Humble pie in South Carolina

It was a large slice of humble pie for me this past weekend down at Lake Hartwell in South Carolina—the second stop on the FLW Tour for 2014.
My 148th-place finish probably was the worst tournament finish I think I’ve ever had, at least that I can remember.
If I did finish worse than that at some point, I can guarantee you I forgot about it already!
Obviously I’m very disappointed. The worst part is that I feel like I let down all of my friends, sponsors, and supporters at home who follow these events.
At the end of the day, however, it’s just fishing and I’m over it. That’s all you can do because we start a new event in a couple of weeks down in Texas, so you have to move on.
Looking back, I’m not sure I can point to one thing that went wrong for me. My practice did not go great, but I fished hard from dark to dark all three days and managed to catch a couple of good ones every day.
When the tournament started last Thursday (March 6), we were faced with extremely nasty weather—cold, wind, and rain. I fished the areas that I found in practice and managed to catch a five-fish limit that weighed 6.07 pounds, which is likely the smallest limit I’ve ever weighed!
On Day 2, with my back against the wall, I felt like I needed to try to make some sort of comeback, so I fished in some different areas as well as with baits that I thought may make for bigger largemouths that would give me the best opportunity to do that.
About a half-hour into the morning, I caught a bass weighing nearly three pounds so I was excited that I had made the right decision. If I stuck with what I was doing, I would get the chance to put four more fish in the boat and work myself into cheque range.
Well, I fished as hard as I could for the next seven hours and did not get another bite the rest of the day, so I ended up dropping one fish on the scale.
Looking back, I probably fished too fast. It’s hard on these lakes because I feel like I need to cover water and look for fish. But because of the bad weather, the bass just weren’t that active.
I just didn’t feel like I had a good enough spot to really slow way down.
The good news for me out of all of this is that there still were some big-name guys who finished lower on the list than I did.
It also looks like I will be fishing the KBI tournament in August. If I had a good season and qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup, I would have had to miss the KBI.
But only the top 40 anglers in points after six events make the season end championship, and my two bad finishes to start the year have pretty much eliminated my chance to do that.
Fishing all of these tournaments, I’m going to have some bad ones. But after two in a row, I need to get back on track at the next one!
I’m happy to be home this week. The weather finally is getting a little nicer after a long winter.
I’m looking forward to getting on the ice and fishing a few times before I leave for Texas later next week to fish the next tournament at Lake Sam Rayburn.
I fished a tournament there in October, 2012 and cashed a cheque, so I’m looking forward to getting back there.

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