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PB&J and Marshals

At noon on the first day, I had one little decoy fish in the livewell. You know about decoy fish right? That’s the fish you catch where the rest of the fish are not. Often it escapes, but it bites the “wrong” lure just to make you believe that you are actually doing the right stuff. I know about decoy fish after all these years, so I got the heck out of the shallows after catching that one and started working my way out to deeper and deeper water searching for the real fish.

By now, I was pretty desperate to figure out how to catch some real fish, so after going through my big fish stuff, I got out my spinning rod and Power Shaky Worm and started fishing more than “reel deep”. Not long after that I caught a keeper, then another and another; AHA moment. When I caught my fifth keeper about 2:00 pm, I was pretty relieved, but I knew I needed a big one to impact the top 50. This was still Amistad, even if it felt like below freezing on my fingers.

I remembered the PB&J sandwich that Tammy sent, so I decided to eat it to at least let her know I appreciate her efforts. I was hungry too. I wolfed it down and I swear it was not more than 10 minutes later that my little worm fell into the mouth of a bass that ended up weighing 7-15. I somehow managed to hang on long enough to tire this lunker on my 8-pound test Trilene through a deep bush and all. Got her!

The timing of those events didn’t hit me until the second day, when my best fish also found the livewell almost immediately after the PB&J hit my lips. Then on the third day, it happened again. EUREEKA! Now I have found a new superstition to help me through every tournament day. Thinking of Tammy and the rest of the family is always a good thing, but now PB&J will elicit a boost too.

Tammy’s PB&J will find a way into my Triton every day through the Tour. I’ll eat it too because it reminds me how important little boosts are. It boosts my energy level on two fronts, mentally and physically.

While I am on boosts, thanks go out to the Marshals we had in our boats during the first event of the 2009 Elite Series. I knew they would have a positive impact in the long run, but I was not expecting to see the difference so quickly. Having someone who is not fishing made my job so much less stressful because it allowed me the freedom to follow my instincts without worrying about another angler.

Having a Co-angler fishing out of the back of the boat was always a consideration when maneuvering the boat. Not the main concern, mind you, but a concern nevertheless. With the Marshals, I felt the freedom to search the structure with my electronics with no worries about his position and whether he had a chance to fish or not. I think it made me a better scramble fisherman by allowing me to pursue my instincts without worrying how it impacted another angler.

So, KUDOS go out to BASS and especially my Marshals, Todd, Wade and Terry for making my job catching bass easier, or at least less stressful.


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