My plans have changed

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James Overstreet

When I signed up for the Basspro.com Bassmaster Eastern Opens, I really didn’t have a firm plan about what I was going to do other than keep fishing with the different FLW divisions and go ahead and fish the four Eastern Opens. This was my first tournament with B.A.S.S. I was all FLW before that. 

I don’t want to say anything bad about anyone or anything, but with all that’s going on I thought I’d better plan for the future. You never know what will be around next year or what kind of changes will happen. Everything is kind of uncertain. That’s really why I decided to fish the Eastern Opens. It was about having options. It wasn’t about disliking anything.   

On the first day I knew I had a chance to have good tournament. The second day surprised me. I didn’t think it was all that great, but in the end it put me right up near the top. So on Friday, the last day, I got real serious. 

It’s great when you have a good tournament but the truth is that second or third place is like eating a cold potato — better than nothing but not exactly what you want. You want the win. 

And, I realized going into it — the last day I’m talking about now — that I could go to the 2021 Bassmaster Classic if I won. That’s what really got me going. I was fishing as hard as I know how to fish. I wasn’t thinking about the win. I was thinking about a chance to compete in a Classic. 

That’s a funny thing to say. I almost can’t believe I said it. But it’s true. You have to win the tournament to get there, I know that, but you know what I’m trying to say. The win is nice, but a Classic spot is better. That’s the most important part. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the whole thing. 

Tomorrow I’m going to sign up for the Central Opens, pay my deposit and everything. I don’t know if I’ll get in or not. I think I’ll be on a waiting list or something. If I do get in, though, I’ll fish them as well as the Eastern ones.

My job will let me do that. I work for a company that paints roads and parking lots. The owner is a tournament fisherman, too, so he understands when I need off to practice and compete. That’s a real advantage when you’re doing what I’m doing. I can earn money while I’m fishing which really helps things out. 

I didn’t realize what a win like in the 2020 Basspro.com Bassmaster Eastern Open at Kissimmee Chain would be like. You know, what it would do for me. This is a really big deal compared with the other tournaments I’ve fished. I’m into it.  

One thing is for sure. My plans have changed. I want to be a Bassmaster Elite Series angler. I can only imagine what that would be like.