you have a chance to win a tournament,
you better take it! Murphy should
have written a separate law for tournament
fishing. Mechanical problems will
occur and you are chasing one of God's
creatures affected by minor Mother
Fishing his 4th Bassmaster event,
34-year-old Missouri pro Shane Voyles
came from 5th place on the final day
to win November's Alabama Citgo Bassmaster
Southern Open . Before he hit Lake
Eufaula , all he wanted to know was
much weight it was taking to win tournaments
the weeks in advance of the
Bassmaster event and the lake conditions.
Then he watched the weather. Voyles
knows how humbling this sport can
be. "Don't get caught up in what
other people are doing to catch fish,
you've got to be able to survive on
your own". On the final day,
he got plenty of sleep and prepared
himself mentally. " I went out
swinging for the fences, went out
to win the tournament ".
Timing is everything. Before qualifying
for December's Bassmaster Open
Championship at Toledo Bend, John
Murray had never won a Bassmaster
event BUT he had won over $1 million
as a pro! With three consecutive top-ten
finishes in the 2003 Open trail and
qualifying for the Classic, Murray
said the pressure was off. "Sometimes
you really start to have doubts. "I've
had some shots at some Western Opens
in the last couple of years".
Murray took his Western techniques
to a well known "community hole"
and worked a drop shot rig while everyone
else was throwing Carolina rigs. Getting
his limit, he ran to his secondary
spot throwing lipless crankbaits in
an area where no one was fishing and
culled his community hole limit. "To
me it was a timing deal, it seemed
like 10:30, 11 the shad would get
active in this area and I knew those
fish would relate in that high sun
to the stumps". Murray's experience
told him that the worst thing he could
do would be to go to that secondary
spot early, not get a bite, then leave.
His timing paid off.
Fishing from the back of the boat
doesn't yield too many chances to
Wayne Hayes from Virginia Beach won
twice in eight months, a Tour event
and an Open event. "I try not
to throw the same baits they do when
cover if they fish fast, I fish fast."
Hayes rigs his six rods with baits
to allow him
to fish at the same speed as his boat
partner. "You have to adapt,
to make friends with the guy and enjoy
the day |if you don't you won't have
enjoyable outing. Whatever you do,
Hayes says, "Don't give up!,
the last cast can do it!"
Tournament fishing is a sport with
the same intensity, focus, and persistence
of the "ball sports" without
the ball. The winners stand up at
level. They don't wait their turn.
Steve Chaconas is a bass fishing guide
on the Potomac River. Listen to the
"National Bass Fishing Show"
Saturdays at 8am on www.washingtonbusinessradio.com