I’m really enthused about next year’s schedule. It’s kind of a big bass deal, and that’s just the way I like it. With the exception of coaching my son’s basketball team and a couple of short hunting trips with family, I plan to spend the winter with a rod and reel in my hand.
I’m in a holding pattern right now, though. My boat from this year is sold and my new one hasn’t arrived yet. Right now my time is being spent with the kids and my wife. That’s a good thing. I enjoy it. But, at the same time, I’m ready to get started on next year. There are some things I need to work on, get better at doing, and this winter will be the perfect time to do that.
With the 2020 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk being held on Lake Guntersville I want to be in tiptop shape with everything in my boat. I consider Guntersville to be a lake that fishes to my strengths. That’s serious when you’re talking about a Bassmaster Classic.
I’ll be spending a lot of my time over there working on some old baits that I want to fish in new and different ways. And I have some new ones that I need to learn more about. I plan on spending a lot of time fishing those lures with different lines, different split rings and different hooks. I want to know exactly how deep or how shallow they’ll run and how they’ll act with whatever rod, reel and line I’m using or however I have them configured.
I’m looking at the same plan for Chickamauga Lake in Tennessee, and for the same reasons.
When I’m not studying my lure running depth and action I’ll be working with my Garmin with Panoptix LiveScope electronics. I know how to use them. In truth they aren’t that difficult to master. At the same time, though, this modern stuff is so advanced that I’m not sure you can ever learn to use everything in it. It’s like a laptop computer. We all can use one, but we never get all out of one that it offers.
The one thing that’s really great about my Garmin is that I can watch my lures on the screen. I don’t have to guess how deep they’re running, or watch my line to see if they’re running straight, to the left or to the right. I know exactly how they’re preforming.
This year is one that I feel suits me and my fishing, and not just the two tournaments I’ve already mentioned. It’s the whole year. I don’t need a break this winter. I need to become a better angler in order to take advantage of what’s in front of me.
Next time I’m going to talk about selecting the right hook. There are dozens of ideas and theories about how to do that. But I have a simple system that works real well for me, and I think it’ll work for you. At least it’ll give you a place to start if nothing else.