Fishing the Top 100
After fishing seven tournaments last Fall from here to the Canadian border in New York I feel confident in saying that a bass is a bass no matter where you are. I fished tournaments in New York, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Missouri, and Texas. Once I was near the bass the catching them was relatively easy. I had to learn to look past the unfamiliar scenery and terrain in order to fall back on my previous knowledge. Fish positioning around shallow cover was the same everywhere. Stumps, rocks, laydowns, various vegetation, or anything else along the shallows proved to hold fish the same way they hold fish here in Texas. I lived on the road for three and a half months last Fall from mid July through October, the tournaments were simply too far from home to travel back in between competition. So I would pre-practice days on ends for the next tournament. I got a first hand look at how some the other Top 100 pros would approach tournaments and who pre-practices and who doesnâ€™t. Surprisingly some of the pros high in the standings donâ€™t pre-practice. They show up to the tournaments and fish them cold turkey. Most of them have several tournaments under their belts on those waters, however it is still impressive that some of their tournament performances are very successful with three days of practice. Their practice time is limited because of various speaking engagements and also public appearances. Some of them are busy shooting their fishing shows in between tournaments like Jimmy Houston, Roland Martin, and Larry Nixon. Fishing the Top 100 has been a real incredible experience. Everyone in the Top 100 is there for a reason and the competition is tough. Weighing in a limit everyday of competition has always been my goal but I am learning more and more that weighing in a heavy limit everyday of competition is what it takes to be successful in the Top 100. The best way for me to describe fishing the Top 100 is to compare it to golf. Fishing the BassMaster Top 100 has been like getting my tour card and playing on the PGA Tour. No golf tournament competition is as solid as that of the PGA Tour and the same can be said for the Top 100. I have four more B.A.S.S. Top 100 tournaments and four more B.A.S.S. Invitationals for the second half of the season this Spring. The upcoming tournaments are in Mississppi, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina and even one here in Texas at Lake Texoma. It has been a nice break to be home through the holidays but I already have tournament fever and I am ready to hit the trail.