My friend, Mo, will be riding with me to the 2020 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk. He’ll be with some of the other guys, too. His full name is Mr. Momentum, and there’s not much that’s more important than him when it comes to winning.
I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I’ve watched it happen over and over again with the best anglers ever to fish professionally, and with me. Get on a streak where you’re making good decisions and catching them, and it carries over from one tournament to the next.
The same thing happens in reverse, too. Make bad decisions, finish down near the bottom, and you start to doubt yourself. That makes things worse. It takes you a while to fish your way out of it.
The funny thing about it is that sometimes you don’t even recognize it’s happening. It’s just there.
That’s why I think my second-place finish at the 2020 AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River was so important going into the Classic. I fished along and let the tournament come to me. I didn’t push, and I didn’t press. I’m comfortable in my own skin right now. That’s the way you need to be to have another good event.
Another thing that helps with momentum going into the Classic is that the 2020 Bassmaster Elite at Chickamauga Lake was rescheduled. I know that’s a hassle for B.A.S.S. and the community over there, and for a lot of the anglers.
When I say that I don’t want anybody to think I’m ignoring the general mess that the flooding has caused all the other local residents and businesses. I’ve seen and experienced it before. It’s tough stuff.
But the thing is that now there’s nothing that stands between the St. Johns River and Lake Guntersville. We’re all able to go home, relax, put everything together and head towards Birmingham without any other fishing distractions. That’s a rare privilege in this business.
Another guy that I think has a good relationship right now with Mr. Mo is Scott Canterbury. He made good decisions and had a good tournament with a sixth0place finish. On top of that he has a lot of experience on Guntersville. I’ll go out on a limb here and say he’s a guy to watch.
But the real deal coming out of the St. Johns tournament has to be Paul Mueller. He’s an angler that you’ll want too keep an eye on at our 50th Classic. He did a dynamite job with his strategy and his tactics down there. And, don’t forget that you’re looking at a guy who finished second on Lake Guntersville at the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.
Oh, I almost forgot one other thing: He’s also one of the best cold-water bass anglers fishing the Bassmaster Elite Series. That won’t hurt him any in early March.
I know he said in his column that every tournament is unique and that his win didn’t give him anything special going into the Classic. Paul believes that, or wants to believe it, I’m sure. He’s a guy who’s humble, doesn’t seek out the spotlight and doesn’t beat his own chest. He’s a class act.
That’s all true, but what I said at the beginning of this column is equally true. Mr. Mo is riding with him no matter if he doesn’t believe it, or doesn’t want to believe it. Watch him, and wish all the rest of us the best.