Settling in at B.A.S.S.

Most of you don’t know anything about me, so here goes …

This is my first year fishing with B.A.S.S. I did fish one tournament back in 1996 and another one in 2010, but other than that seven of my nine B.A.S.S. events have been this year. It’s been interesting. I suppose some would call me a rookie, but in truth I’ve fished something like 154 FLW events at various levels in their organization. I’ve been around for a while.  

Winning the 2020 Bassmaster Central Open at Lewisville Lake is a big thrill for me. Other than the obvious — I’ll talk about that in a minute — the thing I’m most proud of about my win is a decision I made late in the final day.

The area I was fishing was like my home waters in Kentucky. There were shallow flats, creeks and inflows, but everything was close to deep holes and there were all sorts of depths in between. I felt like I was where I needed to be, but other anglers obviously felt the same way. At times we were rub rail to rub rail. Everyone was polite and courteous, but pressure is still pressure. 

I’d figured out a way to get the bigger ones to bite and was having a good event, but late on that last day I decided I’d gotten about all out of my area that I could. I told my cameraman that I was about to make the biggest and most important decision of my fishing life — stay or go. 

With that statement I pulled up my trolling motor, started my outboard and headed towards other waters. It was the best decision I could have made. I caught the winning fish, and my last fish, from the new water. 

In the end, after a very tense day with a slow bite, I was holding up a trophy. I have to say it’ll look good in my home. And, along with that trophy comes a spot in the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic on Lake Ray Roberts.

It would be nice if I could tell you how I feel about that, but I can’t right now. It’s only been a few hours since I qualified, and it really hasn’t sunk in yet. For sure, it’s going to be an honor. The Bassmaster Classic is the biggest bass fishing tournament in the country. I’ll be a part of that so it’ll be great. Beyond saying those things, though, I’m going to have to process it for a while. 

I do know that it’ll help me with my sponsors which will make my transition over to B.A.S.S. a little easier from a financial point of view. I’m thankful for that. 

The only thing I wish was different was my overall performance in both Open divisions. I haven’t had a good year, and it doesn’t look like I’m going to qualify for the Bassmaster Elite Series. That was my goal. But, next year will come along and with it will come another opportunity to qualify.  

Overall I’m a happy camper. I’ve settled into B.A.S.S. It feels like this is where I belong.

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