ve had since we were kids to fish the Bassmaster Classic. I don’t think either of us thought we’d both be there fishing in the same Classic. I’d be more than happy if he wins it. It would be just like me winning it.”