The season-opening Elite Series tournament on Cherokee produced all sorts of story lines, and while there’s still lots of pitching and flipping left to go, it’s never too early to speculate about the AOY race. Obviously, Jacob Wheeler leads at this early stage, but my two picks for the title did themselves proud.
I attended The Bass University in Columbus, Ohio this past weekend and I found it to be remarkably informative. Despite having written an article or three about every technique under the sun (with the notable exceptions of “tightlining” and the “Damiki Rig”) and generally feeling like a know-it-all, I got great insights and little tidbits of insider information from each of the speakers. The other attendees were similarly captivated, taking notes on pads and laptops and remaining attentive throughout the long sessions.
For reasons that I’m not sure that I understand 100%, Andy Morgan has elected to fish five only Bassmaster Opens in his career, the last of them in 2009. I guess he seems to have it pretty good over at FLW. He’s always in the race for AOY and probably clears enough money to support his hunting habit with cash to spare.
Another FLW season is underway, and obviously Mark Rose should be thrilled with his victory on Guntersville. For an Arkansas river rat, he seems to have found a true comfort zone on the Tennessee River impoundments, regardless of the time of year. While he’s established a very preliminary lead in the AOY race, anyone with serious designs on that title knows that it flows directly through the current 7th place angler, Andy Morgan.
When Lake El Salto was impounded in the 1980s, they had to relocate multiple villages to higher ground to get them out of the way of the water. While villagers could build a new house nearby, it wasn’t always reasonable or possible to move all of their belongings and structures. Thus, depending on what time of year you fish there, you might find yourself dragging a Carolina Rig across a house foundation or flipping a jig at an old schoolhouse (pretty sure I once caught a five-pounder off a rarely-used wall-mounted pencil sharpener).
During our most recent trip to El Salto, the bite changed every day. It wasn’t so much the quality – our group caught fish over 7 pounds, and tons of fives and sixes, every day – as it was the way they reacted. One day you’d have a fantastic topwater experience and the next day, in similar places, under what seemed to be similar conditions, the surface bite would be weak.
I’ve known my friend Chad Hallett since 2000 or 2001 and I’ve known his 14 year old son Fisher since before he was born. He’s a little ginger like my wife (although he outgrew her 2-3 years ago), so I’ve always looked on him with a bit of suspicion, but I like his parents so I figured he’d eventually get straightened out.
Even pre-9/11, traveling with fishing rods was a cumbersome process, but it seems that every year it gets a little tougher. The other passengers look at you a little bit more suspiciously, the desk agents give you an extra hassle, and the airlines create new rules and restrictions that limit your options.
I purchase many clothing items online from Sierra Trading Post. They sell numerous brands that I like, including Columbia, Patagonia and Simms, for discounted prices. Sometimes they’re last year’s fashions, but I’m no Derek Zoolander, so being right on top of the latest styles has never been all that important to me.