The Walk of Shame sucks! I tried to come up with a nicer way of saying that, but the fact is that’s the nicest thing I can say about it. For the non-tournament fishermen (and women) among you, the walk of shame is when you have to go to the weigh-in with your partner without any fish.
Although it has happened to us all at one time or another, it’s hard to describe what it feels like. It’s kind of like those dreams of your youth where you were out in public and discovered that you were naked. You know you shouldn’t be but you have no idea how you got there.
Fortunately for me, I’ve managed to avoid the Walk of Shame for the most part; but last week at Lewisville Lake, I somehow managed to do it 2 days in a row. In 15 seasons with B.A.S.S, I’ve never completely zeroed a tournament; so that’s a first for me
It wasn’t the only first of the week however. This was also the first Open that I’d ever fished with only 1 day of practice. Hmm, maybe those two are connected. I’m normally one of those guys who prides himself on good preparation; but in this case, everything conspired against me and I was late getting there.
I also managed to damage two trolling motors in two days; yet another first for me. In fact, I’ve carried my spare for over two years without ever using it. Both of the failures were entirely my fault. On the first one, I didn’t notice that the collar holding the bearings on the shaft was loose and the ride back in 40 mph winds vibrated the bearings out. On the backup, it had been riding in the rod locker and truck for a couple of years and the speed control knob had cracked. A few extra minutes checking the equipment would have prevented both problems.
Day 2 was also another first for me. I managed to not only not catch a single fish, but also to fish 8 hours without a single bite. Hard to catch them when you don’t get bit! But that certainly wasn’t the fish’s fault. I made the classic error of going back out the second day convinced that I could make them bite what had worked in practice but not on day 1. I believe it was Einstein who said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. Well, call me insane; I certainly called myself several things worse during the ride home.
So what do I do different at Lake Norman later this month? Well , to start with, I’m going to get there as early as possible and actually get some pre-fishing done. It’s a new lake for me (hmm, like Lewisville), so I need to narrow down the amount of area to cover and figure out what will work. Next, I promise, for the thousandth time, to not be pig headed. If I pull that off, it’ll amaze practically everyone that knows me, but I can always dream. And finally, I will listen to the fish. In fact, I might even have that tattooed on the back of my hand so I won’t forget it.
Tomorrow is another day and Norman is a different lake. After all, it can only get better and I’m pissed at the fish now. They better look out. I have revenge in mind!
Thanks to the sponsors who make this all possible: Scoutlookweather.com, Lowrance Electronics, Phoenix Bass Boats, Mercury Motors, Motorguide Trolling Motors, Costa del Mar Sunglasses, Bass Angler Magazine and Mississippi Van Lines. Without all of you, none of this would be possible.