Lake Minnewaska, Starbuck, MN
This whole tournament was a challenge for me literally from start to finish. Two weeks prior to the actual tournament I put aside a couple days to get out there and practice. Being that I had never even seen the lake before, I wanted to at least get out there for the weekend and check things out, get a good feel for the fish and more importantly get familiar with the lake itself. Unfortunately, an hour after I launched my trim went out completely on my motor and instead of figuring out the mystery of Lake Minnewaska, I was forced to limp back, load up and head back home to get things patched up.
Once tournament week came around I was charged up and ready to go. I got a new trim motor put in my Evinrude and it was running great. I was able to practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and it wasn’t until mid afternoon Friday that I finally found a few good schools of fish. I didn’t have a backup plan at all but if this pattern held up it could produce winners. I’ve never had this challenging of a practice and worse yet, had never felt this uncomfortable about my opportunities get a check.
Well to make a not so long story even shorter, my pattern definitely did not work out. After four straight days of sun, tournament day gave way to stormy and cloudy skies which definitely effected my fish. I struggled half the day to even coax a single bite and when I finally wised up and made the proper adjustments I dropped the few good fish needed to fill a nice limit. Instead I managed to only weigh in three bass for a total weight of 4.56 lbs. and took 49th place, dead last. I once said after winning the first event of the 2009 Bassmaster Weekend Series, that in order to actually win one of these tournaments everything has got to go right, from practice all the way to the the weigh in. The competition is just too stiff and someone ALWAYS manages to catch them. On the other hand, to finish last, most everything has got to go wrong.
Although very disappointing, I’ve still managed to learn a very important lesson that will make me an even better tournament fisherman. I’ve learned to be a bit more humble. In only my second season fishing at this level, I’ve been so fortunate to have had the success’s that I have. I’ve done this by putting in my time and trusting my own decisions on the water. This tournament I didn’t listen to the voices in my head telling me I needed to adjust, instead I was stubborn and didn’t make the proper changes until it was to late and then panicked and didn’t stick with the adjusted game plan long enough to make it work and it resulted in my worst performance by far. Someone once told me to be a true winner you must first learn what it’s like to loose. Point taken….
Congrats to my good buddies Ryan and Corey Brant for their strong finishes, 3rd and 7th respectively. Hats off gentleman!