New tour, new healthier lifestyle for 2019
Photo by Garrick Dixon - February 10, 2019 So many people have New Year’s resolutions, but I have a “New Tour” resolution, and it started long before the new year.
I came to grips with the new format of the MLF Bass Pro Tour I’d be fishing, and it made me realize I’d need a change for sure. I needed to become healthier and more fit if I was going to succeed fishing a season-long tour with the physical demands the MLF Bass Pro Tour format brings.
So I changed up my lifestyle a bit. I realized that at my age I needed to be in better shape because I can’t recover as fast in my 50s as I could in my 20s. I started out weighing 230 pounds and not being in shape. I never thought I’d be able to run again without a lot of pain. My goal was to get down to 195 pounds.
As I write this, I weigh 189 pounds.
I have to say, I’m proud of my achievement. I love to eat, and anyone who knows me knows that. I’ll go into my diet at another time. No “Mr. Universe” workouts for me. I just changed my eating habits and started to walk.
As my program progressed, I’ve built up to walking about 2 miles a day and running about ¾ of a mile too! I thought that would never happen, but lo and behold, I’m doing it! My aching back has gone away with the weight. The physical fitness certainly will help the mental fitness on the water this season. I can’t wait to see how the season unfolds.
After the first event, I have to say I didn’t know I could feel this excited and engaged again. I felt as excited as a young man entering his first club tourney. I’m so thankful to be fishing this tour.
Ready for Lake Conroe
Now for Lake Conroe. I have some experience there, and I expect some big bass to be caught for sure. It’s a real trophy lake.
I’ll likely start fishing with a ⅜-ounce double willow leaf War Eagle spinnerbait. I’ll let the water clarity dictate the skirt color. The other lure is a ⅜-ounce Booyah jig in black and blue.
I’ll fish both baits methodically and slowly. The fish aren’t fired up yet, but they could be with a warming trend.
2019 Bass Pro Tour
January 29 - February 2
Pro Bass Tour at Lake Toho
February 12 - 17
Pro Bass Tour at Lake Conroe
March 26 - 31
Pro Bass Tour at Lake Jordan
Pro Bass Tour at Chickamauga Lake
June - May 30-5
Pro Bass Tour at Cullman and Smith Lake
Grouping For First Bass Pro Tour Event Announced
Major League Fishing announced the groupings for the first two days of fishing in their first ever Bass Pro Tour event on Lake Toho next week. The competition starts Jan. 29, 2019 and group A will fish then. While Group B will fish on the Jan. 30 2019. Here is who will be competiting in each group. For more details visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.
| Group B
My Lake Hartwell approach
BASSMASTER - With the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods returning to the lake where I won in 2008, you can bet I’ve put a lot of thought into it. Especially how I’m going to approach Lake Hartwell next week. For me, it will start with my practice mindset.
We talk a lot about how the Classic requires an all-or-nothing attitude; how there are no points to earn and how you have to fish to win. Well, for me to do that, I have to practice in the techniques that I believe can win.
If you look at how tournaments are won, there’s a handful of baits that is much smaller than the universe of baits that guys get checks on. So I’ll be spending more time practicing with that selection of lures.
A good example is a swimbait like a YUM Money Minnow or the YUM Pulse. There are many different ways you can rig them, and if you get on that bite, you can win.
A jig is another good example, and so are your classic powerfishing techniques like a spinnerbait, a big crankbait, even a jerkbait.
Now, contrast this with dropshots and a shaky heads, which typically do not win tournaments; at least not on Hartwell during the prespawn. Of course, these are both great options, but this is not going to be the top choice for March on this lake.
I’m sure I’ll be overlooking some schools of fish — smaller fish — because I’m not going to be downsizing. To do so at a lake like Hartwell this time of year would mean you’re not fishing for the bite to win.