I’m coming off of a fourth-place finish on Sam Rayburn for Stage One of the Bass Pro Tour and I’m very happy with my overall performance. I was really excited to see Sam Rayburn on the schedule because I knew that I was going to be able to fish my strengths when we were there. I was able to use a Gene Larew Biffle Bug with a hard head a majority of the time, which is my favorite bait to use ever. It’s a great feeling when you’re on a lake you’re familiar with, doing what you do best and coming out with a Top-10 finish.
Our next stop is Lake Travis, a place I’ve only fished one other time in my career. The clear water could play well for my Biffle Bug and hard head, but I’m going to take some spinning rods and topwaters because I think the fish may be done spawning by the time we get there. Everyone loves to fish with topwater baits because they are so much fun to fish. My problem with topwaters is that I’ve always said they’re not a great tournament bait. I feel like the fish are so fickle with it and sometimes they eat it while other times they just hit at it. My plan is to just keep an open mind and fish the conditions when we get there.
Keeping an open mind is something that I’m not really known for, and it’s gotten me in trouble over my career and in my time on the Bass Pro Tour. I obviously love to fish my Biffle Bug, but sometimes I fish it too much. It’s such a good bait and I’ve caught so many fish on it that it’s so hard to put down. I treat it like a search bait sometimes and it allows me to cover so much water. However, sometimes the situation doesn’t call for me to just use a Biffle Bug the entire time, and that’s where I think I get myself in trouble.
That’s why these younger anglers are so good. They’re not as set in their ways as myself and some of the more experienced anglers on tour are. The younger guys have no problem at all using a variety of different techniques and baits at any time, whatever is going to get them bit as many times as possible. They come up with some wild ideas that are pretty fun to see when they work. That’s a great quality to have nowadays, especially with the new electronics that are out on the market. I’m starting to be better with my electronics now that I have the Lowrance Active Target in my boat, but I still have a lot of learning to do before I catch up to the younger guys.
As we get ready to head to central Texas, I’m feeling good about my game plan and how I’m fishing. Sam Rayburn gave me a lot of confidence and I’m hoping to carry that into Lake Travis. I’m going to turn my trolling motor on high, cover a lot of water and try to keep it going.