Expect the unexpected

MANY, La. – No one is immune to a crazy day, no matter how many years you’ve been fishing on the Bassmaster Elite Series level.

Just ask Matt Herren, who has fished 28 previous Elite Series events and three Bassmaster Classics.

Early Thurday, while driving to his primary area on Toledo Bend Reservoir, Herren experienced a new low.

“The bungee strap on my rods broke while I was running 70 miles per hour, and rods were flying everywhere,” Herren said.

“I lost every rod on the deck of the boat, and those were all the ones I planned on fishing with for the day.”

After the bungee snapped, Herren’s rods flew off the boat deck – five in all. With 50 feet of water under him and a parade of anglers following close behind him, it was hopeless to do anything but move past the mishap.

“So I’m down to one rod that I had in my rod box,” Herren said.

“On about the fifth cast I realized it’s one of my old rods with no tip on it, so it’s fraying my line.”

He lost about an hour and a half of fishing time after adding a new guide to his old rod, changing hooks, and tying up new baits.

“I stand up and the first spot I go to, on the first three casts, I have three fish throw my bait that I know were every bit of six pounds [each],” he goes on. “By that time I’m just livid and beside myself.

"I just shook my head because I knew it wasn’t going to be my day. Then all of a sudden they started biting and everything slowly started coming together.”

Making the best of a bad situation can be key to success, no matter what you’re doing. Herren did just that. He’s in sixth place after Day One with an even 20 pounds.

But Herren’s misfortune-filled day wasn’t yet complete.

“With about 30 minutes to go, I snapped the last rod I had while landing a fish,” he said. “So now I’ve got to go find some more rods for tomorrow.”

All Herren could do was laugh about a day unlike any other.

It’s easier to smile, of course, when you’re among the leaders after such unpredictable disasters.