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On the bubble on the Mississippi River

Posted by stephen on June 25, 2013

photo; Darren Jacobson

Holding the lead from the hot seat is one thing, but at the other end on the bubble (50th) when you have half the field of the Bassmaster Elite Anglers coming to the scales is just as nerve-racking. The difference in ounces may be tiny, but the difference in zeros on the check is what you can't get out of your head on the ride home. But that's all part of the game we play. You live and die by the ounces. Go for broke and you just might end up... well, not as fortunate as you could have been. So as the moments ticked away on day 3 of the River Rumble in LaCrosse, WI, it was decision time.

I figured I needed about 10 pounds to stay clear of 50th place. And with the difference in 49th and 50th place being $5,000 dollars, I was going to milk the clock for all it was worth. I got the bite I was looking for but that put less time on the clock. Then my motor got tangled up in a rock jetty and that took time. Racing to the lock, I had little time to spare. That only thing I didn't need now was... too late. A giant barge rolled in and all I could do was watch the clock tick away my chances. Tournament rules state that you are penalized a pound for every minute you are late back to the weigh-in. Then after 15 minutes, your day's catch is zeroed. I rolled in about an hour past curfew. Therefore the well was emptied and 50th place was where I remained.

That just seemed to be the theme of this event. I just chalk it up to a series of bad decisions that all started with culling fish on the Minnesota side, which resulted in penalty the first day and costing me about 40 positions in the standings. So it's now in the rearview mirror and back to business.

We have a bit of break here before the St. Lawrence event in August and I'm going to get in a little vacation time and then join my sponsors for iCast 2014 in Las Vegas on July 10, 2013. Stay tuned for more.