Momentum is big | Bassmaster

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Momentum is big | Bassmaster

I think momentum is big in all sports and not because it’s some magical thing. I think it can give somebody self confidence to do what they’re doing

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I think momentum is big in all sports and not because it’s some magical thing. I think it can give somebody self confidence to do what they’re doing, and if they’ve had success, you just build off that.

With a back-to-back Bassmaster Classic wins under my belt, I’m definitely bringing a lot of momentum into the new fishing season, but I’ve learned to manage this in a disciplined way.

Personally, I’ve settled into my own shoes. I’m comfortable in my own skin, and I do what works for me. I don’t worry about anything else, and I’ve learned that’s easier for me to swallow. If I do it all my way and it doesn’t work out right, I knew it was all my fault and I didn’t go off incorrect information.

That being said, the experiences of winning two Classics has allowed me to meet people that I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet. It has opened my platform to more eyes and my work with veterans. It’s just given me more meaning, more drive.

Also, I’ve had the opportunity to speak a lot to youth and share that anyone can follow their dreams. You can do this and that, and you could be like me, but you don’t have to be like me. Instead, be the best you. That’s all anyone can ask of you.

In terms of preparing for a possible professional fishing career, a lot of up-and-coming anglers ask me about sponsors. I tell them: You do your job and sponsors will come to you.

I honestly believe that, but the biggest thing about building a career is you have to be true to yourself — you can’t be somebody else. You have to go out, do your thing and always remember: You’re competing against the fish, you’re not competing against any name.

Taking that perspective into the new Elite season, I think the first event on the St. Johns is going to be tough. The cold fronts and the weather are not like we want it, so it’s probably going to showcase lower weights. I say that because the lack of vegetation on the river has disrupted the historically good fishing.

Now, switch channels to the second event on the Harris Chain — I don’t care if it’s 32 degrees or 75 degrees, that’s going to be a slugfest. Those lakes are full of fish, and they have plenty of vegetation.

Those fish want to be in that vegetation, so whether they’re in the spawn, or they’re grouped up on the shell beds at the edge of the grass, there’s going to be a lot of big fish caught. I think that’s going to be a high-weight tournament.

One thing I’ll be focusing on this season is maintaining a good practice pace. I’ve learned in recent years that practicing too long was inflicting a lot of wear and tear on my body.

I still practice hard, but I’m not getting any younger.. I’ve learned that I have a six- to eight-hour attention span on the water. Once I hit that and I find myself not paying attention as closely, I know it’s time to get off the water. I mark where I’m at and pick back up the next day.

Now once we’ve fished these first two Elite events, the Classic will be right around the corner. Honestly, I’ve thought about all three of these events every day for the last several months, but I don’t put any more weight on one than the other.

I’m going to get these two Elites done to the best of my ability and what happens happens. When the Classic comes, I’ll switch to a “no-points” mode, go for it all and give it my best.

That’s all anyone can ask of me.

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