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2013 Here it comes

Posted by Larry on December 31, 2012

2012 has come to a close and like most tournament anglers I have spent some time reflecting on my 2012 season. In the big picture not a bad tournament season, but I’m still not satisfied with the results. I fished hard at every event but know I missed some opportunities. Whether it was a bad decision, the wrong game plan, a mechanical issue, or a lost fish I see places that I can continue to improve.  I start every season with a series of goals and would like to sum up how 2012 went in accomplishing those goals.

1.       Participate in at least 35 local and regional bass tournaments.

My philosophy is if you want to become a better tournament angler you have to compete against strong competition under tournament conditions.  I didn’t make this one in 2012, only competing in 32 tournaments last year. The biggest reason was the Ozark Division of the BLFs conflicted with the BASS Missouri Division BWS last year so I was unable to compete in both circuits.  Some issues with work caused me to pull out of a couple BFLs and the Anglers in Action solo pro series after a couple events.  If no issues arise in 2013, I am scheduled to compete in 38 tournaments.

2.       Qualify for the federation state teams.

Not good enough, but  I was able to make the 2013 Kansas TBF state team through a very tough qualifier on Perry Lake in October 2012 making the Kansas state team in 3 of the last 4 years.  I missed qualifying for the 2012 Kansas BASS Federation team at Table Rock in April after losing a key fish with an hour left in day 2. A 4lber wrapped me up in some submerged timber and broke off. Boating that fish would have put me in the top 5, without it a 14th place heartbreaker. After a solid top 10 on day 1 at the 2013 MOBASS state qualifier on Table Rock last October, I failed to make it happen on day 2. This is one of those events that most concerned me this year.  I missed the team by 4lbs in a tough tournament  were two more keeper  bites over two days would have made all the difference. I will have two opportunities to accomplish this goal again in 2013. I will compete in the MOBASS qualifier on Lake of the Ozarks and the Kansas TBF on Hudson Lake, Ok in 2013.

3.       Qualify for a federation national championship.

The TBF Central Divisional on Red River in June 2012 was another tough tournament and a bad day 1 decision left me in the middle of the pack. I locked through to pool 4 on day 1 to avoid fishing pressure. Only 12 boats locked through but 3 of us were on the same fish in the same small area that didn’t hold up.  Day 2 was tough but I made up some ground by staying in pool 5 but fell a little short with the 2nd largest bag of the day on Day 3. The good news is I learned more about fishing multiple day events that will help significantly on my next attempt. I’ll compete in the 2013 TBF Central Divisional on Lake Ray Roberts in June 2013.

4.       Win multiple events and compete for an AOY championship.

I was fortunate enough to win 3 Leavenworth Bass Club Tournaments and finish in 3rd in their AOY standings making it 6 consecutive years of finishing in the top 3.  I also had a good year fishing the N2it fishing series with 2 wins and a 3rd place in 5 tournaments leading their AOY standings the entire year.  Unfortunately, I was unable to fish their 2 day championship due to it conflicting with our Fishing For Freedom event that we host for wounded warriors and post 9-11 veterans.  I should have some opportunities again in 2013 with the Leavenworth Bass Club, N2it series, BFLs, and BWS.  

5.       Share our sport with someone new.

One of the things that I love most is bringing new people to fishing in general and bass fishing specifically.  Blogging, writing articles, conducting seminars, working sponsor’s boat and tackle shows, planning, coordinating, and executing multiple kids’ fishing events, a special needs fishing day, and Fishing for Freedom enabled me the share my love of fishing with thousands of people in 2012. With the same plans for 2013, I look forward to another great year getting people involved in fishing.

I am adding one additional goal for 2013. I will be more active on my website routinely adding informative articles on tournament tactics, techniques, and procedures as well as tournament and general fishing reports.  I am excited about 2013, the opportunities, the new relationships, and especially my team of sponsors Ranger Boats, Evinrude outboards, Smithville Marine, Pro Sites Unlimited, 7/24 Outdoors, Crankbait Coverups, Secret Weapon Lures, and ABU Garcia .  

Until next time go catchem…….