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Patience will be Key at Hartwell

Posted by stephen on February 17, 2015

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If any of you have been following the weather for this week you probably know it’s looking to be an icy start to the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.  I finished up our practice period this past weekend and I can say one thing for sure; thank goodness!  In three days of practice ice building up on the guides was an issue for two of them.  Right after practice finished up I looked up ways to keep your guides ice free.  Most of what I could find was from fly fisherman in the northern regions so I figure they’d know a little bit about it.  I went to Walmart and bought a can of Pam Olive Oil Spray, Vasoline, Qtips, and Reel Magic.  Chances are, at least one of those will do the trick Friday.

My first day of practice I had quite a few bites.  On the second day, I didn’t have many, but was able to eliminate a large area that I thought had some potential.  Day three, I had about five bites all day and set on two of them.  Let’s just say those two I did set on were the ones you’re going to want come Friday.  Looking back on practice, it seems like it’s going to be a tough grind it out kind of tournament.  For some reason those kind of tournaments seem to suit me.  I think fishing to your strengths is always important and I feel like I can catch a few the way I like to fish too.

I think it’s going to be a marathon type tournament where if you can be steady you’ll have a great chance to win.  With the weather setting up like it’s looking to be on Friday, I think if you can survive the first day (13-14 lbs), you’ll have a great chance to make something happen the next two days.  For me, it’s all about fishing slow and thoroughly to make this happen.  I’ve got two areas that I feel hold some fish and I’ll be hunkering down in them to try and grind out five to seven bites a day. 

The biggest thing I’ve been preaching to myself is patience this week.  With my personal life, fishing, and all around, it’s all about patience.  When I was driving in I got my first test around Atlanta.  I sat in traffic for two hours to go a few miles, but didn’t get fired up about it.  That’s going to be the key this week because whether you have twenty pounds in the livewell or haven’t had a bite, it can happen in a hurry.  Staying calm and keeping it simple is what I’ll be doing this week.  During practice I kept it simple as could be.  I stayed at a little six room motel called Waldrops Camp.  It was only two blocks from the ramp and had the best breakfast in the world.  It really helped to keep it simple throughout practice and I’ll be keeping that mindset throughout the rest of this week.

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Tomorrow we have another practice day that will simulate the tournament days. We’ll be headed out for about eight hours to take a last look around Lake Hartwell.  It looks like another cold day on the water.  That should help us get a feel for what the event will be like though.  The other day I went and dropped $300 at Cabelas on long underwear, gloves, and socks.  It’s very important to take care of yourself in these conditions.  Focus is everything in this game and being cold can’t take away your attention to detail when every bite is huge.  I’m looking forward to one last look tomorrow and to kicking off the 2015 Bassmaster Classic! -SB