“Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.”
My first week on a new job, so to speak, did not go the way I had envisioned. Making at least the ‘50-cut’ in my first tournament of the Bassmaster Elite Series trail was all I have dreamt about since qualifying last year. Unfortunately, I did not have a top-50 finish.
The first day of the tournament I headed to Lake George as did many other anglers in the field. No sooner did I drop the trolling motor and it immediately seemed guys all around me were hooking up on quality bass. I actually felt jittery as my nerves reminded me that I was amidst the greatest anglers in the world. I feverishly cast and cast with nothing to show for it and “IT” finally happened. I gave in and started trying the same techniques the other guys where using. I was second guessing my abilities amongst the best after a subpar practice. I am very strong willed and pride myself in being mentally tough. Getting caught up in the moment would prove to be my first rookie mistake. As I strapped the rods down and headed in, I could not believe I had made such a mistake. I knew better. While some adjustments were necessary, I still had to fish the techniques I was comfortable with and what qualified me to be here in the first place. I had to fish my strengths!
Day 2 I found myself more settled into the task at hand and focused on my fishing, not the fishing going on around me. A few good ones hit top water baits for me during practice and had decided the night before that top water was the only way to catch a bag big enough to get me back up in the standings. Granted I only weighed in 3 fish on the 2nd day after some costly misses, but I had the right opportunities and was fishing my strengths. I felt I was making the correct choices and later would find out several of the top anglers were doing the same thing.
Moving forward from the St. Johns, I am very anxious to get to the next Elite Series event at Winyah Bay. The lesson learned from this first event is to not second guess myself and to fish with confidence. I would like to thank my family for making the trip from NC, my friends for watching via Bassmaster LIVE, and my sponsors Foothills Marine Center, Skeeter, Yamaha, Abu Garcia, Costa, TrueSouth Custom Lures, P-Line, Reaction Innovations, Bass Mafia, Bluewater LED, Brian’s Bees, Lowrance, and TH Marine.
“It’s not in the dreaming, it’s in the doing”