I just finished the 2018 KBF National Championship (7th place– shameless self promoting) and thought I would share something I wrote during the week of pre-fishing. Had I not gained a little perspective, I would have crashed and burned………….
Last weekend, I was all over them…I could do nothing wrong, cast after cast; bite after bite. I won our first CAKFG tournament – and I quit two hours early (hoping to leave them alone and the water wouldn’t drop almost 10 ft!). 40 boats on the same water that will host the KBFNC, and I was on ‘em! A bass boat came all over my spot, I let him fish…then fished behind him and pulled a 17…then a 19. 76 inches in 4 fish; and more were there.
This week, they are gone.
“where are they?”
“where are the fish!!”
These words have been rolling around in my head with every cast for the last three days. I even caught myself saying them out loud to the wind, and the trees…both could care less.
I have been catching fish.
Today, I had a limit on Kentucky Lake in less than an hour; a 61.25 inch limit…and still…”where are they”….”over there?”…..”across; to that side?”. I loaded up and moved twice.
…I had to take a breath…re-center…
Cleaned out BoHobien Rhapsody (my kayak), cleaned up my lucky duck, changed some line on a reel that didn’t need changing, retied all of my lures, installed a new battery to power the Lowrance; some stuff that needed doing but could have waited.
I sat in the garage with the door open, smelling the approaching storm…the rain. Closed my eyes and listened to the tornado sirens; smiled at the wonder of it all.
Ate dinner with my Joy, went to Lowes, to Dairy Queen for ice cream.
I stopped thinking about “where are the fish” for a bit.
I have to remember that this time last year, I signed up to fish some tournament because all of the guys I had just met were fishing it. I had no idea what KBF was, what it would become to me. But, fueled by a fourth place finish in the great CAKFG snow tournament of 2017, I said why not.
So I fished the Open. Found fish. Did well.
Ended 19th in the KBF standings by the end of the year. From fishing just to fish….to tournaments almost every weekend…zero to ninety.
And I am a better angler, a better kayaker for it.
But I did not win them all.
And I will not win them all.
And instead of fishing in a frenzy……I am going to take all that I have learned and apply it.
Yep…I know we are fishing for a hundred thousand dollars….and I know that winning the KBFNC is going to change someone’s life forever…and I want it to be me….I believe it can be me…
…but, if it isn’t, I will cheer for whoever it is…
…and then I will chase them the rest of the year!
Tomorrow, I will take the 61 inches and turn it into 62…63…one cast at a time.
…………..now I sit here thinking that the best decision I made during all of my pre-fishing was to stop fishing, and to be just a guy enjoying the day for a bit; not a competitor, not someone trying to conquer a body of water….Just me.
I believe that we can put too much pressure on ourselves. I can push myself too hard; to the point of breaking. I am definitely my biggest critic, questioning everything.
But to put some perspective on it….in the end, it is just fishing – we all started out loving the feel of a fish pulling back, not trying to beat everyone. You gotta have some fun, or it is no better than your day job. My thoughts on it anyway.
Did I mention the field was over 750 anglers….as I depart to the sound of more shameless self promotion….