Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Big Show Breakdown


See that arm over on the right side of the photo? That's me. And that's as close as I've come to being famous. The guy in the photo is B.A.S.S. pro Brian Clark, my Day 3 partner.

I guess I should back up and explain. First of all, a lot has happened since my last blog. I moved into a new apartment-good. I have a new roommate-better. I got a promotion and raise at work-sweet. My brother got married-he will be missed. And I was able to participate in the biggest bass tournament of my life-awesome.

I had a great time during the tournament. My first day partner was veteran angler Ken Cook. Ken used to be a fisheries biologist before he began fishing full time. In August 1991 he won the Bassmaster Classic, the Super Bowl of bass fishing. Back then the prize money for that tournament was only $50,000. The Elite tourneys today award $100,000 for first place and $500,000 for the Classic. Fishing has come a long way, baby.

Ken didn't talk much, but nor did I. We concentrated on our task at hand. We both caught plenty of fish and brought in decent weights for day 1. I finished the day in 18th place with 5 fish, 10lb 1oz. My 2nd day partner was Jeff Reynolds. Jeff didn't talk much either
and the fishing wasn't as good as day 1. I finished day 2 in 31st place 5 fish, 6lbs even; good enough to make the top 50 cut for the final day.
Day 3 was Brian Clark. Even though Brian is a big Dallas Cowboys fan and I'm a big Washington Redskins fan we were able to set aside our football fandom malice and have a great time. What we lacked in finding fish we made up for in conversation. And at the end of the tournament I only brought in 4 fish for 5lb 9oz and finished 40th. I brought home a modest $500 check and a lot of experience and knowledge I couldn't have received any other way.

B.A.S.S. has agreed to hold one of their Elite series tournaments out of Paris Landing next year. That will practically be in my backyard. I will definitely be there for that one!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Big Show-revised

Update on the Elite Series tournament. I found out I was 69th on the WAITING list for the KY Lake Elite tourney. So, I canceled that entry and registered for the Lake Wheeler tourney which is the first week in June out of Decatur, Al. I am currently 6th on the waiting list for that one. Hopefully I'll get to squeak in there. I've been on Wheeler twice for club tournaments and it's very similar to my home lake. I think it will still be a valuable experience. So until then I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Big Show

Things have been rather uneventful this Winter for the Ichthyophile. After the tournament season ended I put up all my tackle and dusted off the duck hunting gear. We've had an average season I'd say. Some days were downright boring. We finally got some good COLD temps here the last couple of weeks which has at least made it feel like duck hunting weather. The season will wrap up on the 27th and then it will be time to start thinking about how I can improve on last year's fishing season. That starts with looking at maps and deciding where I can put brush piles to help attract some better fish to certain areas.

Another thing I've decided to do this year to improve my knowledge and skills is participate in a REAL professional tournament. The B.A.S.S. Elite tour series is making a stop on Kentucky Lake this June. The Elite series is the name given to the organization's major annual tour. Each tournament consists of the top 100 professional anglers from the previous year or who have met certain career criteria. With those 100 pro's will be 100 co-anglers; one of which being me. The tournament is a 4 day event. After the first 2 days the field is cut down to the top 50 pro's and top 50 co-anglers. Day 3 is the co-anglers' final day. The winner of that will receive a brand new, fully rigged bass boat, retail value approx. $45k. Not too bad. The most important thing I want to gain from this experience is just that-experience. Each day I'll be paired with a different pro who may fish a different style or different pattern. I hope to learn how they think and how they evaluate certain conditions and the decisions they make accordingly. There are a lot of anglers I'd love to be paired with and as long as I don't get stuck with this guy I should have a great time. If you remember back in June 2006 I posted my thoughts on his behavior. Let's hope I'm spared the "pleasure" of that experience.