Moving to the Front
So many of you have followed my fishing the last year and a half. I've learned a lot fishing as a coangler. Mostly I have learned what not to do to win a tournament. Over all the BFL tournaments I fished the last year and a half I've gotten a pretty good feel for what its going to take to be successful in the sport of competitive bass fishing at the next level. I've been fishing all my life but most of the people around me know that it wasn't really until the last year or so I made a good run at a lot of these tournaments. I'm moving to the front of the boat this upcoming year. I've been working on a boat the past couple of months to get it ready for tournament fishing. I've gone through my old boat and completely rewired the whole thing and also invested in a great trolling motor and electronics. I've been spending a lot of time rigging the whole boat and I've had to do pretty much everything there is to be done to get the boat to the level where I'd feel comfortable fishing big tournaments out of it.
It cost a lot more to compete as a boater but I guess I've gotten tired of going fishing and having such tough days on the water. Fishing is supposed to be fun and lately I got a little burnt out on it because all those days on the water where you should be catching them but people just don't know what decisions they need to make.
Fishing as a coangler has had a lot of ups and downs. I will say it does matter a lot who you draw out with how successful your day is going to be. I've had some of my best days fishing with guys that have just gotten into fishing. Ideally you want to draw the guy that can find the fish but doesn't know how to catch them. Initially I wanted to win a BFL as a coangler before I made the jump. I believe in taking your time with moving up the later because fishing is a lifelong sport. They say you'll know when you are ready to make that next jump. One of the biggest things I learned the past year has been learning how to live on the road. That's a huge part of being a professional fisherman. You have to get used to fishing the long days and driving the long hours. Also if you want to make it as a pro you need to learn to fish a variety of different waters. There's always going to be the guys that win the weekend tournaments on their home lake. They invest a lot of time in that one particular lake but you have to push yourself to be more than that if you want to make it to the next level. It is a lot of hard work especially if it's not your main job and you work another job to support your fishing career. It takes it's toll after a while on the body for sure. Traveling to these tournaments as a coangler you don't know what to expect. I've always found that to be interesting because you truly see more things fishing with different people than if you fish with the same person all the time. The skill level of boaters fishing the BFLS is so widespread but I'd say there's only about 25 guys or so in each event that are truly there to compete and win. Most of the guys are out to have a good time and if they catch some fish they are happy.
I've got a BFL this weekend on Lake of the Ozarks and I've decided that it will be my last tournament of the 2019 season. Hopefully I"ll go out with a win. I was on a tear the last year but I'm looking for a break to regroup and get some other things straightened out so that I can move up to the next level in my fishing career. Sometimes you have to take a step back a little bit to make two steps forward. The last year was an experiment at getting back into the swing of things in fishing. I didn't really think I was going to end up fishing as many tournaments as I did. When you get on a roll sometimes it's best to keep on rolling so the last year and a half I've fished over 30 tournaments. For 2019 season I'm planning on fishing the Ozark Division BFLS and the Illini Division BFLS. I also will be looking for sponsors to fish the Central Division Costa Series tournaments as well. Stay tuned!