Still in running for top angler

The fifth stop on the Walmart FLW Tour took place this past weekend at Kentucky Lake, which straddles the Kentucky-Tennessee boundary.
Hot weather and tough fishing were the two things I dealt with during this tournament.
After what I considered the best practice I had all year for one of these tournaments, I ended up having a tough event. But the final result wound up being pretty good.
My limit of 15.09 pounds on Day 1 landed me in 39th place—not exactly what I was hoping to catch but it could have been worse.
My expectations had been to hit the 20-pound mark after seeing a good number of four-pound-plus bass in practice, but the fish moved from a few of my spots and just got tougher to catch. That’s typical in tournament bass fishing.
Being able to make the right adjustments during the day leads to the great results and it just didn’t work out for me this time.
I was optimistic heading out on Day 2 that I would be able to have a better day, but my tough luck continued and I was only able to bring in a limit of 13.12 pounds.
As I watched the other anglers weigh in, I was really disappointed because I felt like I not only had let the Angler of the Year thing slip away but I was going to miss cashing a cheque, as well.
Fortunately, some luck did find me before all was said and done because I ended up finishing in 50th place—the last paying position—and earned $10,000. So I was a pretty happy with the end result!
Meanwhile, the two anglers who were ahead of me in the Angler of the Year race actually had really tough tournaments last week, as well, so things really have tightened up there.
It looks like I will be in third or fourth place overall heading into the final event next week at Lake Champlain on the New York-Vermont boundary, so I’m very grateful that I still have a chance there.
I’m staying in the U.S. this week in between the tournaments. I took some sponsor people fishing at Kentucky Lake on Monday and Tuesday before hitting the highway for New York.
My uncle, Brian Gustafson, lives in Utica so I’m going to spend a few days with him before I plan to arrive at Champlain on Saturday, so that works out pretty good.
We get three days to practice for these FLW Tour events, starting on the Sunday prior to the tournament. Then Wednesday is a day off and the tournaments always start on Thursdays.
I usually use the Saturday before practice to run around and get groceries for the week, as well as fix anything on my boat or my gear that might need some maintenance.
I spend the three practice days fishing from dark to dark, so I like to make sure I have everything ready so I don’t have to worry about anything but fishing during these days.
While I’m happy I get to fish for a living, and things have gone really well this year, it’s a big sacrifice to be away from home for these long stretches. It’s just part of the job living where we do.
I miss my family and friends a lot and the travelling is not all that glamorous. That being said, a good finish at the last tournament next week would help make it all worthwhile.
Thank you to everybody around home for all the support!