Putting in the work | Bassmaster


Putting in the work | Bassmaster

Faith — that’s the word I use to describe my outlook for the 2022 Bassmaster Elite Series season. It’s faith in what’s ahead and what’s coming.Fishi

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Faith — that’s the word I use to describe my outlook for the 2022 Bassmaster Elite Series season. It’s faith in what’s ahead and what’s coming.

Fishing is no different than the rest of our lives and careers. For me, I’ll be keeping the faith in the fact that I know my abilities, and I know that God has a plan for me and my wife, Randi, and our careers.

Now, to make sure I’m doing my best to live out this plan, I’ve invested a lot of time and effort into preparation, not only for the Elites, but also the Bassmaster Opens I’ll be fishing. I’ve prepared all I could to get my equipment ready, but mentally it’s all about the faith. 

I know if I keep putting in the work, I’ll achieve the results I’m after.

Looking back at 2021, my rookie season was tough. However, I learned a lot and I’m using that humbling experience as motivation to fuel my fire for this season.

Here’s how I look at it: A lot of people say you have to put your bad seasons and bad events behind you. While you can’t dwell on your failures, if you don’t reflect on them, you’re never getting better.

I’ve had some time to reflect on last season, and I think about how I had some close calls and things that could have helped out. In the end, I did not have the season I wanted, but I take heart in seeing how much more prepared I am now than when I first started guiding on Toledo Bend a dozen years ago.

That came through keeping the faith. I kept doing the work and kept doing the things that would help me get to my end game plan.

Whether it’s guiding or tournament fishing, I believe success is relevant to time on the water. Taking that a step farther, I have to make sure it’s efficient, quality time on the water.

Linking this to my 2021 reflections, one of the biggest things I learned about the Elite Series is the much faster pace versus a Bassmaster Open. Your practice period is shorter, everything comes at you so fast, and before you know it — bam — it’s game time.

So, for me, it’s going to be about picking up little tidbits of information, while covering water at a much faster pace than I did last year. My objective — be methodical, but do it faster.

Admittedly, I probably fell into a rut after so many years of guiding where the pace is a lot slower. With customers in the boat, you’re not always running around with your hair on fire. I’m aware of the difference, and I’m ready to pick up the pace.

In practice, I’ll be using more moving baits. I want a lure that will get me a strike — I don’t have to catch the fish, but I just want to know where they are and what triggers them. I just want to collect those clues and then, on game day, settle in on my past experiences and the things I have the most confidence in.

And above all — keep the faith.

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