Live from Arkansas

I’m here in Arkansas getting ready for the third Elite Series event of the year, but before I get into that, I want to take a look back at the Winyah Bay event.

First of all, I want to say congratulations to Britt Myers for winning that event.  Britt is one of the good guys and he’s put in a ton of work to get where he’s at; it was really cool to see him win.

I thought I had something figured out, but it turned out to be a train wreck. 

I went into practice planning to go the opposite direction of what I expected the field to be doing, but then, I realized that I was avoiding the healthiest part of the system – the one with all the healthy grass and the one known for big fish – so I thought better of that.

I changed my plan and practiced in the Cooper River and had a really great day on the first day of practice.  I found a really good area that held a bunch of fish.  I got a bunch of bites and even caught a couple of quality fish.  On the second day of practice, I went back into the Cooper River, and didn’t have a good day, but it was in a different area, and having had one really good day, decided that I was going to focus on the Cooper River.

On the third day of practice, I launched in Georgetown and made the run to the Cooper River so that I knew where I was going, and could make a strategy for the tournament.

We started out the first day of the event under the severe weather delay, and that really cut into all of our fishing time.  I was in the first flight, so that meant I would get about three hours to fish with the delay and the hour and half run I was making.  It also meant that I would be fishing on high tide, which I had not fished yet in the area.

I got one bite right away Flippin’ a grass mat, and lost it; then didn’t get another keeper bite the rest of the day.  What really made it more frustrating was that Brett Hite was fishing 50 to 100 yards from me, and he was really bustin’ ‘em.

I came back to the weigh-in with a zero – that really sucked.

My only thought at that point was to return to the area for day two and try to bust a big bag and move up if possible to salvage a few points, and if it went really well, slide into the bottom of the cut.  As it was, I ended up catching 10-11 on day two, and moved from out in the parking lot to 89th in the standings; at least I saved a few points for the day.

The only thing that makes me feel somewhat better about the whole thing is that at least I know I found an area with the right fish.  B-Hite finished second in there, so I still found the right stuff, even though I didn’t execute.

After that, I went home for a few days to spend time with the family, and one funny thing happened while I was jumping on the trampoline with my daughter Lea.  It’s kind of one of our traditions when I’m home to jump together with the girls.  I like to bounce them really high and we have a lot of fun.

She was jumping and had come down on her butt and bounced back into the air to do the same thing again.  As she was going up, I was coming down, but the trampoline busted through and I ended up standing on the ground.  She came down – still in a seated position - and landed on her butt hard. She got a bruise on her butt and it was really sore.  I guess we’ll have to get a new trampoline now.

Now I’m here at the Bull Shoals / Norfork Lake tournament in Arkansas, and I have to tell you, it has really created some logistical issues as far as travel and planning for practice are concerned.

There isn’t any place in between to stay really, so we had to pick one or the other, which means I’ll have about an hour drive on two days of the event, and then I have to figure out a practice plan around the weather trying to make sure I see both lakes in all conditions.

This one is going to be a challenge, and the overall strategy that anglers use in practice and allowing for the drive times could very well be the difference between doing well and not. 

This could be a very long week.

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