In short, I was a little disappointed in my performance this week. Â Prior to practice I had high hopes for this event, figuring Neely Henry fished like the other lakes on the Coosa River chain. Â Boy was I wrong!
My practice was dismal! Probably the worst practice I ever had. Â On a positive note, I was able to turn things around once the tournament started.Â The first day I had a small limit flipping the shoreline grass with a Zoom Brush Hog but was never able to connect with a big bite.Â The second day I decided to run new water and different techniques, I needed a big bag to have an outside chance of making the cut for Saturday.Â Most of my damage was done with a Jackall square bill crankbait around concrete bulkheads and flipping docks with a jig.Â I improved my weight but it was too little too late.
Reflecting back there are a few positives I was able to take away.Â After having such a poor practice I was happy with the fact I was able to fish with an open mind and change my techniques throughout the tournament.Â I took some gambles, ran some new water, and had all the confidence in the world.Â It didnâ€™t work out this timeâ€¦.but next time it might.Â Tournament fishing is all about decisions, and I was pleased with the decisions I made during the tournament.Â One or two big bites over the two days could have made all the difference in the world.
The other big take away was something I thought about the entire drive home.Â Years ago, when I fished the B.A.S.S. Pro Tour on maxed out credit cards and sleeping in my van, I always wondered if the financial stress resulted in finishes not up to my own personal standards.Â That thought has been following me around for almost ten years.Â I consider myself a pretty good angler at the state and regional level, just this year I competed in the TBF Southern Divisional, a feat many anglers hope to accomplish.Â Iâ€™m very fortunate to have this opportunity with the support of my company and it has answered that ten year old question.Â Itâ€™s the same talk we hear around local tournament weigh-ins all the time, â€śif I had the time and money I could beat those Prosâ€ť.Â Well, I have to sayâ€¦.these Pros, fishing the Elites and FLW, are just that good!!Â They really are in a league all their own.Â Iâ€™ll have to work twice as hard at our next event.
The highlight of my week happened on Day 2 in the weigh-in line when an Elite angler said â€śHey Tim, I was reading your blog last night, good stuffâ€ť.Â James, if youâ€™re still reading I wanted to say thank you again, it sure made my day!