What an amazing week it was at the Classic. I guess I am a little dissapointed that I didn't win, but on the other hand I am so excited that I made it as close as I did. I don't feel any regret or remorse for any of my decisions made during the classic, honestly I executed flawlessly. Not one missed bite or lost fish, I capitalized on every situation that was thrown my way. The one thing that I couldn't overcome was the drastic decrease in water temperature on the final day in the Venice area. But, even then I was surprised at how many fish I caught in 49 degree water.
The Louisiana Delta, and Venice in particular is just an incredible fishery. I would say that it is definitely one place that every angler should experience in their life time. It was literally like pond fishing for me. Those fish bit like they hadn't ever seen a lure, that is how good it was. I will say that I looked at Cataouatche in practice, and while it seemed like an impressive area to me, I just didn't think that it would be able to hold up for the entire tournament. I really thought that the local pressure would hurt it, and the actual number of competitors fishing in there would shut it down. What I didn't account for was the timing of the whole deal. Cataouatche set up perfectly in that the weather forced the fish to move up in to that area in waves the entire week. Had the classic been one week earlier or one week later Cataouatche wouldn't have produced, and my spot would have produced the winning bags of fish. I caught 95% of my fish this week on a 3" Tightlines UV Blue Beaver, on a Trokar flippin hook. I barely had any bites on moving baits. I was really dialed in flipping this beaver bait, and nothing else would have caught them any better. I tried some other flippin baits as well, but the UV baits just produced better. With the stained water that I was fishing, I think the UV helped the bait to show up and look more realistic to the fish. And, I chose the blue color because this time of year the craws take on a little bit more of a blue tint, but also down there on the delta those bass feed on blue crabs. So, the UV blue beaver really fit the bill for the delta forage.
I need to say a few thank-yous to all of the people that supported me, cheered me on, and shared their well-wishes with me. All of my friends and family that came down to New Orleans, you guys are awesome! Everybody that followed along on their computers from home on my blog or on bassmaster.com, thank you so much. I really do appreciate all of you guys, and I hope you know how much it means to me to have your support. I also want to say thank you to Terry Butcher, Gary Klein, and Kevin Wirth. The first 2 days of the event, I was running without the Lowrance Broadband Radar, and these guys really helped me out by navigating me and letting me follow them. And on the last day, Terry let me borrow his Radar unit, and Lowrance got it all set-up on my boat. I really appreciate the Lowrance crew, and Terry for being so generous.
Now we are going to be back home for a few weeks, and then it is back on the road to Florida to kick off the elite series season. I can't wait to get back out there because this Classic has really lit a fire in me, and I am going to capitalize on this momentum throughout the rest of the season.