What a relief! The cards fell just right, and I got lucky and made it back to the Classic. I worked hard to get to where I am now, but I am still not pleased with my performance. I left too many doors open, and left too much to chance at the end. I ended up 24th at Wheeler, but going into the final day there were 2 potential scenarios to put me into the Classic, and 2 potential scenarios to block me from earning a Classic invite. Like I said, the cards fell right for me. I feel bad for the guys who didn't make it, or for the ones that are now banking on making it through the Northern Opens, but that's the way that this type of competition is.
At Wheeler, I was absolutely floored by the weights. In practice I never got on anything huge like what we saw at weigh-in, and going into the event I figured it would be a deal where 5 keepers kept you in the hunt. I totally underestimated Wheeler, and that whole underestimation deal was kind of a theme throughout my season that I am going to try and work on and overcome for next season.
The fish I caught during the tournament I literally found during the last 2 hours of the last day of practice! I had found what I thought would be a primary spot, but it was covered up with boats when I got there the first morning of competition. I ran to this back up place, and the fish were piled up there. It was on the Decatur Flats, but it was a very specific spot. What killed me though, and kept me from competing on the final day was the fact that I couldn't catch a fish over 2 pounds on the third day. There were loads of fish there, but there wasn't much size swimming around down there.
The last two weeks have been a roller coaster for me. Like I said earlier, I am not happy with my season, but I am happy about making the Classic. During the summer months I plan on taking some time and reflecting on some of the negative aspects of my season, and trying to correct them so that I can have a strong 2012 campaign. Now that the season is over, it is kind of sad, relieving but sad! I had all of these grand plans to fish all over and do all of these awesome things this summer, but now looking at my calendar I am pretty wrapped up in promotional events about every other weekend. I was going to try and sneak down to Falcon, but I'm not sure if I will even be able to do that! The season is never really over for a Bass Pro, we always have stuff to do. And, knowing me, I will find plenty of time to get out and fish.
One more thing I wanted to add is that you can get on-line and vote for me as your fan favorite, and hopefully send me to the post-season event! The website is vote.bassmaster.com. Please vote for me! It would be a very pleasant surprise if I was able to fish down there, and I would greatly appreciate your votes. Oh yeah, if I don't make it to post-season, Bobbi and I are going to participate in a "Warrior Dash". It's an extreme running deal with obstacles and crazy stuff. I think I would be better at fishing in the post-season! Please vote! Thanks guys!