Day 3 curse strikes duo again

What Bugs Bunny is to Elmer Fudd, the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship crown is to Mike Luhman and Mark Raveling.
The pair probably are the best team to have not won the FFCBC, which suggests they are under-achievers. But that’s certainly not to say they are bad anglers.
On the contrary, the duo is considered by many to be one of the most consistent teams at the FFCBC, which may sound like a paradox given they readily admit they’ve had a heck of a time fishing well for three days in a row.
“We have a real problem with stringing three days together,” said Luhman, sporting the characteristic “raccoon eyes” like most of the other anglers by the third day.
“We’ve gotten pulled through [the tent] for the fourth- or fifth-straight year and we always seem to [get skunked] the last day,” he added.
This year was somewhat different as Luhman and Raveling finished in fourth place, which is exactly where they had started on Saturday morning. But once again, they brought in their lowest weight on Day 3.
In fact, having averaged 17.32 pounds over the first two days, if they would have gotten that weight on the third day, they would have won this year’s FFCBC by 0.35 pounds.
Instead, they only brought 15.15 pounds through the tent, which still was a relatively good bag but did not meet the expectations they had placed on themselves—especially after coming here two weeks early to pre-fish.
Last year probably is the best example of how tough a time Luhman and Raveling have in “stringing three days together.” They got wheeled into the tent on Day 3 as the third-best team, but an 8.58-pound bag plunged them to 24th place.
They came in 18th place two years ago, were 84th in 2000, 52nd in 1999, and 89th in 1997.
But things haven’t always been catastrophic. Luhman and Raveling took home the second-place cheque in 2002, which is the same year they weighed in a 22.28-pound bag—still an FFCBC record to this day.
They also finished second in 1998—the year they hauled in a 5.94-pound bass (another FFCBC record that’s yet to be broken).
Luhman says they may have figured things out this year, admitting to playing the role of James Bond by doing a little spying on James Lindner.
“To be perfectly honest with you, we tried to figure out what James has been doing,” said Luhman, who noted how Lindner is more akin to deep-water fishing (50-60 feet), which is where the “really big fish” are found.
So are you comfortable with that kind of fishing?
“We don’t have a clue how to do it,” said Luhman, who hails from Deer Park Wis. while his partner calls Spring Park, Wis. home.
“We know where James is, and we might’ve figured out what they do, but I’m not going to say what they do,” he added. “I mean, we’ve worked on it, but I don’t think we have it mastered by any stretch.”
Anglers like Bill Godin say deep-water fishing can be extraordinarily successful or bitterly malignant.
“Lots of guys we talked to fished the deep water and it can work, but it can also shut down on you,” Godin reasoned.
But even in defeat, Luhman has been able to control his emotions and be happy for the winners, rather than spiteful.
“I’m elated for them,” Luhman said of the Lindsay family. “I’m tickled for them. I would love to win, but I’m very happy for them.”

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