Big Win, Big Money, 1st Place Finish in the BFL Regional Championship Grand Lake and 50,000 dollars
What a week! It was truly one of the greatest weeks of my life! I had been searching the past two years for a win on the FLW BFL trail. In the past I had come close to winning a lot of times. Last year I had two second place finishes in the BFL's on Lake of the Ozarks and over my FLW fishing career I had finished in the top 5 over 10 times. I knew that I just had to be patient and my time would come. It was amazing that it all went down though in the Regional Championship.
The tournament started out with me and my partner throwing jigs and crankbaits and on the first day I had a limit really early. I ended up giving a few of my baits to my partner and he was able to get a limit as well. I finished up the day in 6th place and had a little over 10lbs.
The night before the second day of fishing I had a really crazy dream. I was standing on a cliff that was either on the ocean coast or the bank of a big lake. At the top of the cliff there was another gentleman. He looked like he had been living outside for awhile. He had a big beard and was wearing some strange garments of the past. The wind was blowing so hard that I could barely hear what the man was saying. He said something like "Thou Shalt Seek". Then he mumbled something else that I couldn't understand because the wind was blowing so hard. I then remember him saying the words "Matthew". I awoke from my crazy dream and punched what he said about "Thou Shalt Seek" into my phone and my google search returned a page about Matthew 7:7. that said the following
"Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will
find. Knock, and it will be opened for you.
For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks
finds. To him who knocks it will be opened."
It was about 3:50 am in the morning and we had our alarms set to wake up at 4am. When my roomate Mark Tucker got up I said man I just had the craziest dream. I told him all about it and he said "You had all that Taco Bell last night that's what it was lol!" I don't read the bible and it had been a while since I'd been to church.
Oddly enough on day two I went out and caught the heaviest bag of the tournament on the co-angler side and jumped into the lead with a 16lb bag and change. I had caught 4 of the 5 keepers on a jig and the biggest one I got to eat the spinnerbait.
Sitting in the lead on day two and having a 6lb lead I felt pretty comfortable. I knew that I had to catch them on the final day but I felt like I could do it again. On day three I managed to put 3 small keepers in the boat early. They didn't weight much and I was beginning to wonder if I was going to slip to 2nd again. It was a much tougher bite because the lake had been hammered for two days straight and the sun had come out.
Around 1 o'clock I caught the last keeper on the day and looked to my partner and said, "He might not be big but I bet that fish is going to be worth 50,000 dollars". It turned out that I was right and I needed 6.6lbs on the final day to close it out. My fish ended up weighing just over 7lbs and the feeling I had while on stage was hard to describe. I had been working hard at fishing my whole life for this very moment to win a big tournament like this.
Winning the event also gave me a berth to the BFL All-American which will be in South Carolina. I'll be fishing against 54 other guys for a shot at 60,000 dollars in winnings. I can't wait to go to the All - American . It is considered one of the most prestigious tournaments to qualify for in bass fishing.