The B.A.S.S. Open at Smith Lake in Alabama last week marked the end of yet another season of tournament fishing for me. I’d like to say that everything went as planned, but that would be a stretch. I will say that it’s been an interesting season. Like most seasons, this one had its good moments and bad, highs and lows and good memories and some I rather forget. But like most years, I wouldn’t trade any of the experiences for any thing.
As I look back over the year, I can’t be too disappointed. At almost every tournament (excluding, of course Lewisville), I was on the fish to do well. For me, the 2012 season can best be categorized as one of poor execution. I’ve lost more fish during competition this year than any other year I can remember. I can’t really attribute that to any one factor, but I will do better next season.
It’s also been a year where a couple of different decisions could have made a huge difference. Table Rock is a prime example. I spent a good deal of the first day sticking with a swimbait bite, while the entire time the voices in my head were screaming to go to the shaky head fish I had up river. I ended up weighing in 4 for 6-8 on day one but had a 17-1 pound limit the next day when I went to the shaky head fish. Tournament fishing is a game of decisions and listening to your instincts is one of the best ways I know to make good decisions.
This season has also been a year with some huge fish, just not at the right time. At the Harris chain, I got bored shacking them off on the 3rd practice day and decided to look at just one fish. Naturally, when I set the hook, I knew instantly that I’d made a mistake. The fish I’d stuck weighed 9-2 and although it was likely that he wouldn’t have been there during the tournament, you never know. I also caught a new personal best on my lake at the house, a 13 pound 14 ounce monster. This was the only day for 2 weeks that I didn’t have the video camera running in the boat, but it’s hard to be disappointed catching one that size.
Speaking of videos, I’d have to say that that’s one area where 2012 has exceeded my expectations. I’ve had a great response to my YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/user/ScottMcGehee) and I even got asked by a company to file a series of fishing tips for them to use on their web site. I’m really happy with the way they came out and I’m looking forward to them running them. I’ll be sure to let you know when they start. I’m starting to work on a new set for next season and am looking for a sponsor for those videos.
The highlight of the year had to be the Table Rock Lake Monster attacks. My traveling partner’s telling of that story never gets old. I won’t spoil it for those of you who haven’t read it, but if you’re looking for a good laugh, check it out at http://mybasslife.com/?p=459.
All in all, I can’t complain about this season. A couple of better decisions here and there, combined with some better execution on my part and it could have been a great season. The schedule for next year is out and it looks much better suited to my fishing style, including a stop at home on Ross Barnett. I’m looking forward to hitting the road again and proving to everyone; including myself, that I can and will do better.
So until that first event at Toho rolls around, I’ll be working on getting ready. A little exercise for better conditioning, some research on some of the lakes and lining up the new boat wrap for next year are high on my To Do List for next year, but for now, I’m thinking about catching a few just for fun. Time on the water and the thrill of catching them is what it’s all about, after all.
Thanks to the sponsors who make this all possible: Scoutlookweather.com, Lowrance Electronics, Phoenix Bass Boats, BoatUS Angler, Power Pole, Costa del Mar Sunglasses and Mississippi Van Lines. Without all of you, none of this would be possible.