I am finding myself with that delima and in an area of lull that is foreign to me. Basically, no planned tournament fishing. A storm is brewing in my head.
The 2015 schedule for the Bassmaster Southern Open tour has a five month break over the summer. I have enjoyed more family time than I can remember. Trip to California, to Hawaii, and a nice dinner at the German pub in Sanford, Fl.
So far this year on the tournament trail I have struggled to make a check in the Bassmaster Opens. I didn't even place high enough to qualify for the BassFest extravaganza on Kentucky Lake.
As I sit at home I happily support my roommate Shaw Grigsby, friend Paul Elias, and fellow angler Troy Boussard of Swamp People on their quest to win BassFest.
When life takes us away from our goals we all need to embark on a "grounding", the process of going back to our roots, stoking up the flames of desire, and getting motivated to burn through the challenges life throws at you.
I just celebrated my 28th year marriage anniversary with my wife Trish. We developed juvenile diabetes with our first child 28 years ago. I say "we" because we are a team and have to rely on each other for strength.
Today, we enjoy three beautiful children, one angel, and a great son in law. My wife's diabetes and our fight to enjoy life has been a very inspirational and motivating experience. Her ability to push through the tough times and reap the rewards of hard work without complain makes me proud!!
The strength my wife shows as she endures against all odds makes me mad at today's lazy society that wants something from nothing.
I love tournament bass fishing and I love to take on challenges, but is there more?? I believe there is.
I want to recuperate and gain my mental strength that I seems to have withered. I know I can catch fish, I have proven it over four years in the Bassmaster Southern Open trail. Yet, I feel I need to take a moment to regroup. My famy and my career limit me to 2.5days of practice in my Open events. With such limited time against full-time pros and local experts, I fight an uphill battle to be the best.
So, I am thinking about expanding my promotional ability to more anglers for my sponsor #AERF. Surveys show for every high level tournament angler there are nine anglers fishing mid-level and club tournaments.
I stand to gain a nine-fold increase in brand impressions by fishing the Florida Bass Nation trail and ABA Weekend Series as I regroup and fish in Florida for a while with my friends. That's a win-win deal!!
During my mission to share aquatic plant education, my goal will be to qualify for the BASS National Championship through the Bass Nation schedule and earn a berth in the Bassmaster Classic.
During my sabbatical from the Opens, I intend to accrue the vacation time needed to balance family vacations with a full-time career as a Pro Angler.
Juggling family time against a full-time biology career and a parttime BasspPro associate career has been a hand full.
If it works out that 2016 limits me to home waters, I look forward to being a local expert for awhile, then everyone else will have to compete against me!
Soon, I will recharge and challenge my Elite tournament friends again! If I retire from my career anytime soon, I will look to be a threat against the Bassmaster pros full time!!
Look out Shaw Grigsby, Gary Klein, and Paul Elias. I'm coming!
....This is the rant of a die-hard bass angler....I hope you feel my struggle and share my enjoyment of competitive bass fishing. Don't forget to balance fishing with family.