Back on the road again

After several months off from fishing out of a boat, I’m back on the road this week—heading to Florida to get ready for the 2015 FLW Tour season which starts the first week of March at Lake Tohopekaglia.
After the Arctic blast that hit us across Sunset Country over the past weekend, the opportunity to head south could not have come at a better time.
As has become a tradition over the past few years, the first event of the FLW Tour season is taking place in Florida.
Although we only get three days to pre-fish for these tournaments just prior to the events, I usually head down early before the first tournament of the year so I can get my new motor broken in, make sure everything works on the boat, and just get back into fishing mode again.
There are plenty of great bass lakes across Florida, so finding a place to fish is never a problem.
Most of the lakes in Florida are very similar in that they are shallow and full of weeds or grass. So I’ll try to work on some of the techniques that have proven to be successful on these lakes in the past—and maybe try to work in a few things of my own.
Although Florida fishing can be very good, it also is notorious for becoming stingy, as well, especially if the hint of a cold front passes through.
The big thing to remember on these lakes, and when I’m fishing the tournament on Toho, is that you could catch a 10-pound plus bass on any cast. There aren’t many places where you can do that.
The FLW Tour consists of six events again this year, concluding on the Potomac River just outside of Washington, D.C. at the end of June.
Some 150 anglers are competing this year, with the goal of collecting as many points as possible over the course of the season.
You get points depending on where you finish in each event and the top 40 anglers in points at the end of the season qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup—the most lucrative event in professional bass fishing.
If you can make it to this event (I finished 64th in points last year), you get the chance to fish for $500,000 against 39 other anglers.
My goal this season is to make it to the championship.
Thankfully, I have some great support to allow me to go and fish these tournaments. The entry fee for each event is $4,300, then you have to consider travel costs, accommodations, and all the equipment you need to fish at a variety of different bodies of water.
I would not be able to do it without the support from my sponsors, so I have to give them all a big thanks: Krugerfarms.com, Lund Boats, Dr. Pepper, Ontario’s Sunset Country, International Comfort Products, Shimano, Northland Fishing Tackle, Jackall Lures, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Optima Batteries, Plano, and Frabill.
Over the course of the next four months, I’ll be travelling across the southern U.S., competing in Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Maryland.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve made friends with a few guys that let me leave my boat and truck at their place, which allows me to fly back and forth to Winnipeg in between tournaments.
Though it’s my dream to get to compete in these tournaments, and I have a lot of fun doing it, it is not a glamorous lifestyle like that of most other professional sports.
There are long hours in the truck and many nights alone in hotel rooms away from my family. As well, if you don’t catch fish and collect some prize money, then you don’t make any money.
That being said, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing for the next few months!
You can follow along this year at www.flwoutdoors.com

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