Even though everything feels strange, Cliff Crochet is making the most of his time before fishing starts up again. Photo by Josh Gassmann

Right now, most of the world has slowed down. It’s an interesting time, for sure.

I remember people always making fun of me for living in a swamp in the middle of nowhere and joking that I probably went to school with alligators, but that’s looking pretty good right about now. But, I know these are serious times we are in, and I am trying to make the most of my time and enjoying the slowdown.

Family First

It’s also been a bittersweet time for us as our twin boys, Les and Jay, were born prematurely on February 28. They were born at 28 weeks and in the NICU, which is normal for babies born at that stage. Before all of this hit, we were there every day to visit them and life was good.

Cliff and Sara Crochet’s newborn twins Jay and Les. Photo courtesy of Cliff Crochet

Now, with everything that is going on, we have decided not to go and visit them until things settle down, and it sucks. As bad as we want to be able to see them and hold them, it’s easy to make a decision when you know it is the right decision to make.

While that’s been hard for Sarah and me, we’ve still been able to see them every day on a FaceTime deal they have at the hospital. That’s been great to see when their eyes are open and when they’re eating. We’re doing our best and trying to stay positive about all of this, and making the most of our time with the older boys.

Ben is 4 years old and learning to drive the golf cart; and Lee, he’s two and changing every day. He’s talking a lot and it really is cool to sit back and watch.

It’s almost like the world has stopped and slowed down. It’s made me put the brakes on everything and just enjoy each day with them. You have nowhere to go and nothing to do, I feel like I’m retired.

In Louisiana, we’ve been through many big hurricanes and flooding. We’ve seen the worst of the worst, but this is different. We are in the belly of the beast as they say. Things are going to be different for a while, but I think this is going to give us all a chance to re-boot and reset and look at what is important.

Looking at fishing now, I see it’s just not that serious. It’s just fishing. As long as my wife and kids are healthy, I’m good.

A New Outlook on Fishing

But, I have been able to get out a few times around the house and made a trip the other day for a few hours. I saw this spot I wanted to fish and I caught six or seven there by noon – it was refreshing to catch some fish without the pressure of a tournament, especially after Lake Fork.

I finished dead last down in Texas, the third time I’ve done that in eleven Bass Pro Tour events, but I think Fork was the worst tournament in my career. In a way, this break is a way for me to stop the bleeding and get back to fishing my way. After we get back at it, I think I will slow down and come at it with a whole new outlook.

These times are scary and will affect a lot of people, but every day we go, we are closer to the end of it. Let’s all ride this out, chill out, and enjoy the time with our families.