This is why I came back. There’s nothing like one of those blue trophies. And, even though I have three others, this one from the Dovetail Games Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River sponsored by 'Bassmaster 2022' the video game is special. It’s my first year back in the Bassmaster Elite Series, and the Sabine River hasn’t exactly been good to me over the years. I’ve had some tough finishes on her.
The thing about fishing at the professional level, or any level for that matter, is that you have to compete in your comfort zone. It’s about doing what’s right for you. I grew up following B.A.S.S. tournaments and the anglers who fished them. It created an attachment that never went away, and it never will.
At the same time I have to say that the Elite Series format fits my style. I’m comfortable with the people, the format and the way the tournaments are run from a management level down to the angler level.
Those are the reasons I came back from the fishing point of view. But, this is not just a hobby for me. It’s also a business. I took all my sponsors input into consideration as well when making the decision on coming back. They felt B.A.S.S. was where my fishing style and brand would benefit us both the best. You won’t be around very long if you’re not making money.
When I say all of that I want to make it clear that I’m not saying anything bad about MLF. It’s a matter of what fits you and your style of fishing and living. I suppose it’s like eating. Some people like green beans and some don’t. It’s not about being right or wrong. It’s about personal preference.
The other thing I want to mention in this column is the incredible advancement in equipment that made this win possible.
I found my fish in a creek a long way from where we were going to launch. If I’d have realized how far away that creek was, I probably wouldn’t have made the run. But, that’s not the way it happened.
My Garmin units were (are) linked with my Yamaha outboard. I was able to monitor my rpms at the console as well as my fuel consumption. It also measured the exact amount of fuel I had onboard at any given time. And when I say exact, that’s what I mean. The most fuel I had left when I got back was on the first day — 2 gallons. The least was on the second day — 2 quarts. I would never have been able to cut it that close without that information.
The important thing about me saying that is we all need to be able to use our equipment to the fullest extent. That’s true regardless of whether you have high-end equipment like my Garmin units and my Yamaha outboard or if yours is several years old. It’s also true regardless of whether you’re a professional or recreational weekend angler.
My thoughts about my win at the Sabine River are pretty straightforward. Fish a circuit and at a level that keeps you in your comfort zone, get everything out of your equipment that it’ll give you, and don’t let the past dictate the future.