I’m absolutely a believer in momentum, and I feel as though I have it right now, at the right time.
My Stage One win on the Kissimmee Chain was an amazing moment for me and my family that I’ll never forget, and I know that I’m fishing my best right now because I have momentum on my side. You can’t gauge it, it’s all really about feel, but I feel I have momentum heading into REDCREST 2023 at Lake Norman. It’s time for the biggest tournament of the year on a lake that I’m familiar with.
I went into Stage One with a clear head and with a lot of preparation under my belt. I knew that chain of lakes so well because that’s home to me. I felt the exact same way as I headed to Charlotte, but knew that everything was going to be completely different in terms of the lake setup – Norman and Kissimmee aren’t similar lakes at all. There’s zero grass in Lake Norman, and that doesn’t suit my strengths at all. However, on the mental side of my preparation, everything feels exactly the same.
Obviously, I want nothing more than to win REDCREST, but sometimes you have to be realistic. A good showing for me would be a Top 10. If I could make it to that final day and put myself in a position to win, that’s really all I can ask for this week. I have a lot of things working for me with my momentum and familiarity with the lake, it’s really just about keeping my head down and doing the best that I can to have a solid showing this week.
I’ve fished Lake Norman quite a bit over the years and it’s a lake that I feel comfortable fishing. I have family that lives in the area, so I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time out here. I’ve spent a good amount of hours on Norman in my life and I have a pretty good idea in my mind what I would need to do to win here.
It’s a lake that’s very special to my family, in more ways than one. I can’t wait to compete on it.
As I prepare to try to win my first REDCREST, I reflect on how magical it was last season for my brother Bobby during his win on Grand Lake. I would love to keep the REDCREST trophy in the family and have another special bond with my brother that no other brothers in the world can claim – REDCREST champions.
I don’t necessarily feel any pressure to win, but I do feel a sense of responsibility to at least perform well. I know how hard my brother worked to win his REDCREST title and the happiness he felt holding that trophy. I would love nothing more than to share a common experience like that with him.
A win at REDCREST for me would mean the world. To win it in a place that’s so important to me and my family and holds so many memories, there’s no way I would be able to hold back my emotions, so you would probably see some tears like you saw when I won Stage One. I can’t wait to get started on what I hope is a memorable week.